New CONVIO draper cutterbar for specialist and low lying crops

CLAAS has introduced a complete new range of draper type cutterbars for use with the 2020 season LEXION combine range. In addition, a wider 13.8m wide version of the VARIO cutterbar will also be available.

The new CONVIO cutterbar is available in five working widths from 7.70m up to 13.8m. Two models will be available; the CONVIO has a rigid cutterbar so is suitable for cereals and similar tall crops, while the CONVIO FLEX has a flexible cutterbar making it ideal for crops close to the ground such as peas and herbage seed.

While on the CONVIO cutterbar the knife and cutterbar table are rigid, on the CONVIO FLEX both these components, plus the side belts are flexible with the knife bar moving over a range of 225mm, from 90mm upwards and 135mm downwards. Both cutterbars use the well proven AUTO CONTOUR system which utilise information from sensors under the cutterbar to ensure precise ground contour following, while ACTIVE FLOAT allows the operator to alter the ground pressure of the cutterbar depending on ground conditions.

CONVIO FLEX has four operating modes.

  • In Cereal mode, the cutterbar table and knife bar are rigid
  • In Laid Crop mode, the knife bar is rigid but at the press of a button can be changed to flexible mode while on the move, for instance in areas where the crop is laid
  • In Manual Flex mode, the knife bar uses information from the sensors to follow the ground contours, but exerts no ground pressure
  • In Auto Flex mode, the cutterbar uses the information from the sensors to automatically determine the best position for crop flow and ground contour following, while maintaining the lowest possible cutting height.

Both the CONVIO and CONVIO FLEX feature a new design of reel with an adjustable cam track that if necessary allows the reel to be set so that it picks the crop up ahead of the knife bar, for instance in laid crops. A unique flip-over concept ensures an efficient transfer of the crop to the draper belts with minimal losses and prevents it wrapping on the reel.

The reel is hydraulically driven and features an automatic torque control system. When activated, the torque applied to the reel is automatically adjusted dependent on the harvesting conditions. It also incorporates automatic height control to prevent the tines from digging into the ground.

Among the automated systems built into the CONVIO cutterbar and integrated into the CEBIS terminal is AUTOMATIC BELT SPEED. This automatically adjusts the belt speed relative to the forward speed of the combine to ensure an even crop flow into the machine and includes driver warning for belt slippage or a stopped belt. If necessary, using a button on the CMOTION control the operator can reverse just the side belts while the machine is on the move, or a switch on the armrest allows the reel, centre belt and feeder housing to all be reversed.

CONVIO and CONVIO FLEX cutterbars are only suitable for use with LEXION combines and are available in working widths of 13.8m, 12.3m, 10.8m, 9.30m and 7.70m. As with the conventional VARIO cutterbar, for harvesting oilseed rape hydraulically powered side knives can be quickly and easily fitted without needing tools.

A new 13.8m (45ft) wide version of the VARIO cutterbar is now available in order to fully maximise the increased threshing capability of the new top-of-the-range LEXION APS SYNFLOW HYBRID models.

The VARIO 1380 features a split knife, reel and 660mm header auger. The header auger and knife are both mechanically driven from each side through a gearbox to ensure a positive, powerful drive when harvesting damp or heavy crops. The two knife sections overlap and are powered by synchronous motors that give a cutting speed of 1344 strokes/minute via drive shafts that extend to allow the knives to be moved.

As on the rest of the VARIO range, the VARIO 1380 is fitted with integrated filler plates, that allows the table to be infinitely extended over a 70cm range from -10cm to +60cm. Even when fully extended and with the rapeseed plates in place, the knives can still be moved over a 20cm range.