AGCO's brand new Fendt IDEAL combine -- 16-foot long, dual rotors, 485-bushel grain tank and automated systems monitoring capabilities -- shows "we are serious and we will be a player in the market worldwide," said Richard Kohnen, AGCO's director of tactical marketing for combines in North America. The combine was unveiled last week in Regina, Saskatchewan, home to Canada's breadbasket.
"This will be our unique platform to take [into] the global market," said Kohnen. The IDEAL combine is one of the largest development projects AGCO has undertaken. "We're going to see this IDEAL combine in South America, North America, Asia Pacific, also in Europe."
Over seven years of development, AGCO traveled to 60 nations and asked 200 customers what they expect from a combine. The result, AGCO says, is the industry's first clean-sheet combine design in 30 years.
"One of the great things we did building this product from the ground up [was to] identify the needs our customers will have five years down the road, 10 years down the road. What does it mean to have field efficiency? What does it mean to have better throughput?" said Caleb Schleder, tactical marketing manager for harvesting products in North America.
AGCO will begin taking retail orders for the Fendt IDEAL combine in 2019. Here are some of its key systems:
-- The Fendt IDEAL combine will be available in Class 7, 8 and 9. Headers featured for small grains and canola include the 9255 DynaFlex draper head available in 25-, 30-, 35- and 40-foot models and the 15-foot 4300 pick-up head. The Command Series corn head is compatible with this combine.
-- The combine's dual helix processor is 24 inches in diameter and nearly 16 feet long. The design allows the materials to generate a high centrifugal force at a lower speed and remain in the rotor for longer. The processor requires 50% less power to run. Class 8 and 9 models use two of the dual helix rotors providing 43.7 square feet of threshing area. The class 7 is equipped with one rotor.
-- The Fendt IDEAL combine claims the industry's largest grain tank at 485 bushels. The IDEAL Streamer 6.0 auger unloads the tank at 6 bushels per second, or in 1:20 minutes flat. "Grain handling can be the governor of your operation," Schleder said. But with 6-bushel unloading and 485 bushels of capacity in the tank, "you're able to stay in the field longer and be more efficient in every pass." The Streamer 6.0 is standard on the class 9 and optional on class 7 and 8.
-- AGCO built a combine with an eye toward operator skill. The machine's automated features enhance the efficiency of highly skilled operators, but also give less-skilled drivers the ability to run a highly technical piece of equipment and maintain quality of harvest, AGCO explains.
For example, the IDEALharvest system offers real-time visualization of crop flow inside the combine with 52 sensors and a grain-quality camera. It adjusts for changes such as crop density and field slope. The system determines what is grain and what is not and directs the IDEALharvest system to change the combine settings to achieve the operator's pre-set harvest strategy.
"The Fendt IDEAL combine automatically makes on-the-go adjustments to maintain established harvesting parameters, which reduces the effort of the operator as conditions change throughout the day," Schleder said. A 10.4-inch touchscreen tablet allows the operator to select preferences for minimizing grain damage, loss and foreign material.
-- The power of the Fendt IDEAL's MAN engine is delivered by a single gearbox to the processor, cleaning system and hydraulic pumps, as well as the header. The MAN engine, available on Class 8 and 9 machines, is already available on the Challenger 1000 series and Fendt 1000 series tractors. "We want to use that power to get good grain quality, better throughput and low loss levels. You'll see the power transfer around this machine is extremely simple," Schleder explained.
-- AirSense technology keeps the engine running at an optimal temperature by taking in air from the top of the machine. To prevent chaff and dust buildup even there, the system's fan reverses automatically to clear the radiator.
-- The Fendt IDEAL combine uses only 13 belts to better manage the power-stealing effects of belt slippage, AGCO said. Wet clutches manage power engagement, reducing wear and tear, and putting less strain on the belts.
-- A pair of molded IDEAL Balance return pans evenly distribute material over the cleaning shoe even on hillsides. "As most axial farmers know, when you start dealing with threshing on one side or the other, you have to worry about shoe load," Schleder said. IDEAL Balance directs crop flow "into the area where it needs to be without an extra mechanical process." Both pans are removable for maintenance.
-- The combine's Vision Cab sports 62 square feet of glass for a wide, 180-degree view of the harvest, leather seats, high-performance air conditioning and LED lights.
-- At a minimum width of just less than 11 feet, the IDEAL combine offers the narrowest frame of any combine on the North American market. The combine is among the fastest on the road, AGCO claims. With tracks, the combine hits a speed of just under 25 miles per hour.
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