Claas is rolling out some new tech in Europe that may make it to the U.S. soon. The key is the level of technology the company is putting into its combines to manage grain harvest under more conditions, and to protect the machine during harvest.
First up is something called 4D cleaning, that debuts on the company's "hybrid" combine models that's designed to enhance combine performance as the machine moves over changing terrain. On this machine, the rotary cage has three segments and each segment has two sections of flaps that can be opened and closed relative to the machine's slope. If the combine angles on a hill the appropriate flaps will close and others remain open to drive grain where it needs to go for further separation.
In action the system is responsive as sensors determine how grain is flowing through the system. And the 4D setup is so integrated to machine sensors that if the combine pitches downhill the fan speed will also change to boost airflow to keep material moving in the right direction. Head back up a hill and the fan slows down. Watching those flaps open and close in the demonstration was interesting.
Another feature is automatic flow control. The company already has its CEMUS Automatic system for managing the combine. It does that so well, that company personnel have pitted the machine against experienced operators to see which can keep the settings closest to what's needed for the crop, and the combine usually wins. Now Claas is adding a crop flow control system that includes an alert and control system that allows the operator to run at the machine's best pace without worry of stopping the machine. The company developed the automatic crop flow system for the new Lexion 700. The system monitors the rotational speeds of the engine, the APS threshing system and the Roto Plus residual grain separation system during operation. If trouble comes up, one of three things can happen. First the combine will reduce its speed to 1.5 kilometers per hour, just over one-half mile per hour. Second, if the problem is a slug of material that could jam the system, the machine will disable the feederhouse, which is usually a sign to the operator that something bad has happened. And third, the threshing rotor can be brought to a stop in a very short time. All of these actions would save major combine problems all by stopping the machine automatically so the operator could determine the problem and move on.
You can check out what's available in the U.S. at claasofamerica.com.