Machine manufacturer Case IH is working on new automation for combine harvesters, in which radar sensors on the cutting platform scan the crop’s height and position. Based on this data, the Case IH combine harvester automatically adjusts its driving speed.
Case IH has won a silver medal (an innovation award) at the Agritechnica trade fair for this new form of automation for combine harvesters. It involves four radar sensors that scan the height and position of the cereal crop in front of the cutting platform.
The idea behind this is that the Case IH combine harvester no longer determines its speed based on engine load but anticipates the crop that still needs to go through the machine. Case IH calls this Advanced Feedrate Control. The manufacturer expects this automation to be ready for practical use in the 2025 or 2026 harvest season.
The four radar sensors hang over the reel with a bracket and scan the crop in front of the machine. The sensors measure the height of the grain from the ground and also scan how dense the crop is. The manufacturer cannot say how the radar sensors handle (partially) lodged grain.
According to Case IH, this automation helps find the maximum driving speed and thus capacity, without the driver having to worry about the machine getting clogged. The manufacturer claims that capacity increases by 20% because the maximum driving speed is continuously maintained. Case IH also claims that the combine harvester performs better when the engine speed is more constant.