ORLANDO, Fla. (DTN) -- Case IH is showing 700 dealers gathered Tuesday in Florida a brand new, Class 10-plus combine, the AF11. The company says it is the largest harvesting machine on the market in North America.
The AF11 is eye-catching. It is of a modern design; flowing body panels give a technological, fresh, and efficient look, Case-IH says. Interestingly, this combine is informed by the design of Case IH's tractor line. Even to the very rear of the combine, its design takes cues from the front grills of Case IH's Steigers, Magnums, and Pumas.
The AF11 is an entry into that largest, class 10-plus segment of combines, says Leo Bose, harvesting segment leader for Case-IH. "This combine is designed for capacity, with new technology, but the ultimate in run time," he says. "The feeder house has been totally redesigned to bring in a wider and thicker crop mat." As an aside, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers recognizes Class 10 as the largest combine class. But there are combines -- the AF11 is one -- with horsepower and threshing capacity that could argue for creating a new class. Class 10 came into being in 2013.
RUN THE NUMBERS
The AF11 operates with a 775-hp engine and holds 567 bushels in the grain tank (a 39% increase compared to the 9250 series combine). The AF11 can mount up a 50-foot draper head and 16-row corn head. Operators unload that tank at 6 bushels per second -- 100 seconds for the full tank.
An automated, hydraulically driven, radar-controlled spreader distributes residue evenly and beyond 50 feet. The radar function works night or day, sunny or in dust. "It looks at the crop coming out and because of crop variance through the field, [the radar] works to speed up or slow down that spreader," Bose says. "So, we are making sure we have an even residue mat distributed out the back of the combine."
After operators get comfortable in the cab's new seat -- heated, cooled, massage function -- he or she can monitor by way of two tablet-like dual Pro 1200 displays showing machine and harvest functions, remote view other combines operating in the field, monitor live images of grain for quality and by way of cameras mounted around the combine, monitor the auger, rear of the AF11 and benefit from a 360-degree outside view to improve safety or to help ongoing operations, such as grain-cart activity to and away from the AF11.
In the threshing and separating area is Case IH's first-ever dual rotor, the AFXL2, with an active and dynamic cleaning system. "Our product development process, which is centered around farmers, identified the need for matched capacity, speed and throughput," Bose says. "The AFXL2 dual-rotor technology drives that capability to harvest more in less time."
Case-IH speaks highly of the AF11's grain leveling capability. "The cleaning area of the combine," Bose says, "allows us to automatically adjust the shake of the system. What do I mean? Well, typically the grain comes down into the cleaning system and might bunch up to one side or the other. What we can do is have an offset on the shake to start distributing that crop mat in a more uniform area before we get to the sieves. It increases our efficiency."
Case-IH has reconfigured engine placement in the AF11. By turning the engine 90 degrees from a more typical orientation, the AF11 benefits from an in-line relationship with the gearbox and drives. "Anytime we can keep that drive line in a straight line, it reduces parasitics, or horsepower requirements," Bose says. "In-line drives have allowed us to increase efficiency of the drive train, but also allows us to save fuel." The engine would typically run at 2100 rpm, "now we can run that down to 1900 rpm," he adds. Clean air for the engine is drawn from above and behind the gain tank to avoid plugged coolers and better manage other maintenance issues that drive serviceability.
The AF11 is the first in the AF series and will offer a number of top-of-the-line, technology-focused features, including Case IH's combine automation package, Harvest Command.
Case-IH says there is more to come about AF11 pricing and specifications. Limited production of the AF11 is underway at Case IH's Grand Island, Nebraska, facility. Case IH is signaling full production in time for harvest 2025.
The first public showing of the AF11 will be at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky Feb. 14-17, 2024.
Dan Miller can be reached at email@example.com
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