Claas Celebrates a Big Birthday and a Big Combine
At Ag Connect 2013, Claas introduced its latest Class 10 combine, the Lexion 780, and kicked off its global centennial celebration.
"We are a family-owned company that is headquartered in Germany but present around the world as one of the top five largest ag manufacturers," says Theo Freye, spokesman of the Claas executive board.
Today the company manufacturers self-propelled combines for corn, soybeans, rice and small grains; self-propelled forage harvesters; haying equipment; and tractors. The company, started by August Claas in 1913, is led by its second and third generations: Helmut Claas and Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser.
Around the world, the company has 9,000 employees with 14 factories and production facilities. Claas has invested in new facilities in Omaha, Neb., Russia and India with the purpose to manufacture machines where they will be used. The company has produced approximately 500,000 combines at its factories in Europe, Russia, India and the U.S.
To mark the 100-year milestone, the company will host a variety of events at its factories, offices and dealerships. Claas is also releasing a book chronicling the past century of innovation. Titled "100 Years of Harvesting Excellence," the book contains nearly 400 pages on the history of the company.
"Reflecting on the past is important and it helps us understand the future, but even more important is our desire to form a better tomorrow. The ag machinery industry has an important role in providing the tools and the solutions to feed a hungry world," Freye says.
Horsepower at harvest. In conjunction with Claas' big birthday, the company introduced a second Class 10 combine to its lineup. The Lexion 780 is outfitted with a Tier 4 Interim compliant 16-liter Mercedes-Benz engine that is cooled via the Claas Dynamic Cooling system. The combine boasts 543 hp with a bulge that increases total power output to 590 hp. The new cooling system is placed horizontally behind the engine with a 63" rotating screen to draw in clean air from the top of the combine. A variable fan drive helps conserve power by adjusting speed automatically, depending on the level of cooling needed.
A four-link rear axle on the combine enhances suspension and stability. The axle features lateral movement and allows for more flexibility and a smaller turning radius. The patented design allows for increased mobility with tires up to 65" high.
In line with the automation and ease of use of the Lexion 780, the all-wheel-drive Power Trac is engaged by the press of a button. The powerful yet fuel-efficient drive capitalizes on a second hydrostatic drive on the rear axle; additional traction can be employed and intelligent control technology can be engaged while on the move.
CEMOS (Claas Electronic Machine Optimization System) technology, a dialogue-based system that allows the operator to establish the correct situation settings, is now automated on the small grains equipped version of the combine. CEMOS has reached a second stage and is now self-setting for the various situations an operator might encounter. A new header drive delivers greater power to larger headers that demand top-end output. The all-new heavy-duty variable speed drive is capable of producing up to 268 hp at any speed.
Other enhancements that complement today’s larger headers are a longer grain auger and a Claas Profi Cam. The optional 4XL grain auger measures 29.2' and is capable of an unload rate of up to 3.8 bu. per second. The Profi Cam is positioned to monitor long distance unloading, allowing the operator to look inside the grain cart.
To view a timeline of Claas innovations and company milestones, visit www.FarmJournal.com/Claas