1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5, Page #22[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Electronic MF Combine"We think it's the most advanced combine monitoring and control system ever developed," says John Garlick, representative of Massey Ferguson's British division about a revolutionary new computer system on the company's big MF 38, the largest conventional combine in the world.
The new computer monitor system al-most completely eliminates all conventional mechanical gauges in the cab. All information is displayed on a9-in. "TV" screen and on a built-in printer that provides print-outs of all settings and performance.
"Farmers like the simplicity of this system because it puts everything in one place and it's so easy to use. If you can read English, you can operate it," says Garlick.
The computer gives instantaneous yield amounts while harvesting, making it possible to check yields in any field or any part of a field. "It lets you get a clear picture of the `good' and `bad' areas of your farm, so you can adjust planting, fertilizing and spraying as needed," says Garlick.
Nearly every component on the combine is monitored and displayed on the screen including drum speed, concave position, top sieve spacing, sieve extension, lower sieve setting, main fan speed, wind guide position, table auger spacing, feeder elevator position, and many others. It also tells. Many of the settings on combine components- such as fan speed- can be adjusted by simply touching the computer's touch-sensitive screen.
The computer also monitors all mechanical components and sounds an alarm if any engine system fails, such as oil pressure. If the operator fails to act when an alarm goes off, the computer automatically shuts the combine down. The computer also reminds the operator of scheduled maintenance and, if a maintenance problem develops, the operator can ask the computer for advice on how to fix it. In some cases, the computerized system can even self-diagnose and fix mechanical problems itself.
All electronic fuses, relays and memory banks are housed in a dust-sealed compartment toward the rear of the combine. "The electronic modules that make up the `brain' of the system are very reliable but if any should ever fail, they're easy to replace and the computer will probably even tell you how to do it," says Garlick, noting that the new computer-controlled combines sold out this year as fast as they could be produced. "It's the machine of the future. It greatly improves harvest efficiency and makes it easy for the operator to maintain control of what is the most complicated machine on the farm."
For more information, contact FARM SHOW Followup, Massey Ferguson, S tare-ton, Nr. Kenilworth, Warks. CV8 2LJ England (ph 0203 309221).
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