CONVIO FLEX, a universal draper header, won one of three CLAAS silver medals at AGROSALON.
CLAAS company is a regular participant of AGROSALON exhibition where it always presents its innovative developments. This year, by the results of the independent professional competition of innovative machinery AGROSALON-2018, the CLAAS products won three silver medals. In particular, the high prize was awarded to CONVIO FLEX, a universal draper header with flexible cutter bar, CROP FLOW system of automatic control of mass flow in combine harvesters, and CLAAS REMOTE SERVICE system of remote diagnosis and maintenance planning for the self-propelled farm machines. According to experts, all these developments have particular practical value and provide significant benefits for the economy of an enterprise, improve its efficiency, positively impact on safety and labour saving.
Dirk Seelig, Deputy General Manager at CLAAS Vostok LLC, talked in more details about, perhaps, the main innovative product of CLAAS in 2018 - CONVIO FLEX universal drape header, in an interview to AGROSALON exhibition.
- Tell us about the new header.
CONVIO FLEX is a new generation of versatile drapers for equally effective operation with three types of crops – cereals, legumes and oilseeds. It means it can replace three specialized drapers without loss of performance quality. A flexible cutting bar ensures a unique technical solution to achieve such a result. With a minimum cutting height of 30 mm, the cutterbar perfectly adapts to the changing terrain by flexing up to 225 mm, which gives an opportunity to walk on the natural undulations and avoid damaging the knives by passing around small obstacles such as stones. A low cut improves efficiency when working not only with the legumes: peas, beans and soybeans, but also with wheat and rye down crops. Not all specialized grain headers can handle such conditions of harvesting.
- What are the benefits of this development for the consumer?
The main advantage of the CONVIO FLEX draper, as I have said, is its versatility which helps effectively replace three specialized harvesters and ensures a substantial saving on capital costs. In addition, unlike a screw header, CONVIO FLEX drape header weights less. This reduces the load on the engine, and thus reduces fuel consumption. Also, two lateral conveyor belts and one middle provide uniform and smooth flow of crop, facilitating the operation of threshing and cleaning. Last year this drapes was tested in the United States and Hungary, and the results obtained have confirmed its higher efficiency, compared with the standard screw headers.
Besides, converting CONVIO FLEX for harvesting of rape, for example, would take a few minutes only - you just have to install additional side knives for rapeseed, and without using any tools. A small impinging angle of the conveyor belt limits the losses on the header, because the spikelets are not ejected from it, and it is especially important when harvesting rape. It could be also added that the basic settings of CONVIO FLEX: adjustment of ground pressure, change the speed of the reel and conveyor belts can be made either from the cab or automatically, depending on the harvester's speed.
- Is it available to the consumers?
Yes, it will be available on the Russian market by next farming season.
- What are its prospects for the domestic market?
With those obvious benefits of the CONVIO FLEX draper for farmers, it has very good perspectives on the market. The preservation of soil fertility and high productivity are largely connected with the proper crop rotation, which involves alternating cultivation of cereals, legumes and oilseeds in varying combinations and sequences. Therefore, a farmer must purchase several specialized headers. Harvesting legumes and oilseeds with the grain header either is impossible at all, or leads to significant crop losses. The universal draper solves two problems at once: reduces capital costs and increases productivity. In many cases, the complexity of the implementation of effective crop rotation which would preserve soil fertility is associated with high costs of purchasing of various headers. Therefore, in the long term, this highly effective and versatile machine will contribute to solving a major problem for many regions of Russia - preserving fertile agricultural land.
- What are your plans for the future? What directions for the development have you chosen?
Today, CLAAS company is a part of the Russian market of farm machinery, so we will develop together with the market. The last few years we grew quite quickly, both in terms of the production capacity and our dealers network. I can say that we have achieved the optimum balance as of today, when the plant manufactures the equipment is the assortment and the amount which are demanded by the market, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the customers service ensures quality and timely service even in the most remote regions of Russia. In addition, the collected client base allows us to keep abreast and respond quickly to changes in our customers' needs. For example, the interest of Russian farmers to forage machinery significantly increased last year, so this year we focused on how the CLAAS solutions could be useful for the Russian dairy and beef livestock farms. We believe this trend will be long-term. But, in general, both CLAAS production and the dealer network in Russia are ready to flexibly and quickly respond to new trends in the development of the farm sector and to follow our clients' interests.
We would like to remind that the equipment that won the medals in the Competition of innovative machinery will be presented at AGROSALON-2018 exhibition at the CLAAS booth, from 9 to 12 October in Moscow. AGROSALON is the only exhibition in Russia with broad international participation - more than 30 countries present their cutting-edge developments and flagship machines. This year, the project will celebrate its tenth anniversary and will be the most ambitious in the history of the event!