Opera 600, the hi-tech solution of the combination seed drill
The range of Maschio Gaspardo combined seed drills is expanded with a new machine, OPERA 600, presented during EIMA 2022. It is a model designed to work over large areas, thanks to a working width of 6 metres and a 5,100 litre hopper that allows two products to be distributed simultaneously. The high range is perfectly matched with the two-row disc harrow, which allow it to work at good speeds on tilled and untilled land. The coupling to the tractor, via a two-point hitch or with an eye (optional), is of the towed type, while the particular sizing of the drawbar and transport wheels facilitates both road transfers and headland turns. The OPERA 600 is designed to come into action after primary tillage and has multiple working sections, where some of them perform more than one function. On the front line, a row of rubber-coated wheels (optional) breaks up the larger aggregates before the disc cutter intervenes (from two rows of 460 mm discs spaced between them to ensure a good flow of material even when there are crop residues); the particular angle and concave nature of the discs reduces the accumulation of soil inside them even when working on wet soils. The next section consists of single-disc furrow openers that deposit fertiliser between the seeding rows. Immediately after fertilisation, transport wheels (large diameter and large section) positioned in a staggered fashion consolidate the seed bed evenly. The X-FORCE coulter bar is based on a large-diameter (380 mm) offset double disc coulter system that works with the seed press wheel to maintain a constant seed placement depth. All working parts, from the tillage discs to the seed and fertiliser coulters, are equipped with independent arm connection elements with respective supports cushioned by rubber silent blocks. This solution provides the greatest possible degree of movement of the working parts in order to operate efficiently even on particularly tough or poorly tilled soil. The last section consists of the seed-covering harrow, which ensures correct coverage and promotes uniform germination. The working parts are hydraulically and independently adjustable. The hydraulic movements (including opening and closing) are managed by the Universal Terminal in the cab, which, says a Maschio Gaspardo note, uses only a pair of double-acting distributors. Thanks to the Task Controller function, the hydraulic movement sequence of the sections can be set to speed up operations at the beginning and end of the field. The sturdy frame with side and cross members houses the new pressurised pneumatic transport system, the electrically driven metering system and the independent seed and fertiliser transport system. The new pressurised hopper, the result of collaboration with SID (Scuola Italiana di Design), is characterised by its high capacity and ease of use. The possibility of varying the internal partitioning (60/40 or 50/50) allows for the best possible operation depending on the crops or varieties to be sown. Pressurisation of the pneumatic transport system is a technology already adopted in other Maschio Gaspardo seed drills, which improves the efficiency of product distribution along the entire working face and reduces the effort required by the hydraulically driven impeller (and therefore also fuel consumption). The dosage of the two products is carried out thanks to electrically driven volumetric dosers which, based on the ISOBUS communication protocol, enable Precision Farming functions such as Variable Dose (VR) to be implemented.