Case IH marks 175th anniversary of founding firm with unveiling of autonomous tractor at SIMA show

31 Jan 2017

Driverless Magnum concept makes Europe debut / Tractor offers potential to relieve operators of need for long hours in the field / Latest Quantum models plus new precision technology also on display / 2017 marks 175 years since 1842 foundation of JI Case Threshing Machine Company in Racine, Wisconsin, today’s home of Magnum

The first major international show of its 175th anniversary year will see Case IH unveil to farmers the very latest from the brand’s innovation team, in the form of the autonomous Magnum tractor revealed at the US Farm Progress Show last autumn. While the machine is currently a concept, it will be complemented on the Case IH stand at the SIMA show in Paris, France by recent product introductions including the updated Quantum plus uprated round and square balers and new precision farming technology.

While auto-steering and other automated machine functions are already helping to improve circumstances for operators on currently-available machines, long hours in the field are often still essential, while sourcing staff sufficiently qualified and prepared to work them is becoming difficult. Designed to relieve drivers from long hours in the tractor seat and allow farm businesses to make better use of labour, while making possible unmanned work around the clock, the Autonomous Concept Vehicle (ACV) even offers the potential to automatically adapt to weather events, and can work alongside existing machines. The ACV has been awarded a silver medal in the SIMA Innovation Awards.

Retaining its conventional engine, transmission, chassis and implement couplings, and using RTK GPS to provide sub-2.5cm steering repeatability, the ACV development offers the potential to address these issues and enable farmers and farm staff to enjoy more sociable working hours, thereby helping support the industry and its existing labour force. It does this through a design which allows programming, control and monitoring of the tractor to be carried out remotely via a tablet or PC. Safety is assured through the use of in-built sensor, radar and laser-based lidar technology, integrated into the restyled cabless design. Where fields are interlinked by private tracks, the ACV can even be programmed to move between them, and has the potential to use weather data to stop work if weather dictates, and even use that data to move to a field with drier conditions. Currently, the ACV is a concept, but its technologies are suited to integration into new conventional tractors in the future, and are as applicable to smaller tractors – those for orchard work, for example – as they are to machines of the size of Magnum.

This is reflected in the more imminently-available new precision farming technology being revealed by Case IH at SIMA, including AccuTurn, a new tractor option which automates the process of turning on the headland and entering the next chosen swath. Also on show will be the benefits of the Case IH RTK+ network, designed to provide seamless correction signal coverage with RTK accuracy and maximum uptime.

A number of new tractor models and updates also make their debut at the show, alongside the 2017 Tractor of the Year, the 270/300hp Optum CVX.

New are revised 65-105hp Quantum V (vineyard) and F (fruit) tractors. They gain new styling, a revised cab interior and controls, and options including a new mid-mount hydraulic coupler, a high-flow hydraulic pump, switchable cab filtration for use when spraying, and an integral front linkage/PTO.

Meanwhile, SIMA will also see Case IH marking the first celebrations of its 175th anniversary year. Jerome Increase Case founded the JI Case Threshing Machine Company in 1842 in Racine, Wisconsin, USA. In 1984 the business was merged with the agricultural equipment division of International Harvester to form Case IH, before JI Case became a publicly-owned entity, Case Corporation, in 1994. Fiat acquired Case Corporation and the Case IH brand in 1999 and formed CNH, which later became today’s CNH Industrial. The coming year also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the introduction of the first Magnum tractors, the latest generation of which are still built in Racine today.

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