While engine and tank capacities continue to edge upwards, it’s internal elements and electronics that are set to drive combine developments for the foreseeable future.
That’s according to management at the UK and Ireland arm of Claas, which has launched a revised set of Lexion 700 series models for 2016.
With physical dimensions limiting the width and height of machines if they are to be transported on the road in one piece, component refinements and technological developments are the focus of its engineers, illustrated by the launch of the new Stage 4-engined Lexion 700 series.
The firm’s UK/Ireland CEO, Trevor Tyrrell, believes this year’s market may be 23.5 per cent down on 2013-14’swhen compared with 2013-14’s total of 826, but he notes that average size, and specification levels, continue to creep upwards.
“I think we’re at a step change point in the market, and it’s likely the market will settle at around 600 units for possibly as long as the next ten years. But the most popular combines we’re now selling are high-capacity models: our largest straw walker machine, the Lexion 670, and our mid-range hybrid, the Lexion 750. It’s difficult for combines to physically get any bigger, so with the newest updates to the 700 series hybrid twin-rotor machines in particular, we’re focusing on adding features to boost efficiency.
While the major components of the hybrid threshing system – combining the Claas pre-accelerator/drum/impeller with twin separation rotors – remain the same, and the 780 retains its six concave sections compared to the other models’ five, an option on 2016 machines is Automatic Crop Flow (ACF), designed to maintain a uniformly high throughput to maximise capacity while minimising the risk of blockages occurring.
The system monitors and compares the engine, APS drum, impeller drum and Roto Plus rotors’ speeds, plus the straw chopper blockage sensors. If speeds in any one area begin to drop, power is diverted to the problem area, a warning is provided and drive is then shut down to the cutterbar, elevator and unloading auger, and Cruise Pilot forward speed is minimised. This gives the operator confidence to push the combine and operate it at its maximum capacity, says Claas.
There’s also an optional new enhanced sieve levelling system to improve cleaning performance on slopes. To further improve performance of the 3D levelling cleaning system on hills, Claas has introduced a 4D cleaning system option for 2016 Lexion 700s. It comprises a slope-dependent rotor cover plate control and automatic fan control, plus an additional third pair of rotor cover plates fitted to the rotors, which are divided in two. Adjustment is automatic, according to the combine’s lateral and longitudinal angles, taking current separation and cleaning output into account.
As the combine angle changes, the cover plate on the uphill side of the rotor is automatically opened or closed, while the 4D system automatically lowers the fan speed when working uphill and raises it when going down a slope, in addition to adjusting the lower sieve.Google+