Case IH Media Release: Sweet revolution in sugarcane harvesting

30 May 2013

Australian sugarcane growers are waiting with bated breath for the arrival of Case IH’s revolutionary variable spacing sugarcane harvester which will be tested in Australia during 2013.

Designed to meet the growing demand for reduced operating costs, the new Multi Row features a unique patented crop divider system which offers the flexibility of harvesting in different row spacings and can be adjusted to suit the needs of the producer.

According to Dale Chapple, Case IH Product Manager for Sugarcane Harvesters, Australia, the crop divider system is set up to work in various types of sugarcane plantations.

“This new system will cater for both reduced spacing and combined spacing, and also enable the harvesting of 1.5 metre adjacent rows, totalling three metres in mechanised cutting width,” he says.

The system includes two cutting blades, one on each crop divider at the front where the cane is cut, without needing to knock cane down to perform cutting.

“After cutting, the cane is directed toward the feed rollers, with the basecutter serving as a sugarcane gathering component in this new configuration, facilitating machine feeding,” says Dale.

The new harvesting technology does not require knocking down the cane before cutting and all basecutters are controlled independently.

As per Case IH standard, the harvesters cut at a height that does not damage ratoons, resulting in low rates of loss and mineral impurities.

“This increases the longevity of plantations and the quality of raw material,” says Dale.

New features on the Austoft 8800 Multi Row Series:

•    Increased operating capacity

•    New hydraulic technology on cutting platform

•    Revolutionary independent cutting adjustment system

•    Case IH FPT Industrial (Fiat Powertrain Technologies) engine with Smart CruiseTM software standard

The increase in operating capacity, aligned with efficiency in fuel consumption and excellence in cleaning, will make this harvester model unique on the market.

“Customers can put it to use without needing to adjust the field to the machine,” says Dale.

The ‘open and close’ system on the harvester’s cutting platform features new hydraulic system technologies to harness available engine power without interfering in the operation of other harvester attachments or increasing fuel consumption.

The Austoft 8800 Multi Row Series harvester comes with a revolutionary independent cutting adjustment system which can adjust cutting heights according to the irregularities of ground contours, minimising losses.

The Austoft 8800 Multi Row Series sugarcane harvesters use Tier III Case IH FPT Industrial engines with a rated/maximum power of 358 horsepower.

“Improved engine components provide greater strength and durability, ensuring more robustness and a longer service life,” says Dale.

Smart Cruise software, developed by Case IH to improve fuel consumption in lower load situations, will be standard on the new model.

The software is designed to automatically adjust the harvester’s work speed based on the load required for operation. The system also controls fuel consumption in situations where the machine is at idle.

“If the harvester is stationary for more than 15 seconds, at work speed, Smart Cruise automatically reduces engine speed, helping to improve fuel economy,” says Dale.

“Unlike other fuel saving solutions on the market, Case IH Smart Cruise will not present any operating losses, because there is less demand on the hydraulic system.

“The primary extractor reaches work speed, even with the system activated, and there is a reduction in the engine speed adjustment by the operator.”

While the Case IH Austoft 8800 Multi Row Series harvester is already commercially available in Brazil, the unit needs to be tested under Australian conditions before farmers here can buy one of their own.

“Case IH prides itself on a thorough test program,” explains Dale.

“We know cane growers are keen to access this technology but before we release it here we need to make sure it will stand up to Australian conditions and that it will deliver the productivity improvements growers expect.

“And once it’s been proven we’ll be making it available for Australian farmers as soon as possible.”

Growers wishing to see the test machine in Australia should contact their local Case IH sugarcane harvester dealer to register their interest.

 

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