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Case IH and its South African distributor, Northmec, showcased the brand’s full line of agricultural solutions at the Nampo 2017, the largest show of agricultural machinery in Africa and the Middle East. In this edition of the show Case IH, which has earned a justified reputation as the specialist in tracked drive systems for high-output machinery, has dedicated particular focus to its offering of tracked equipment.
Jacques Coetzee, Product Manager Case IH at Northmec, is very pleased with the outcome of the event in South Africa: “The Nampo show is always a great opportunity for us to meet customers from across the region, discuss their requirements and show them how we can help their business. This year was no exception: our stand was crowded with visitors throughout the duration of the show. Our new Axial-Flow® flagship combine harvester on tracks and brand new SPX sprayer attracted a lot of attention. The exhibition was definitely a success for Case IH.”
Case IH’s extensive tractor offering on display
The impressive display highlighted the extensive tractor offering, with models ranging from the 35-75hp simple and economical JXT, the 80-90hp Farmall JXM, the 90-110 hp Farmall JX, the 125-141 hp Maxxum, the multi-purpose 142-225 hp Puma, the proven 250-340 hp Magnum and Magnum CVT, all the way up to the mighty 608 hp Steiger 600.
Case IH also showcased its tractors featuring track technology, highlighting its benefits: greater ground contact, increased traction, reduced ground pressure, and less ground disturbance when turning. On display were the Magnum Rowtrac, the Magnum CVT Rowtrac, and the top-of-the-range Quadtrac 600, which has established itself firmly as the leader among high-hp tractors for traction, flotation and a narrow transport width.
New Axial-Flow® 9240 features Case IH unique tracked drive technology
Case IH presented its new flagship combine, the Axial-Flow® 9240, which raises the bar on capacity and productivity. It features the brand’s proven Axial-Flow® single rotor technology that revolutionised combine harvesting for its simplicity, grain quality, grain savings and crop adaptability. This combine also stands out for its exceptional flotation due to the proven Case IH track system, which adapts to uneven ground thanks to the free movement of the single suspension cylinder. As a result, ground pressure is even across the track surface. In addition the suspended track drastically reduces ground pressure and consequently soil damage, and the combine is able to operate even in soft soil conditions.
First public appearance for the new SPX 250 sprayer
The Nampo show also saw the launch of the new Patriot SPX250 sprayer, which expands the offering to four models. The smallest of the range, the SPX 250 features a 167hp engine, a 2,500 litre tank, and boom width ranging from 24 to 27 metres. It has the highest clearance in its class, and delivers the high quality performance, accuracy and efficiency of the bigger models.
Magnum flagship operates Väderstad Tempo L 16 planter to cover 502.05 hectares in 24hrs / Breaks previous record of 448.29 hectares / Commercial crop to be taken through to harvest – full agronomy guidelines followed / CVX transmission proves ideal to quickly attain full working speed when starting each pass
St. Valentin, 25 April 2017
Case IH has helped smash the world record for the area of maize planted in 24 hours, using a Magnum 380 CVX tractor with a 16-row Väderstad Tempo L planter to cover 502.05 hectares, breaking the previous record of 448.29 hectares. Working in two fields on a farm in western Hungary, the combination was used to apply not just seed, but also fertiliser and insecticide.
Planting at 30in (76.2cm) row spacings, the combination covered 12.19m in each run, with Case IH AccuGuide auto-steering used to deliver straight and accurate passes at working speeds up to 24kph, and 2.0cm pass-to-pass accuracy provided by Case IH’s exclusive RTK+ correction signal network, which covers most of Europe – including all of Hungary – via more than 1,000 RTK stations. The ISOBUS task controller in the Case IH AFS Pro 700 terminal enabled individual management of each of the 16 row units on the planter, to ensure precise switch-on/off at the headland.
The Magnum 380 CVX with continuously variable transmission was chosen for the record attempt not only for its fuel efficiency and ease of use, but also as it helped to quickly accelerate the tractor and implement up to the optimum working speed when pulling away from the headland at the beginning of each pass. With 221 litres/minute of oil flow available from the tractor, the Magnum 380 CVX also provided plenty of hydraulic flow to ensure the planter’s fans were never short of oil.
While this was a record attempt, it was done to exact agronomic guidelines, ensuring that the maize was planted with the same care and attention to detail – in terms of seed spacing and depth – that any farmer would use. The quality of work during the record event was monitored by staff from Gödöllő University.
VLNR: Francois Swanepoel (Uitvoerende Hoof VKB Landbou), Sakkie Bosman (Direkteur), Phillip Cronje (Direkteur), Koos van Rensburg (Besturende Direkteur VKB Groep), Nico van der Walt (Uitvoerende Hoof Meganisasie), Paul Carshagen (Voorsitter Direksie), Coenrad Fick (Direkteur), Johan van der Merwe (MD Case), Coenrad Bruwer (Heelgoedere Bemarker Reitz)
Prize awarded by SIMA organization / Recognition of Autonomous Concept Vehicle’s potential to make both machinery and labour more productive / Tractor based on proven Case IH Magnum drivetrain / Design focus is on safety and productivity with new styling to match.
St. Valentin / Paris, 24 November 2016
Case IH has been awarded a silver medal in the Innovation Awards scheme of SIMA, the French international farm machinery exhibition, in recognition of the potential its Autonomous Concept Vehicle (ACV), a driverless version of the Case IH Magnum CVX/CVT tractor, offers for the advancement of agriculture. This innovative technology was first shown at the 2016 US Farm Progress Show.
