The New Holland Baler Automation System, which CNHi developed with the support of Flanders Make and means an industry first, is capable of producing bales fully automated. It combines automatic steering, automatic swath guidance and automatic bale weight setting, which pushes productivity, fuel efficiency and comfort of the operator to a much higher level when using the CNHi balers. This innovation hasn’t gone unnoticed in the sector, causing the project to win an award.
New Holland Agriculture (a CNHi brand) was awarded the Silver Medal for Innovation by the independent expert commission appointed by the DLG German Agricultural Society for its ground-breaking Baler Automation System. This unique innovation delivers a significant improvement of the baling process, with multiple benefits for the comfort and safety of the operator, fuel efficiency and the quality of produced bales, but also means a next step towards fully autonomous farming. This made it one of the perfect challenges that Flanders Make likes to support in the industry.
Award for the cooperation
The New Holland Baler Automation System receiving this prize means a crowning achievement for the good cooperation between CNHi and Flanders Make. At CNHi, therefore, they react with satisfaction to the news of this award.
“Since several years, we work closely together with Flanders Make which means for us an opportunity to build an open innovation ecosystem with the Flemish universities and core labs focused on the make industry. This collaboration is an important extension of our internal innovation capacity with the objective to accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies on our products. This award for the baler automation project at Agritechnica is a clear illustration of the strength of this collaboration.” says Paul Snauwaert, Vice President, Advanced technology and Innovation at CNH Industrial.
Perfect baling without human intervention
The New Holland Baler Automation System is designed to maximize bailing productivity and operator comfort based on swath volume, slice thickness, machine load and tractor engine load. The tractor is automatically guided over the swath by a Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor with IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that detects the position and cross section of the swath, but also adjusts the forward speed accordingly. The GPS of the tractor further improves guidance accuracy.
By guiding the baler automatically, it ensures equal bale chamber filling, using the maximum capacity available without exceeding the limit. This increases productivity in the form of more bales per day and a higher durability for the baler. Maximising the efficiency of the baling process also reduces the tractor’s fuel consumption, further lowering the production cost per bale.
A more advanced feature allows the operator to set the desired bale weight, so the algorithm can constantly predict and adjust the weight of each bale. This results in high quality bales, with the same shape and weight, even in changing crop and yield conditions, all without the intervention of an operator.
The operator obviously benefits from the safety and comfort that comes with automatic baling. Overloading is no longer an issue when baling automatically, so the operator is no longer required to manually unblock the baler. They are also no longer required to constantly evaluate the quality and quantity of swaths and make adjustments to prevent those overloads and blockages as the Baler Automation Systems handles these automatically.