Cutting down on delays at harvest time

Special mention winners in the Sima Innovation awards, the Vario cutterbar, and top left, the VMP attachment which goes on a combine harvester, and harvests and packages chaff.

Quick adaptation from grain to rapeseed harvesting helped the new Vario cutterbar in the Claas Tucano and Lexion combine harvesters earn a Sima Innovation special mention.

Crop dividers and rapeseed cutting knives can be attached and detached without use of tools, via quick-release couplings.

The apron can be retracted by 100 mm for short crops and extended by 600 mm for oilseed rape, from the cab.

Whereas rapeseed plates previously had to be inserted manually, they are now completely integrated into the cutterbar table on the new Vario.

Sima innovation judges said there is significant time saving between different crops, and joint-ownership purchase of combine harvesters could help justify the benefits of such a system.

Unique in the market, the cutter also has an automated system for putting it in the transport position.

Since 1931, the internationally-renowned Sima Innovation awards have been presented for the most innovative equipment, products, techniques and services presented by exhibitors at the Sima international agri business show in Paris.

The 2015 show takes place February 22-26.

Another special mention winner is the VMP attachment from Pérard, a French company, which goes on a combine harvester, and harvests and packages chaff.

Without an attachment like this, chaff — including weed seeds — is generally dispersed on the field at harvesting.

Recovery with this attachment resolves chaff weed problems, and could generate additional income, if chaff re-use channels are found.

The system quickly adapts to various modern combine harvesters.

For road transport, it connects to the combine harvester’s conveyor and folds in two.

It is automated (or electronically controlled from a console in the cab) and has its own power (an integrated internal combustion engine). Chaff could be re-used as litter for poultry, dairy cows or lactating sows, or a substrate for a methane producer.

Automatic steering along crop rows is one of the benefits claimed for the intelligent 3-D sensor for mobile machinery, made by the ifm electronic company.

Called the O3M, this sensor, fixed at the front or rear of the vehicle, can identify the position, size, trajectory and relative speed of about 20 objects in its field of vision, up to 35 metres away.

It functions by day or night, in full sunlight, or with reflective materials, withstands extreme temperature ranges and has excellent resistance to shock and vibration.

For example, it detects the mowing edge in front of a tractor, allowing precise and constant guidance for efficient harvest process, transmitted to the machine control system, and thus allowing the driver switch to automatic steering.

With the help of 3-D sensors, drivers of mobile machinery can better secure their work zone, detecting obstacles so that they can avoid collisions, and better drive and guide the machine. The sensors earned a special mention in the Sima Innovation Awards.

Their 3-D detection of scenes and objects is already a standard on the factory floor, and now extends to mobile machines. It opens up new possibilities for agri-vehicle automation, and farm safety.


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