AGCO is set to cut a giant swathe into global harvest market sales with the release of the IDEAL axial combine. And this is no hyped up model release, but instead the result of an extensive global study that clearly showed there was a need for an entirely new combine platform for AGCO customers.
AGCO assembled a global team from different world sites to develop the features customers had pointed out in the study. And like the other global platform strategy AGCO is developing for its Global Series tractors, the IDEAL axial combine will be offered across all world regions to save cost, and optimise supply chain parts and back-up.
Built at AGCO’s European Harvesting Centre in Breganze Italy, the IDEAL is the biggest harvesting product development project ever undertaken with development cost pushing AU$800 million. This bill includes production of 45 prototypes and six years of continuous lab and global paddock tests measuring performance in all crop types and conditions.
The result, a unique combine able to be used for all crops and operate in all conditions, and in every world market. Add to this, the 476kW (647hp) IDEAL class 9 combine that takes AGCO into a totally new market segment.
AGCO found their customers harvest in many different conditions, and each farm has a unique set of requirements. AGCO is confidant operators will find the IDEAL combine will exceed their needs and expectations. It is the most innovative combine AGCO has ever produced and an investment in the future of harvesting itself.
The basis of AGCO’s confidence is found in the three model types on offer. Choose from a class 7, 8 and 9 that can be further subdivided into three versions of running gear.
These start with the standard IDEAL 7 combine with a single rotary threshing system and a 12,500-litre grain tank. And while this is the entry level it still offers a vision cab and an AGCOPower 9.8-litre engine that musters 332kW (451hp).
The IDEAL 8 steps up to a dual rotary threshing system and the choice of a 12,500 or 17,100-litre grain tank that places it with 18 per cent more capacity than any other model currently in production. The IDEAL 8 gets its power from a MAN 12.4-litre engine that develops 396kW (538hp).
The IDEAL 9 shoots AGCO into the stars and a class 9 combine for the first time and with its dual rotary threshing system and the choice of a 12,500 or 17,100-litre grain tank it takes full advantage of the efficiency derived from having 16 per cent more capacity than any other model currently in production. The IDEAL 9 is powered by a MAN 15.2-litre engine that develops 476kW (647hp).
Both the IDEA 8 and 9 are fitted with a 4.84m Dual Helix rotor that provides the largest threshing area currently offered, 1.66M2. With 31 per cent extra capacity this efficient processing system is designed to outperform all others on grain and straw quality.
With very low power requirements the threshing system AGCO has adopted offers minimal grain loss. As the threshed grain falls from the rotor there are two curved grain pans in place at the front of the threshing unit to ensure the front end of the preparation floor gets filled with crop.
Utilising the entire length of the preparation floor, the rear grain pan catches material from the separation area, and moves it into the back so the crop is evenly distributed. The curved profile of the grain pans also work to reduce losses on slopes, with AGCO engineers claiming a 15 per cent advantage over a conventional design.
For unloading, there is the standard 140-lit/sec for the 12,500-litre tank or for the current world biggest capacity 17,100-litre tank opt for a sensational 210-lit/sec through a 42cm unloading auger. This is claimed as the quickest available, 32 per cent faster than its any current rival.
While the smart grain-gate operates automatically and allows easy start-up for the unloader system it can also be manually controlled to give a variable rate for topping-off trailers.
The IDEAL combine incorporates all the precision technology innovations from AGCO’s Fuse Connected Services division, connected as standard, offers an automated combine adjustment system, and Real Time Crop Flow visualisation.
The MF armrest in the IDEAL Vision Cab might look familiar but closer inspection reveals that much has changed to benefit the operator.
There is an information dashboard and the ability to move the Tech Touch terminal 90-deg to the operator’s right for a better view of the table.
Many of tasks now have short cuts to make the IDEAL easier to operate. LED lights and a camera package improve night visibility.
There is also a unique AutoDock function, this hook-up option saves time when locking on the header from a table trailer or from the ground, the operator simply presses a button in the cab and all the connections – mechanical, electrical and hydraulic – are made automatically by a robotised process. The operator remains safely in the cab until ready to go.
Initially, the IDEAL will be fitted with headers up to 15m (50ft), with wider options in design stage. The IDEAL has a rated lift capacity of 6.5 tonnes.
Top speed is 40kph from a hydrostatic transmission that has two shift-on-the-go mechanical speed ranges.
AGCO has gone into great detail to ensure the IDEAL is easy to use and is able to optimise results in even more complex harvesting operations by providing the machine performance, visibility and the comfort operators need in the paddock.
One of the key aspects in the design is the introduction of the optional IDEALharvest self-adjusting function. Using 52 MADS sensors around the combine a very simple dashboard can be brought up on the Tech Touch terminal and this allows the operator to choose a combination of quality, performance and sample cleanliness for the harvest.
The machine itself will then fine-tune the rotor speed, fan speed and sieve opening to create the ideal settings for the parameters chosen. Uniquely, this function can provide a visualisation on the terminal of the crop flow within the combine so the operator can see the distribution of crop in real time.
Not much has slipped by the AGCO engineers as IDEAL is the first high capacity combine of its kind that has been designed for convenient road transportation with an overall width of 3.3m on both tyres and tracks.
IDEAL will be available in three of AGCO’s core brands: Challenger, Fendt and Massey Ferguson and will be offered in three different stages, class 7, 8 and 9. It will be available with tyres or tracks, and also in a ParaLevel version for steeper terrain.
TrakRide is a completely new suspended track system designed by AGCO’s track competence centre. TrakRide is also available with varying widths to suit controlled traffic operations and varying conditions, and as 660mm (26-inches) to meet an overall 3.3m width for transport.
These global platform IDEAL models are all finished in a graphite paint scheme with the only difference between each AGCO brand being the badge, decals and logos.