Combine manufacturers are trying to make one of the most intimidating jobs on the farm — driving and setting the machine — easier and more efficient by automating the process.
Take New Holland’s new automatic combine setting system, for example.
The Intellisense system, designed for CR Revelation combines, uses programmed data (past yields, field topography, combine settings based on GPS positioning data), sensors and control systems to automatically optimize harvest settings.
“The new automatic combine setting system takes automation to a new level: while current systems are reactive, New Holland’s solution proactively predicts changes in slope and crop density, making corrective adjustments before overload or losses even occur,” says Lars Skjoldager Sørensen, head of the company’s harvesting product line.
The system received a silver medal for innovation after debuting at Agritechnica 2017 in Hanover, Germany.
Self-learning field and yield prediction
New Holland has introduced a predictive element to automatic combine settings, by extrapolating the yield of adjacent, already harvested passes, and GPS yield mapping data of previous crops. Using this information, and predictions in changes of slope, the system corrects settings ahead of changing conditions.
According to New Holland, this “results in more reliable and smoother actions that improves the combine’s overall performance and output without any intervention from the driver, further reducing operator fatigue.”
Cleaning shoe pressure sensors
New pressure sensors in the cleaning shoe measure differences in pressure across the upper sieve to find the cleaning shoe load. The system then maximizes shoe performance, and if losses occur, it identifies the cause, and makes adjustments to the sieve opening and fan speed, taking away the need to make manual adjustments.
Automatic rotor vane adjustment
New Holland says the system also adapts to changing crop conditions and different crop types by changing the angle of all rotor vanes according to load, reducing the power consumed in the rotors by up to 20 percent.
“With this automation system we are taking another step forward in the automation of the complete combine harvest process,” says Alessandro Maritano, vice president EMEA, New Holland Agriculture.
RealAgriculture’s Kelvin Heppner spoke with New Holland’s Daniel Fischer at Agritechnica in about the combine automation system, what’s left for the operator to do in the cab, and the timeline for introducing the technology to the market: