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XtraBlatt Special 25 Years BiG Pack

  • Text
  • Krone
  • Bale
  • Bales
  • Baler
  • Straw
  • Balers
  • Throughput
  • Input
  • Density
  • Baling
  • Xtrablatt

PRACTICE we produced

PRACTICE we produced blockages intentionally again and again. We deliberately downed the BiG Pack in front of the audience. But what would have been a disaster with any other machine was a light bulb moment with the BiG Pack: we stopped the machine and the audience could hear the cam clutch banging a couple of times, clearing the blockage just like that. After that, we simply went on – a jaw-dropping experience for the audience.” Another feature that made the first BiG Pack stand out was its automatic pressure control system. “The system sensed the force that was applied to the plunger and allowed operators to set and control it from the cab,” explains Martin. “This technology allowed operators of even the very first BiG Pack to select the level of density and maintain – and high so – without the twine snapping. Our competitors’ balers were not yet able to do that.” A NEW GENERA­ TION TAKES OVER It was the controlled feeder rotor which had been designed into the very first BiG Pack that initiated the development of the second-generation BiG Pack. The feeder consisted of six packers that moved in a cam track, feeding the material from the pick-up into the feed chamber and making six movements during each plunger stroke. “Our design resulted in a much smoother crop flow than in competitor systems that relied on controlled arms,” explains Martin. “Because these did not remove material from the pick-up during one stroke of the plunger as frequently as the Krone packers – to the effect that intermittently huge lumps arrived in the feed chamber. Not so on the Krone system where the packers had been designed from scratch, which led to more consistent densities at a lower input power. Another advantage was that the packer system was very compact, and so the machine was compact too.” He points out that this packer system actually paved the way for the Krone VFS Variable Filling System that was introduced on the following machine generation in 1999. The VFS system has packers and a feeder that fill the feed chamber where the material is pre-compressed before it is fed to the actual baling chamber. This is the secret behind consistently packed bales – even from low-yielding swaths or when working at low ground speeds. But Martin confesses that the Krone operators, too, had to get used to the VFS: “Previously, when demonstrating the BiG Packs, I really had to rip along those thin swaths to avoid churning out banana-style bales. Yet we quickly learned that the throughput was always high on a Krone VFS baler and that the power input was low. The MultiBale system, which was introduced in 2003, was a major coup for Krone. Up until today, the BiG Pack is the only machine that is able to tie up several small wads into one big bale. Martin Seggering: “In the run-up to Agritechnica, we premiered this ingenious invention at a demonstration before invited customers and the agri press. Yet there was this malfunction: the electronic system on the prototype machine was not ready yet, so we couldn’t operate the knotters electronically, but it was possible to trigger it by pressing a button on the control box. This operated the system manually. So I instructed the operator to fend off everybody wanting to enter the tractor cab and simply drive off, pressing that button at every third stroke of the plunger. I told him to carry on until four of five packs were done, so that the spectators would see the baler was able to make multibales. They seemed unaware of our problem and saw that the BiG Pack was indeed producing multibales. A few days later the electronic system was up and running, and multibaling became an automated process.” NO DISTANCE TOO FAR When customers demanded ever higher bale densities to make full use of truck capacities, Krone responded by introducing the High-Density-Press (HDP) baler in 2005. “We boosted the plunger stroke by 70% so it was able to apply a much higher pressure,” explains the BiG Pack specialist. “As a result, the finished bale would no longer expand excessively. This modification led to a 25% higher bale weight.” Yet this took very many trials to find out to which level the machine was able to cope with the enormous pressure. Initially, the developers simply tied chains around the baler and pushed it to its limit of destruction. Over time they extended the bale chamber, fitted beefier rams on the chamber sides and more massive bearings and used thicker steel to build the new BiG Pack. All these modifications made the HDP models up to 3t heavier than regular balers. It was this BiG Pack HDP that opened the door to the Brazilian market and its sugar cane industry. Sugar cane growers harvest only the actual cane. The residual trash is baled and hauled to the sugar and rum factories where it is used as fuel after the government banned burning the trash in the fields. Yet these residues are extremely abrasive and the baling conditions are harsh and very dusty so that competitor balers would last just about one single season, if at all. This was the big chance for the BiG Pack HDP. Martin Seggering: “Our machine was able to compress the sugar cane trash to very dense bales. Yet, it too suffered from the harsh material. So we worked with our Brazilian importer and reinforced the BiG Pack HDP in several places, fitting even harder-wearing components that would last at least two seasons without failing. After two seasons, we had to overhaul the chambers. Baling trash for use as fuel will become an even more viable business as oil prices increase. So we expect the demand for BiG Pack big balers will rise in the future.” It is not only for the big balers that Martin Seggering sees a bright future but for all Krone machines. To probe into that potential, no distance is too far for him to travel. « 28

BaleCollect BOOSTING EFFICIENCIES IN BALE COLLECTION The BaleCollect from Krone collects square bales as they are ejected from the baler and deposits them on the headland or in the field in a pattern that is selected by the operator. The accumulator cuts collecting times and minimises field traffic and compaction. In Great Britain and Denmark collectors of straw, hay and silage bales have long been a commonplace. Now they are becoming popular in Germany as well. The BaleCollect is a Krone development that is based on a new concept which allows the implement to trail behind the baler like a trailer when travelling on public roads and to form a rigid connection to the baler when working in the field. This flexibility is a great advantage over competitor designs which require a special road homologation for the tractor-baler-collector combination. CHOOSE BETWEEN FIVE UNLOADING MODES As the bale is ejected from the baler, it drops on the platform of the collector which accommodates up to three up 1.2m wide bales and uses a pusher arm to move it to the left and right vacating the space for the next bale. The bales are then unloaded in one of five patterns or unloading modes that is selected by the operator. The ‘3 bales’ or ‘3+1 bales’ modes are used to deposit all bales on or near the headland. The options ‘2 bales at once’ and ‘2 separate bales’ are selected when harvesting silage bales and wrapping either two bales into one package or single packs that are picked up by the following wrapper. But the operator can also unload the bales manually at any time by pressing a button. Depositing the bales in a consistent pattern in the field or on the headland is a great time saver in bale handling and reduces traffic and soil compaction. SWIFT AND SAFE ROAD TRAVEL When the combination is leaving the field, the operator presses a button either on the tractor terminal or on the rear end of the baler which folds the BaleCollect hydraulically into its 3m transport width position. Then the drawbar telescopes out and the caster steer axles are fixed in their rigid positions. In this configuration the bale collector tracks behind the baler like a trailer - also at speeds of up to 50km/hr and through narrow gates. The 1.8t accumulator does without on-board brakes because it is decelerated by baler brakes which are powerful enough to control the collector in any situation. « 5 different unloading modes 3 + 1 bales 3 bales 2 bales (together) 2 bales (seperate) 1 bale 29