Just learning how a combine runs can be an overwhelming task, let alone trying to adjust it for optimum grain quality and performance while conditions change throughout a day of harvesting.
With the latest changes coming to its Lexion combines, Claas says the machine will do that automatically, as the company has introduced what it describes as its first fully automated threshing system.
“The three main features are, we call it: Auto-Threshing, Auto-Separation and Auto-Cleaning,” explains Claas’ Alexander Schulze Lohoff, in this latest TechTour episode. “Auto-Threshing is brand new, which is the first system which makes it happen that you can have fully automatic adjustment for a tangential threshing system.”
Altogether these three features make up what’s called the CEMOS Automatic system. The automated threshing system received one of two prestigious gold medals for innovation at Agritechnica 2017 in Germany.
“Auto-Threshing is for setting up the threshing drum speed and the concave clearance. Auto-Separation is for the rotor speed and the rotor cover plates, which are more or less a flexible separation area. And then third, we have Auto-Cleaning which is the fan speed, upper sieve and the bottom sieve…”
Rather than setting each component separately, the combine operator has the choice of four optimizations strategies: maximum throughput, minimal fuel consumption, high grain quality, and optimum balance.
Depending on the strategy, the CEMOS Automatic system sets the drum speed and the concave gap for optimum results in the current harvest conditions, says Claas, with all controllers and sensors communicating with each other and with the combine’s GPS-controlled forward drive. (continues below)
Claas’ Alexander Schulze Lohoff and RealAg’s Kelvin Heppner discuss the new level of automation inside Claas’ combines at Agritechnica in Hanover, Germany:
“The driver doesn’t have to concentrate on finding the right settings. They just have to look into the grain tank and on the ground and decide if he (or she) is satisfied or not,” says Schulze Lohoff.
The CEMOS Automatic also adjusts settings throughout the work day, he notes.
Despite all this automation, Schulze Lohoff says he wouldn’t go as far as to call the CEMOS Automatic Lexion combine an autonomous combine.
“There are still lots of things to do. You have up to 60 settings around a combine where you can change something. The main parameters which you have to change during the harvest day quite often — threshing drum speed, concave clearance, rotor speed, sieves and fan speed — this is what we automatically adjust, and in addition, of course, you can get GPS steering and forward speed control, which we have inside as well,” he says. “Nevertheless, doing the setting for the header, we still need a driver, that’s for sure.”
The combine driver can manually adjust grain separation and cleaning, and reactivate CEMOS Automatic through the press of the ‘Auto Pilot’ button on the control lever, whenever desired.