With increasing demands for commodities and a desire by many to work smarter not harder, automation within farm equipment has taken a front seat and Raven is dedicated to creating autonomic solutions for new and traditional farm machinery.
Commodity Classic in New Orleans was the backdrop for the introduction of Raven’s Omnipower 3200, the latest model in their autonomous power platform. According to Ben Voss, Raven director of sales in North America and Australia, the 3200 has undergone numerous improvements from it’s predecessor.
“We’ve changed some of the tire configurations, improve the strength of this caster assembly, beefed up the frame and we have a new tier five engine. On top of that, we’ve enhanced our control system and all the electronics, made all the hydraulics and systems neat and tidy, and just taken care of a bunch of the improvements that we knew or needed from the first generation.”
One major part of the improvements is centred around the new Tier 5 engine, giving the platform more horsepower. Voss also highlighted the upgrades to the hydraulic system which is said to produce up to 50 per cent more power to the ground and increasing operating speeds.
Raven has identified two areas where they intend to focus their efforts in the way of attachments right out of the gates, spreading dry fertilizer and spraying. Voss says they are working with New Leader who will be creating a spreading box for the platform and also Pattison Liquid Systems out of Saskatchewan, who will provide a state-of-the-art high clearance sprayer.
With just two Omnipower 3200’s on the market, Voss says they are ambitiously looking to build more over the next six months, which likely wont be available to the customer until 2023. Supply chain issues and longer than desirable lead times have held up production of the platform, but this isn’t the only hurdle for those looking to acquire the new machine.
“We acknowledge the fact that everybody would love to have one of these, but there are some requirements,” Voss says. “For example, if you live in an area that has terrible cell coverage, it’s going to be a tough go. So we have some minimum requirements that we like to see are met. And then the customer has to commit as well, we do expect them to engage in the training and all the other activities are going to go along with this, we have a big support team that goes with it. And so we are prepared to be there right beside them get this going.”
The autonomic power platform is not by any means the last stop for Raven, Voss shares that through their Viper 4 software, they are creating capabilities for traditional farm equipment to be autonomous as well. Voss predicts that the autonomic shift in farming practices is one that isn’t slowing and although wont replace farming practices, new and upcoming technologies are certainly looking to augment it.