Open to all show exhibitors, SIMA’s Innovation Awards recognise new developments with design and features having the potential to offer significant user benefits. The silver medal for the Case IH ACV recognises the value of relieving operators from monotonous field operations, allowing that labour to be redeployed more effectively, and bringing the next step in precision farming efficiency.
“The need for this technology exists because in some parts of the world it’s increasingly difficult to find skilled labour to work long hours on large farms during busy periods,” says Dan Stuart of Case IH. “This concept illustrates the commitment of our engineers to finding a solution, and as we progress its development we may see elements of its technology gradually integrated into existing equipment.
Precision farming and machine automation are already taking on ever-greater importance in order to meet the need for more efficient, economic and environmentally-friendly agriculture, but at key times of the year long hours in the field are still required, especially when harvesting or establishing a crop.” The result of five years’ development, the ACV helps meet this challenge, through the ability to make the most of ideal soil and weather conditions while minimising the need for unsociable hours. “While auto-steering and telemetry are already available on today’s tractors, autonomous technology takes this a significant stage further. Based on the existing Case IH Magnum high-horsepower conventional tractors, and using AccuGuide auto-steering supplied with Case IH RTK+ GPS for ultraaccurate guidance, the autonomous tractor concept has been designed to allow completely remote monitoring and control, with immediate recording and transmission of field data. The Magnum CVX/CVT was chosen as the base tractor for the ACV development because of the type of applications for which it is primarily used, such as planting and primary/secondary tillage,” explains Mr Stuart.
These large tractors are often used for pulling wide planters at high speeds, requiring skilled operation and long hours to make the most of weather windows. Autonomous operation puts less pressure on labour during those windows and makes maximum use of them, but the ACV can be seamlessly integrated into existing fleets, and aside from the driverless technology uses a standard engine, transmission, chassis and hitch/pto/hydraulic couplings.
Tractor operation begins by using a desktop or laptop computer to plot the most efficient field paths – autonomous technology is most suited to jobs that make this possible, such as cultivation, planting and spraying, and is equally applicable to smaller tractors, where it could be employed in mowing or orchard spraying, for example. Manual path plotting can also be carried out where required. The operator can then choose a job from a pre-programmed menu by simply selecting the vehicle, choosing the field and then setting the tractor on its task, a sequence taking little more than 30 seconds. Machine functionality is controlled through sensors which automatically govern engine start/stop, acceleration/deceleration, engine rpm, steering angle, transmission, pto, linkage and hydraulic services operation, differentials and horn.
Thereafter, the machine can be monitored and controlled via a PC or tablet computer displaying a fully interactive interface providing operating, monitoring and recording of machine data and images. A path-plotting screen shows the tractor’s progress, another shows the camera feed from it, providing the user with the same views as the vehicle, and a further screen enables monitoring and modification of key machine and implement parameters such as engine speed, fuel levels and implement data – seeding rate, for example. The route to the field can also be planned, should this involve negotiable private roads/tracks.
Case IH has worked with technology provider ASI to create the ACV safety package, using the latest infra-red, metal detection, radar, laser and video technology to ensure both third party safety and trouble-free working. Should the tractor detect an object in its path it halts and a warning appears on the owner’s computer, offering a choice of how the tractor should respond – by waiting for human intervention, driving round the obstacle or, in the event that it is an object such as a straw pile, driving onwards. Should something – for example, another machine – cross its path and continue moving, it will come to a standstill and move off again once its way is clear. Any loss of GPS signal causes the vehicle to stop automatically, and there is also a manual stop button on the control interface.
There is also the possibility for the tractor to use ‘big data’ such as weather records to make best use of ideal conditions by operating regardless of the time of day, and stopping automatically should it become clear changeable weather is going to cause a problem, before recommencing work when conditions have sufficiently improved. Alternatively, if on private roads it can be sent to another field
destination where conditions are better – soils are lighter or there has been no rain, for example.
“While the ACV is currently a concept, product development is ongoing and the technology it incorporates is relevant and ready for real-world situations. We are following developments in autonomous vehicle regulations, and are developing the on-road element, as well as looking at optimising implements for autonomous application,” says Mr Stuart.
”The tractor has been demonstrated in the US working with a 16-row Case IH 2150 planter/precision drill fitted with liquid fertiliser system and full precision planting options, including DeltaForce coulter
pressure control and electric drive V-set meters, plus Clean Sweep row cleaners ahead of each row unit. Although not sold in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, this the latest production Case IH planter and shows the ACV is able to provide a fully integrated tractor/implement solution. We’ve developed advanced seeding information sensors and software, draft monitoring and other implement software
for performance supervision, and already have available systems such as tyre pressure monitors on current tractors.” “And because autonomous tractors can be integrated seamlessly into current equipment systems, no other changes to a business or its assets are necessary. Autonomous tractor operation is suited both to owner-operator situations, where it could allow a person working with no employees to operate two tractors, or to very large businesses where finding good labour is increasingly becoming difficult. As the costs of key technology fall over time, we’re likely to see gradual integration into current machines. Much of the technology required for autonomous vehicles, such as obstacle detection, is currently available, but at a relatively high price point. As those technologies are more widely adopted by car makers, we anticipate reduced costs.”