Continental is continuing to expand its business with the agricultural industry and is boosting its activities with regard to automation, digitalization and sustainability in the agricultural sector. The technology company is thus offering its customers tailor-made solutions for greater efficiency out on the field. “Data are our seeds for a pioneering future,” explained Hans-Jürgen Duensing, the Continental Executive Board member who is also responsible for the off-highway segment, adding: “Predictive maintenance concepts are becoming increasingly important for our customers worldwide. They increase efficiency, reduce idle time, enhance operational dependability and thereby significantly cut costs.” Continental can use the data it acquires for additional services in the meantime. This is the way to ensure stable crop yields for the global population, without harming the environment more than before.
Continental supports preventive monitoring of machines as part of this process, because every unexpected downtime is a drain on productivity. This determines the condition of vital components in agricultural machinery and vehicles at all times. The company has done the groundwork here and “sowed” its innovations. Continental will be presenting its latest technological highlights for the agricultural industry from November 12 to 18 at Agritechnica (Hall 3, booth F19) in Hanover. It will be showcasing a range of products from predictive maintenance solutions to camera systems, displays and catalytic converters right the way through to tires.
“For us, the return to the agricultural tire business is another important step on the growth trajectory of the Tire division. As a full-service provider we are also sending a clear signal to the agricultural industry and purposefully expanding our portfolio of products for this branch of industry,” noted Nikolai Setzer, Executive Board member of Continental AG and head of the Tire division.
Predictive maintenance and condition monitoring increase the longevity of components
Digitalization is blazing ahead in the agricultural industry, too, where Continental rubber tracks are also becoming intelligent. Equipping the rubber tracks with sensor technology means that it is possible, for example, to measure and monitor their internal temperature. Targeted monitoring extends the service life of the components, increases their efficiency and lowers repair costs. The previously required speed restrictions during the transition to asphalt can therefore be minimized. Predictive maintenance also means that operators can respond to any kind of defect before it happens and replace the component accordingly. This avoids unscheduled downtime, thereby increasing the progress of work during operation. Rubber tracks give heavy tractor units such as tractors or combines a secure grip on soft, pliable soil, even with drive power exceeding 500 hp. They also reduce the compaction of soil and provide an important alternative to tires depending on the particular application. Continental is just getting started – further connected components are already in the pipeline and are to be integrated in a holistic concept.
Experiencing the interaction of man and machine in an original driver’s cab
Increasing digitalization and automation will impact the interaction of man and machine going forward. In an original-sized cab, Continental is showing Agritechnica visitors how an optimum human-machine interface provides drivers with workplace support and supplies them with the right information at the right time in a clear overview. The cab interior features two world premieres. The 7-inch screen of the instrumentation solution MultiViu Compact 7 shows vehicle information such as speed, engine speed and fill levels, and sends it to the smartphone via the Bluetooth module. MultiViu Media also provides extensive information. The technology platform, which comprises a monitor, radio and display controller, combines vehicle connectivity and control functions via CAN with diverse multimedia functions. Drivers can connect their smartphones to MultiViu Media and stream music or use the integrated touchscreen to control other devices in the vehicle.
World premiere: Continental presents radial tires for agricultural use
The first two agricultural tires from Continental’s new premium radial tire portfolio – the Tractor70 and the Tractor85 – are celebrating their world premiere at Agritechnica. “Just like with all Continental products for the agricultural industry, the priority during development of the new tires was to increase efficiency. They are designed to systematically enhance the productivity of the machine in use along with the quality of its work on a sustained basis,” explained Setzer.
The two tires Tractor70 and Tractor85, which share the same design, are characterized by their robustness and durability, and also ensure a high degree of ride comfort and tractive force. The carcass material made of stretchable nylon gives the tires exceptional dimensional stability and impact strength. The tire can be fitted in an instant thanks to the innovative bead technology featuring only single wire bead. The special bead design also allows the new tires to operate with low tire pressure and thus prevent ground damage to the greatest possible extent. The agricultural tire portfolio is to be developed to include a total 100 sizes by 2019.
Exhaust-gas aftertreatment: ready for when the Euro V emissions standard comes into force
Sustainability will become even more important going forward. The Euro V emissions standard, which comes into force from 2019, is set to tighten exhaust gas regulations even more. One of the main aims is to further reduce soot particles emitted by off-highway vehicles. Continental is introducing two solutions to cater to these requirements. The metallic catalyst substrate, which enables easy-to-integrate oval and even asymmetrical design types, forms the basis for catalytic converter systems that are mounted directly on the engine. Continental is also introducing the ring catalyst, which enables highly integrated development of a complete exhaust-gas aftertreatment system including SCR (selective catalytic reduction) in a single container. Both strategies – close to the engine and with standardized box – clean exhaust gases effectively and cover a diverse range of possible applications. In the case of agricultural and construction machinery in particular, the engines are installed into different vehicle types, with the exhaust-gas aftertreatment system having to be certified for each individual application. An exhaust-gas aftertreatment system that can be used for multiple applications therefore also results in cost savings.