Krone and Lemken have teamed up for the Combined Powers project and design concept, an autonomous "process unit" that consists of a drive unit and various implements. After passing trials in cultivating, ploughing, sowing, mowing, tedding and raking last year, Combined Powers will be integrated in the forage harvesting and tillage systems of the two companies.
Using a diesel-electric drive that generates up to 170kW (230hp), the drive unit is designed to meet the power input requirements of the implements used in the processes above. The drive power is transferred electrically to the wheels and the PTO and from there to the implement, which couples to a three-point linkage. The drive unit boasts multiple and extensive sensor systems that monitor the immediate surroundings and the implement attached, ensuring safe operation and optimum results as the primary objectives. Operators control and monitor the combination from a mobile device, transmitting jobs and job reports via a communication module and the agrirouter, the established data exchange hub.
The process unit is unique because it's controlled by the implement, not vice versa. This detail was considered imperative for achieving optimum results. The implement and the drive unit act as one integrated smart system. Based on the long experience in the application of ISOBUS and TIM on Krone and Lemken machines, the drive unit and implement communicate and interact, sharing all types of data.
The Combined Powers design concept was also developed to counter the increasing shortage of skilled labor in agriculture and free farmers from spending long days in the field. Instead, they will become system operators who monitor the process unit, which delivers a consistently accurate quality of work. Thanks to its enormous versatility, the unit is designed for year-round work and a long service life. Intensive trialling in all types of conditions and seeking feedback from farmers and contractors will continue this year.