Gold medal and special mention for CLAAS

The winners of the SIMA Innovation Awards 2015 were announced on 27 November 2014. CLAAS won an impressive two awards: the completely new Panoramic cab concept of the Arion 400 tractor, which was launched last year and reached the final round of the “Tractor of the Year 2015” competition, was the recipient of one of two gold medals. The new Vario cutterbar for combine harvesters also received a special mention.

Gold for Panoramic cab
The new Panoramic cab distinguishes itself from other cabs thanks to its 2.41 m² windscreen, consisting of the windscreen panel itself and a transparent roof made of polycarbonate. They are connected to each other without a crossbar and thus expand the field of view of the driver far into the roof. This gives the driver a completely new feeling of space, an unimpaired 90° field of view towards the front loader and an excellent view of the entire width of the implement or load.

Félix Garrad, Product Manager of the Arion 400 model series at CLAAS Tractor, explained the special challenges encountered during development of the Panoramic cab: “The Panoramic cab is ideal for working with a front loader. We needed a solution which, on the one hand, ensured safety and reliability while, on the other hand, doing away with components like the upper crossbar which limits visibility.” The CLAAS engineers have moved the conventional front crossbar in the cab roof to behind the transparent roof and braced it very robustly to the frame of the cab. This high-strength design and the unbreakable polycarbonate panel in the cab roof allow the new Panoramic cab to fulfil the FOPS standard (Falling Object Protective Structure) and thus ensure safe use even with a front loader.

Since the driver’s view of the front loader is not impaired by any blind spots, the driver can always sit in a comfortable position. This avoids all of the repetitive movements which place stress on the neck and lumbar spine of the driver and can cause back problems. The jury found this to be a remarkable development in the areas of prevention, safety, comfort and productivity.

Special mention for VARIO cutterbar
The jury found that the new Vario cutterbar in the Vario 930 and 770 models with cutting widths of 9.30 m and 7.70 m for the Tucano and Lexion combine harvesters offers the required level of technical flexibility to master today’s harvesting processes with their regular crop rotations. The crop dividers and rapeseed cutting knives can be attached and detached without the use of tools thanks to the quick-release couplings. The cutterbar table of the Vario can be steplessly and conveniently adjusted from the cab over a range of 700 mm (-100 mm to +600 mm). Whereas the rapeseed plates previously had to be inserted manually, they are now completely integrated into the cutterbar table on the new implements.

“The new generation of Vario cutterbars represents the next logical stage in over 50 years of development of adjustable cutterbar tables. The new concept ensures quick adaptation to the grain and rapeseed harvest and is therefore the ideal system for harvesting the respective type of crop”, says Matthias Stauffer, Product Manager at CLAAS Self-Propelled Harvesting Machines.

The SIMA Innovation Awards are awarded every two years to recognise innovations in agricultural technology and agricultural services. This year, two gold medals, three silver medals and 18 special mentions were awarded. An international jury made up of 21 experts from the agricultural sector was responsible for deciding the award winners. Additional experts including numerous users, researchers and developers were on hand to advise the jury as required.