Comer Industries benchmark on new Claas grain headers
New Claas grain headers developed through co-design work with Comer Industries will soon be available on the Flex and Vario combine harvesters built by the German manufacturers. Comer Industries, headquartered in Reggio Emilia, has reported that their E-torque cardan shafts installed on Claas headers successfully passed field tests in 2014 and are now going into advanced pre-production ahead of arriving in the field, news that has stirred considerable interest in this market. Matthias Stauffer, Product Manager at Claas Self-Propelled Harvesting Machines, affirmed that the new generation Vario cutterbar table quickly adapts to the grain and rapeseed harvest and is therefore the ideal system for harvesting these types of crop and ensures ideal conditions for harvesting all types of product. From this point of view, the goal of the Comer Industries’ designers has been to avoid the loss of the synchronization between the double cutterbars, typical of belt transmission systems. This obstacle was overcome thanks to the N-671 gear box, produced in aluminum for substantial reduction of the weight, and an E-torque driveshaft, equipped with a rubber element device that damps vibrations and alternative loads coming from the grain header cutting system. According to Comer Industries, advantages include the possibility of varying the input rotational speed to change the speed of cut and the E-torque driveshaft that allows to follow steplessly the length adjustment over a range of 700 mm (-100 mm to +600 mm) of the cutterbar table.
With the completion of the development phase, specific laboratory bench tests were conducted by Comer Industries in its dedicated R&D test facility, the Mechatronics Research Center. Validation, endurance and overload tests were performed, with positive results. Tests in the field were also been carried out jointly with Claas. Specific calculation tools were implemented and verified on the field: this approach was aimed at the correct sizing of the drive, granting safety standards are achieved. Sebastian Gamble, Head of Purchasing at Claas, at the conclusion of the second round of tests, said, “With Comer Industries we have developed a premium product.” He also affirmed, “We are on the right path to develop more successful products together!”