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Italy's high-tech ag show

Italy's high-tech ag show

A large agricultural equipment show held in Bologna, Italy, drew 165,000+ visitors last fall. Called EIMA, it is run by the Italian agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers group called UNACOMA. EIMA promotes a Technical Innovation contest that exhibitors enter. The winners are selected by a panel of experts from academics, the government and UNACOMA. Here are three of the innovations that won honors at the 2010 show.

New Holland Intellifill system

New Holland’s Intellifill filling system will automatically start and stop filling a trailer that travels next to a forage harvester. The system uses a 3D camera mounted under the filling spout to guide the crop flow into the trailer. Unlike conventional camera systems, Intellifill detects depth and distances. This helps the system to accurately determine trailer position and control crop flow trajectory to a distance of up to 65 ft.

“A special camera reads the color of different pixels and can understand the distance of the harvester and trailer and how full or empty it is,” reports Virginio Cesana, product specialist, CNH Italia. “Software is able to understand the level of the product.”

The advantage of Intellifill on a self-propelled harvester is that harvest can continue without interrupting it to change wagons. The system also can accurately control crop flow at night and will work with any type of trailer.

Intellifill is being tested on New Holland’s FR9000 series forage harvesters in Europe and the United States. Cesana says the new feature should be available for purchase as a retrofit product within a year.

Visit for more information.


Electronic input control system

A new Italian company called Samab has designed an electronic control system to handle seeding and the application of fertilizer and insecticides (see photo). The Italian ag equipment manufacturer Sfoggia is equipping its new planters with the Samab controls. This system earned an honorable mention in the Technical Innovation contest.

The control system operates in real time and runs automatically regardless of speed, according to Samab’s Bruni Gianluigi. A mechanical gearbox is not needed. He says every parameter involved in seeding and application is controlled from a panel installed in the tractor. The system controls and reports operations such as how much fertilizer is applied, seeding rates and total area covered.

An electronic element with an optical sensor is installed on the implement to monitor information such as number of seeds falling. It is operated with an electric motor.

Visit for more information.


Double braking system

A versatile braking system that operates both pneumatically and hydraulically earned an honorable mention in the EIMA contest. The Italian manufacturer Zaccaria designed the double braking system for implements.

David Pedretti with the company says it is following European tractor manufacturers, which are now installing both air and oil systems on their new tractor models. Zaccaria is the first company to install brake systems on implements that work with both oil and air.

A unique feature of the Zaccaria double braking system is its single brake cylinder; only one cylinder is installed on each wheel. One side of the cylinder operates with air systems and the other with oil systems.

Zaccaria also was honored for installing an antilock brake system (ABS) on its trailers. Pedretti noted that the ABS works similar to a car’s ABS. Zaccaria is the first company to use ABS on implements.

Zaccaria manufactures large trailers and manure-handling implements. Visit for more information.

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