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of its own Latest Lexion in Claas; 10 years in development, this second-generation combine harvester represents an exciting evolution in technology.

Byline: PETER HILL

With the promise of a typical 10% gain in productivity over current models, the second-generation Claas Lexion combine harvester with rotary grain separation is set to help growers keep pace with the need to continually improve efficiency and keep a lid on overheads.

About two-thirds of all components and systems are said to have been changed for the new design, so this is far from being an upgrade of the current combines.

And the scale of the significantly enlarged threshing and primary separation system is such that the smallest model in the new range has a greater threshing area than the biggest model in the current Lexion range.

Changes have also been made to get crop flowing more smoothly through the threshing and rotor separation mechanisms, and operators have greater in-cab control over concave settings and configuration.

Inevitably, there are larger grain tanks and more power; indeed, the rangetopping Lexion 8900 has 26% more peak power output than today's Lexion 780, with 790hp of MAN six-cylinder muscle versus 625hp of Mercedes-Benz motivation.

Dynamic Power engine management adjusts output to load to avoid unnecessary fuel use, while Auto Crop Flow monitors engine and crop loading at various stages to automatically avoid the powertrain being overwhelmed.

At the same time, Claas says it has re-engineered the drive system to ease peak loadings on clutches and drive belts.

Although new straw walker Lexion combines are also on their way, Claas is starting the rollout of its new generation harvesters with the Hybrid models featuring drum threshing and initial separation followed by two contrarotating secondary separation rotors. It is the first of these mechanisms that has been the focus of most attention; the working principle is the same but with everything up-scaled for added capacity.

First off, the accelerator cylinder of the APS Synflow system now feeds a 755mm diameter threshing drum that is 26% larger than the current design and has 10 rather than eight rasp bars.

It is followed by a 57% larger diameter feed drum that encourages the crop to divide into two spiralling flows around the separation rotors.

As now, say Claas engineers, the aim of this front-end design is to extract 70% of grain from the straw during the threshing phase so that the rotors have only the remaining 30% to deal with.

Concave area has increased considerably as a consequence of the larger cylinder and feed drum diameters.

The three wide-body Lexion 8000 Series combines with 1700mm wide threshing gear have 1.55sq m of concave exposure, while the narrower 7000 Series combines with a 1420mm wide APS Synflow system have 1.30sq m, which is a tad more than the current range-topping Lexion 780.

In addition, the concaves are less tightly curved because of the increased cylinder and drum size, so the crop has lesser angles to negotiate as it passes beneath each element, which Claas says is not only good for throughput and grain and straw quality but helps power demand and fuel consumption.

In terms of adjustment, the main concave flaps can be engaged hydraulically from the cab and there is a new hydraulic pivoting concave bar between the pre-separation concave and the main concave that can be engaged to help deal with crops that are more reluctant to release their grains.

Further back, another set of Roto Plus concave flaps has been added to provide further flexibility in controlling grain extraction and compensating for working across or up and down slopes.

Once extracted and cleaned, grain ends up in a tank re-designed for easier access and enlarged from 13,500 litres to 15,000 - or 18,000 litres for the top models, with an increase in unloading auger capacity to maintain tank emptying times.

The current volumetric Quantimeter yield measuring system has been ditched in favour of a pressure cell design said to need calibrating just once a year while delivering more accurate results, while Field Scanner laser-based auto steering that uses a scanning device on the cab has replaced the cutting table-mounted Laserpilot system.

Apart from being able to guide the combine along both left- and right-hand edges of standing crop, the new system can detect tramlines, which makes it handy for opening up when operating a controlled traffic system of farm vehicle movements.

Claas says the new technologies embodied in the new-generation Lexions have been thoroughly tested over a 10-year period involving a million hours of development time, 6000 hours of endurance testing and real-world field evaluation using 220 pre-series machines working across 10 countries worldwide.

CAPTION(S):

The narrow body 7000 Series combines have more threshing area than the highestoutput machine in the current range.

Behind the accelerator cylinder, the main threshing drum is 26% larger in diameter than before at 755mm.
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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Aug 12, 2019
Words:794
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