Automated technology augments Axial-Flow® performance in difficult European harvest
18 Mar 2022
The value of the latest developments in the Case IH Axial-Flow® combine range, including AFS Harvest Command™ automated technology for the flagship 250 series machines, has been underscored by their performance in one of the most difficult European harvests of recent years.
Intermittent and at times very heavy rainfall across much of Europe meant a stop-start harvest for combinable crop farmers, with many harvests lengthened by two-three weeks because of later crop maturity, high moisture levels and unpredictable weather. The problems were felt throughout the continent, with Germany, for example, experiencing its wettest summer in a decade. However, a number of Case IH Axial-Flow operators reported that with the Axial-Flow combine they were able to work despite these challenging conditions, while achieving high daily work-rates when cutting was possible, keeping harvest and following crop establishment on track.
The Case IH Axial-Flow threshing and separation system has proven its abilities in over four decades of work on farms worldwide, with a single moving component – the Axial-Flow rotor – used to thresh and then separate the grain from other material, with no separate drum and concave nor any interruption to crop flow. On the latest Axial-Flow 250 series combines, the system's abilities have been further enhanced by new AFS Harvest Command technology.
Proof from the field
Axial-Flow users who benefited from their combines' capabilities during harvest 2021 included the Tupag Agrar farming business, based in Thuringia, mid-Germany. Here, under the guidance of Sören Reinbeck, the business's managing director, and Jan Breitschuh, combine operator, an Axial-Flow 9250 AFS Harvest Command headed a team that harvested 3,800ha of combinable crops, providing the ability to handle the most difficult weather conditions whilst offering efficiency, reliability, performance, and comfort.
"We had a challenging season, with the harvest lasting into September due the weather, which had made the threshing conditions very difficult," says Mr Reinbeck.
"But even in such tough circumstances, the Axial-Flow 9250 gave us excellent grain quality and throughput, and that's the bottom line for a profitable business."
AFS Harvest Command proves its value
Based on feedback from the combine's loss sensors, a grain quality camera, and a series of sieve pressure sensors, AFS Harvest Command monitors key operating criteria ranging from ground speed and engine load through to feed-rate control and sieve settings. The unique sieve pressure sensors provide an accurate measure of sieve load, allowing the system to determine the difference between sieve overload and wind losses. The grain camera identifies cracked and broken kernels, plus material other than grain (MOG), and automatically adjusts settings to meet the operator's desired set grain quality targets for crops ranging from wheat and barley to maize/corn, soybeans, canola/oilseed rape and rice.
"But even in such tough circumstances, the Axial-Flow 9250 gave us excellent grain quality and throughput, and that's the bottom line for a profitable business" - Sören Reinbeck
Helping boost outputs in a wet harvest
During last summer's difficult harvest, the new technology proved to further enhance Axial-Flow combines' abilities when dealing with damp crop conditions, measuring the aforementioned factors – such as engine load and grain damage/MOG – and automatically adjusting ground speed to maximise intake and output in relation to those factors. As such, the system allows users to extract maximum performance from their machines in difficult conditions by selecting one of four automatic settings modes: Performance, for maximum grain savings and grain quality while optimising throughput; Grain Quality, to achieve maximum grain quality while minimising losses and optimising throughput; Fixed Throughput, where the combine automatically adjusts to save grain and maintain a quality sample at a maintained target throughput; and finally Maximum Throughput. It was this last setting in particular that helped many farmers during the catchy 2021 harvest, maximising hourly throughput while the machine automatically adjusted itself to save grain and maintain a quality sample.
The power of AFS Connect telematics
The latest Axial-Flow 250 series combines also offer the benefits of AFS Connect wireless two-way data transfer and management, enabling owners to precisely manage farm, field and fleet data from their computer, phone or tablet. Benefits include the ability to co-ordinate unloading, maintenance and refuelling, and to receive notifications about yield moisture and other harvest data. All of this played its part in helping Axial-Flow combine users make the most of tight harvesting windows, and drive productivity and profit.
New headers play their part
To match the versatility of Axial-Flow combines, Case IH offers headers for every type of combinable crop. The Case IH combine and header pairing is designed to offer high levels of operating efficiency and work rate, regardless of the crop yield and conditions. For Model Year 2022, the Case IH 3050 Varicut Grain Header series provides more factory-fitted features to help optimize performance, increase versatility, and provide even more comfort for the operator.
Two combine series meet customer's demand
Axial-Flow combines are available in two ranges to suit a wide range of farming businesses. Producing high performance from a compact design, the Axial-Flow 150 series is targeted at mid-sized farmers, contractors and fleet owners seeking high capacity, grain quality and versatility, with threshing, separation and sieve areas that are the best in their class, for the best possible ha/hr capacity. The flagship Axial-Flow 250 series combines are aimed at meeting the needs of large-scale farmers, contractors and fleet owners seeking high capacity, maximum grain quality, and technology and automation designed to maximise harvest productivity.
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