New Holland Agriculture has been awarded an Agritechnica 2022 Silver Medal for Innovation for its ground-breaking Baler Automation System by the German Agricultural Society (DLG). The unique innovation is said to significantly improve the baling process, delivering multiple benefits in operator comfort and safety, fuel efficiency and bale quality – and also takes a further step towards fully automated farming.
“We are very proud to receive this award, which recognises a unique innovation that delivers significant practical benefits to our customers,” New Holland’s head of hay and forage and crop production, Laurent Libbrecht, said. “It’s the first system in the industry that enables an operator to set a desired bale weight and then takes care of everything to produce perfect, consistent bales with maximum efficiency.”
The New Holland Baler Automation System is designed to maximise baling productivity and operator comfort based on swath volume, slice thickness, machine load and tractor engine load. It guides the tractor over the swath automatically: a reliable Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor with inertial measurement unit (IMU) detects the position and cross section of the swath, and the system automatically adapts the forward speed accordingly. The tractor’s GPS system further improves the guidance accuracy.
The automatic guidance of the baler ensures equal bale chamber filling, always using the maximum capacity available without exceeding the limit. The result is increased productivity with more bales per day and greater durability for the baler. By maximising the throughput of the baler, the Baler Automation System also reduces the tractor’s fuel consumption, resulting in a lower production cost per bale.
An advanced feature enables the operator to set the desired bale weight and the system will predict the weight of the bales on the go, constantly adjusting according to an algorithm. The result is consistent bale weight, perfect bale shape and high quality even in changing crop and yield conditions – all without the operator’s intervention.
The operator benefits from the comfort and safety that comes from hands-free baling. The system prevents overloads, so that they’ll not be required to manually unblock the baler. Also, they don’t have to constantly evaluate the quality and quantity of the swath and make the adjustments to prevent overloads and blockages, as the Baler Automation System takes care of it.
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