Autonomous and automated solutions presented at Agricultural Engineering Forum

  • Engaging in dialogue with consumers and decision-makers about the core topic of resource efficiency
  • Actively promoting environmentally friendly food security
  • Technology’s influence goes beyond the green sector

Case IH is capitalising on the Agricultural Engineering Innovation Forum at this year’s International Green Week in Berlin as an opportunity to reinforce its role in resolving concrete challenges in agriculture. The brand is breaking new ground to assist farmers in boosting productivity and profitability, whilst generating additional value and promoting resource conservation.

“Together with other well-known agritech businesses, we are seeking in-depth dialogue with consumers and decision-makers in politics and institutions at the Farm Experience in Hall 3.2 of International Green Week,” says Marc-Peter Bormann, Managing Director of CNH Deutschland GmbH.

“Agricultural engineering plays a crucial role in promoting resource-efficient, productive, and profitable farming. However, the benefits of agritech extend beyond the agricultural sector, profoundly impacting society. We intend to spotlight this impact by providing concrete examples on this occasion.”

Case IH is placing a particular emphasis on automation and autonomy in its presentation at the Agricultural Engineering Innovation Forum. Both developments demonstrate tremendous potential for further optimising the management of natural resources and minimising the use of fertilisers, pesticides and fuel. Beyond automatic guidance in the field, digital technologies today enable the automation of activities such as harvesting. The Advanced Feedrate Control system for Axial Flow combine harvesters presented at Agritechnica 2023 was awarded a silver medal by the German Agricultural Society’s (DLG) Innovation Awards in recognition of the efficiency gains it creates. The careful use of natural resources and the collection and evaluation of agricultural data that is possible with digital technologies to further optimise field management are also playing an increasingly important role with respect to food security.

The new Case IH baler automation system is another of the modern tools the brand will be presenting at the Agricultural Engineering Innovation Forum. The laser pulses from a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor at the front end of the tractor roof are analysed by a processor to determine the position, shape and cross-section of a swath of crop ahead of the baler operated by the tractor. This then sends corresponding pulses to the tractor for automatic steering purposes. ISOBUS 3 (TIM – Tractor Implement Management) is also used to adjust the speed of the tractor and baler to the position and density of the swath to be baled. This eases strain and fatigue on the driver and maintains uniform bale shape and density, while making optimum use of the engine and baler power and thus minimising fuel consumption.

The Case IH autonomous tillage system based on the brand’s tractor and tillage platforms and incorporating Raven Autonomy™ technology works with the latest sensor developments. AFS Soil Command – which will also be discussed at the Agricultural Engineering Innovation Forum – controls the implement and ensures the correct tillage for every centimetre of soil. The same applies to the Field Analyzer, a smart sensor that CNH Industrial added to its portfolio of precision technologies in 2023 when it acquired the tech firm Augmenta Agriculture Technologies. Using 4K cameras and AI image processing, this sensor enables real-time distinction between crops and weeds, so pesticide use can be limited to the relevant areas and therefore minimised.

The autonomy kit, which was presented for the first time in Germany in autumn 2023 using the autonomous Case IH Magnum tractor as an example, goes one step further. The technology can also be used on other Case IH series, such as Optum or Puma. During operation, a combination of cameras and radar sensors continuously monitors the area around the tractor for obstacles and external movements. With the help of artificial intelligence, Raven’s Perception Controller processes the continuous stream of images, interprets them and identifies potential obstacles. If one is detected, the tractor stops and the operator / administrator receives a warning on their networked smart device, allowing them to assess the situation and decide on how best to proceed. Customer studies suggest that farmers – in light of the noticeable shortage of skilled workers in the agricultural sector – see a system like this being used in parallel with conventional work in the fields. A second autonomous tractor would work on the same field as the tractor with the farmer, thus doubling workrate/output.

In addition to optimising work processes and operating parameters of individual machines, Case IH focuses on fleet solutions and coordinating multiple agricultural machines. These include telemetry solutions for remote monitoring and maintenance, automated systems for collecting and analysing agricultural data to enable informed decision-making, and the brand’s integrated agricultural software for efficient management of farm data.

With the unveiling of the Farmall 75C Electric at Agritechnica 2023, Case IH demonstrated its commitment to sustainable agriculture and alternative drive systems. With its diesel-like performance, the battery of the Farmall Electric can be charged from 10% to 80% in less than an hour using the DC charging function. Thanks to electrification in combination with low wear and low maintenance costs, the model enables an up to 50% reduction in operating costs compared to diesel tractors. Digital off-board functions and additional automation options ensure highly efficient use of the vehicle, which is suitable for completing tasks in agriculture, municipal operations, industry, greenhouses and light forestry work, to name but a few examples.

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