Company philosophies come in all shapes and sizes. Some can be quite complicated, while others drill down to a single idea. Case IH has elected to push forward in 2013 with a philosophy governed by two simple words: "agronomic design." But the company won’t treat those two words like a catchphrase, says Bill Preller, senior director of specialty business.
"It’s not a tagline," he says. "We use agronomic principles to drive the design of our equipment."
In particular, there are seven agronomic principles Preller says that shape the decisions his company makes when designing new equipment. New design features must have a positive impact on crop residue management, soil tilth, seed bed conditions, seed placement accuracy, plant food availability, crop protection and quality harvest.
"Take harvest, for example," Preller says. "You’re not just driving through the field. You have to consider, grain damage percentage, header loss, compaction and many other issues. The equipment you use affects all of that. That’s why agronomic design is so important."
The philosophy forces Case IH to take a deliberate top-to-bottom look at equipment. Even relatively small components of large equipment are quickly discarded that don’t maximize performance. For example, the Precision Disk 500T – a 40-foot, 11-ton implement — made a design change that came down to a 4-inch alteration. The old disk drill had 22-inch blades — the biggest in the industry. But bigger is not always better, Preller says.
"The 22-inch blades performed best in certain conditions," he says, "but in other conditions, it didn’t perform as well. We changed to an 18-inch blade because it was more universal. We changed the blade and set it an angle to get as good or better cutting performance as the 22-inch blade."
In the video below, Preller further explains what "agronomic design" means to the company.
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