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The Optum tractor uses an ISOBUS Class 3 link to communicate with LB4 balers.

Case shifts to enhanced communications, LEDs

Case IH has enhanced its electronic features and functions, adding ISOBUS Class 3 capabilities and beefing up its Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) communications technology. In a broad product rollout, the company also increased its use of LEDs and improved fuel economy by reducing shift times and employing a variable vane cooling fan.

Case IH beefed up its Optum and Steiger tractor lines and unveiled new balers and other implements at the recent Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL. The company also rolled out its LB4 series large square balers, which offer an ISOBUS Class 3 enabled Feedrate Control system. When paired with a range of hay and forage tractors that offer this control technology, the baler uses ISOBUS Class 3 commands controls the tractor’s forward speed.

“This can provide 9% better productivity for the baler,” said Leo Bose, AFS Marketing Manager, Case IH. “If the producer has a total mix ratio, the system can adjust when it sees variables and create the same level. Based on the load level, it can bring in the stuffer to add more hay or it can determine it’s time to make a new bale.”

Case IH also updated its AFS Connect telematics technology. A new modem provides connections to CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System for Mobile) networks, automatically switching to the system with the best signal. The system’s new two-way file transfer lets users move yield maps, prescriptions, or guidance lines from the machine to the portal and vice versa.

A new Multiswath capability takes a step toward autonomy, working in tandem with AccuGuide for improved guidance line patterns such as maneuvering around field obstacles such as standing water. Two-way communications let remote personnel manage the equipment.

“Sometimes the operator in the field will feel conditions warrant settings at one level,” Bose said. “But a technician with a total view of the machine, who sees updates every minute and looks at the most recent incoming grain samples, may determine that another setting will yield better results.”

LED lighting is becoming more commonplace as new systems emerge. The Steiger and Optum tractors offer a number of white lamps that conserve power and improve light output.

“LEDs operate at about a quarter of the power, which lets you go to a smaller alternator or add more systems,” Kaiser said. “In the field, LEDs don’t have the glare that HID lighting has. Lighting is becoming more important as we go to more 24/7 farming.”

Case IH also detailed some powertrain advances. For example, the Steiger line’s cooling system and transmission were both improved.

“The Steiger has two cooling systems,” said Mitch Kaiser, Steiger Tractor Marketing Manager. “The second water cooler is electric, which helps give the engine 13% more low-end lugging power.”

Tom Dean, Marketing Director, described the transmission upgrade. “We’ve upgraded to a power shift transmission that has 20% faster response, which reduces parasitic loss. When operators shift between forward and reverse, shifts are 40% faster.”

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