Last week’s SIMA preview in Paris gave an insight to how the agricultural manufacturing sector is looking for 2019, with 2018 in review.
Awards for best innovations ahead of the upcoming show were also presented. SIMA is held from 24 to 28 February in Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre.
The 78th instalment of the show features 1,800 exhibiting companies from 42 countries. There are 15 exhibition sections covering all aspects of agriculture. The core theme for SIMA 2019 is Innovation for Competitive Agriculture.
SIMA continues to encourage the growth of new and upcoming companies with areas such as the Startup Village and the Innovation Village, new for this year’s show. The idea behind these villages is to help make up and coming companies stand out. They will also have the opportunity to take part in workshops organised by La Ferme Digitale.
With farming in the digital age being the current hot topic, yield mapping, precision farming and automation were the focal points of more than half the award-winning designs. Having said this, labour still proves to be an increasing problem, with 65% of companies in the manufacturing industry looking for workers. According to Axema president Frédéric Martin: “The sector of agri equipment is in good economic health, continuing to hire but remains facing a shortage of manpower.”
It is predicted that 58% of machines working in fields will be robots by 2035. Companies in the sector reported having invested 4.1% of their turnover in R&D for 2018.
There were three categories of awards handed out – bronze, silver and gold. There were 20 bronze awards, five silver and two gold presented on the day.
Claas Jaguar 960 Terra Trac
Claas, renowned for its range of Terra Trac crawler track units for combine harvesters, has just lifted the main obstacle to the use of crawler tracks on forage harvesters: churning up the headland during turning manoeuvres. An automatic system raising the front drive roller substantially reduces the shear effect when working on crops such as grass. This lifting of the track front is intelligently triggered beyond a certain turning angle without damaging soil structure. Thus the average soil pressure exerted by the remaining surface area (approximately 60%) is lower than that of a standard tyre.
Laforge DynaTrac implement guidance interface
The Laforge DynaTrac implement interface allows for lateral movement of connected attachments.
The use of tractor-mounted implements makes the tractor and implement rigid. Achieving a small amount of movement in one direction often results in a tail swing in the opposite direction before reaching the desired movement. This is what led Laforge, a manufacturer in tractor attachments, to design and produce a versatile guidance interface. The implement interface and tractor together means the implement follows the tractor along the pulling line. The interface corrects deviations without creating any other restrictions. It slides sideways according to the steering performed by the GPS guidance system in order to guarantee the positioning of the trailed implement to an accuracy close to 1cm. The DynaTrac, which can be used with all tractors and all implements on the market, provides a guidance function to a standard and therefore cheaper implement.
Instead of adding this function to each implement individually, the user only needs to learn how to use one type of guidance interface instead of having to understand and configure several different ones.
Live NBalance is a unique innovation by John Deere and Airbus to offer the first regular and mapped monitoring tool for nitrogen efficiency and use throughout the crop cycle. It supplies a dynamic dashboard giving the farmer all the necessary information to analyse their fields and make educated decisions, in real time. Live NBalance puts the farmer back at the centre of the decision-making process.
Field Sensor by Bosch
Bosch Field Sensor is a set of connected sensors which collect information on the crop, soil and the climate on a daily basis. The sensors are all contained within a spiked stake, notably containing a multispectral camera which takes daily pictures of crop development. From these information sources, several agronomic variables are calculated – leaf area, soil moisture and temperature etc.
The Bosh field sensor collects information from its sensors, calculating argonomic variables then transmitting results back to the farmer.
Farmers can monitor these results from their smartphones, with an array of tips to enable them optimise the land’s potential. With the integration and merging of satellite imagery along with drones, crop quality and yield can be predicted.
Other silver awards
Kuhn won an award for its virtual assistant, routine machine maintenance and adjustments mobile app, Redvista. The app provides real-time data to the farmer or operator on their machine and the location of lubrication points that may be hidden after a long day’s work without the need to wash the machine first.
John Deere won a silver for its proactive and collaborative support for farm machinery, with services such as fuel guarantee and expert alerts.
French company Sodijantes Industrie won a silver award for its tanker wheel that can be deflated and re-inflated from the cab of the tractor almost instantly.
The wheel rim includes a so-called build-in air tank, maintained at six-bar pressure to inflate the tyre at any given stage. This helps farmers set tyres to the correct pressures for both field and road work, in turn saving on fuel and reducing tyre wear.
With 20 awards in the bronze category, we took a look at some of the standout winners.
Case IH XPower connected electrical weed killer
The weed control system from Case IH, XPower, is an alternative method to the use of chemical herbicides. This system uses high-frequency and high-voltage electricity to eliminate undesirable plants of all types. The killing effect can be noticed 30 minutes after application. The full system comprises an electrical accessory on the tractor, a weather station and a soil moisture sensor. Thanks to accurate data which takes into account variations between fields, the system can be optimised by supplying the right voltage in each location.
The Arbos Blaster boom sprayer uses an articulated chassis. The rotation pin is not placed on the drawbar as it is on most trailed sprayers on the market. Instead, it is placed near the rear axle, which itself is close to the boom. Two steering sensors on the towing eye and on the rotation centre of the axle help to directly steer the axle by means of two hydraulic actuators. Thanks to the “power” steering of this axle and the hydraulic adjustment of track width to that of the tractor, the wheels of the sprayer can strictly follow those of the tractor during changes in direction and headland turnaround. The sprayer can be turned in less than a radius of 4m due to its steering angle of 28°.
Claas Convio Flex header
Claas Convio Flex header is designed to suit a wider variety of crops.
Crop rotations are evolving towards more complex operations and a wider range of crops are being grown, a more flexible combine header could be helpful. This is where the Claas Convio Flex fits into the market. The header features a conveyor belt to feed in crops, moving at the same speed as the combine’s forward speed, automatically adjusting the conveyor in addition to its own cutterbar setting range of 225mm. Full communication between the header and the combine allow for all the main settings to be done through the CEBIS terminal in the cab. There are three operating methods to choose from – flexible with adjustable pressure, laid crops and rigid. Another feature of the header is its flipover concept offered as standard on the front reel. The shape of the new plastic tines prevent material from balling, even in the worst conditions.
Manitou Eco Stop
Manitou has created a simple solution to save on fuel within its MLT range of equipment. The principle is simple, the engine shuts of automatically when the engine is idling and there is no driver present. Something similar to stop-start on cars, Eco Stop can be activated or deactivated with the press of a button. Product manager for the Manitou agricultural range Arnaud Sochas said: “Through the data collection made possible by connected machines, we estimate that engines run for between 15% and 30% of the time with no driver present in the cab.” On the basis of 15%, for a machine using 1,000 hours per year for three years, the Eco Stop function generates savings of up to €4,500 according to Arnaud.