Bret Lieberman, New Holland’s newly named Vice President for North America, is an avid, competitive cyclist. Dodging cars and Amish buggies on the narrow, congested highways of New Holland, Penn. has taught him one thing: Keep your head up.
“To go fast, you have to keep your eyes up,” he says. The same is true to remain competitive in the farm equipment market.
“Our eyes have to be looking up to move forward,” says Lieberman, who has 25 years with New Holland.
A media tour of the company’s product design center and an overview of New Holland’s 2016 product line-up July 15 and 16 demonstrate the company’s heads up vision. It’s a legacy built on 120 years of forward thinking innovation.
Founded in 1890 by Abe Zimmerman as a black smith/machine shop building implements for local farmers, New Holland became a national player with an innovative, automatic bale knotter. It purchased the design from Ed Nolt, a local farmer and tinkerer, in the 1930s. The knotter was the first-of-its kind that tied bale knots under compression, which meant tight, stackable bales that revolutionized forage baling. Now, some 75 years later, New Holland is still focused on innovation.
Key to remaining competitive is bringing rugged, functionally-designed equipment to market quickly. To do so, New Holland combines computer-aided design (CAD) with 3-dimensional (3D) imaging to allow engineers to visualize whole machines and their components before ever touching torch to metal.
In the New Holland 3D imagining theater, engineers can see the designs to ensure parts fit and are accessible, material flow through the machines make sense and ergonomics are functional and comfortable in cabs. “We’re trying to do as much optimizing as we can before we build hard parts,” says David DeChristopher, with the New Holland design center.
Once the parts pass the 3D test, they are quickly manufactured by using 3D printers to produce scaled models of the parts. Again, functionality is tested before the parts are then prototyped. Parts, sections and entire machines are then subjected to all sorts of stress and temperature tests to quickly mimic in a matter of hours and days what they will be subjected to after years of use in the field.
All of this is done to reduce the time from concept to market, and to keep pace with evolving agricultural crop technology. GMO crops, for example, which have been designed for greater stalk strength and standability, are tougher to combine than earlier varieties of just 10 years ago, says DeChristopher. New Holland engineers are also hoping to get their hands on low-lignin alfalfa varieties to see how their mower-conditioners perform with this new crop.
New Holland is also keeping its head up in its “Clean Energy Leader” initiative. All 2016 model upgrades, from tractors to combines to forage harvesters and sprayers, will be Tier 4B compliant. The New Holland emissions treatment system reduces particulate matter and nitrogen oxide levels 90% compared to the Tier 3 standard, and does so by using internal exhaust gas recirculation and a particulate matter catalyst. The system is completely automatic, so it doesn’t require work stoppage while the system regenerates.
The new Tier 4B Fiat engines also will produce more torque. In the Workmaster tractor series, for example, the Workmaster 70 will produce 28% more torque, says Todd DeBock, Segment Marketing Leader. In turn, more torque provides more responsive power in tough conditions under load, such as mowing tough, tall crops with a rotary cutter or digging into a packed pile with a front-end loader.
Perhaps most exciting, from a farmer perspective, is New Holland’s product innovation. In 2016, New Holland is introducing its IntelliCruise Feed Rate Control System for its big square baler models. The system will allow the baler to take control of tractor ground speed to optimize forage flow into the bale charger. All the operator must do is steer the tractor, much like cruise control in a car or truck.
“If you spend $500,000 on tractor and baler, you want to get maximum efficiency all the time,” says Curt Hoffman, New Hollands crop packaging marketing manager. “With the IntelliCruise system, you can get that even with inexperienced operators.”
In charge control mode, the tractor speed is adjusted to optimize material moving into the fill chamber. In areas of lighter swaths, ground speed is increased so that the flow of material into the charger chamber is increased. In heavier crop conditions, ground speed is slowed. This creates greater overall efficiency. Charge control mode is available on the BigBaler 340 CropCutter model.
In slice control mode, the tractor’s speed is adjusted so that each slice of the bale and therefore each bale are nearly identical. This results in much more uniform bale length and number of slices per bale, particularly important for the export hay market. Slice control mode is available on both the BigBaler 340 Standard and BigBaler 340 CropCutter models.
Using the IntelliCruise system dramatically reduces operator fatigue because fewer operator interventions are needed in variable crop conditions. That should increase 9% higher capacity and productivity, particularly over inexperienced or fatigued operators. It also should lower fuel consumption, reducing operating costs.
For more on New Holland Big Square balers, click here.
Note: IntelliCruise is controlled and operated through the ISOBUS III system. The BigBaler 340 Standard and CropCutter 340 models will be equipped with the systems; tractors powering the balers will also have to be ISOBUS III compatible.