Hanover, November 13, 2017. At Agritechnica, the leading international trade fair for agricultural technology, technology company Continental presents its custom-made solutions for greater efficiency in the fields. “Our future path is clearly mapped out. We will continue to expand our agricultural business and, in parallel, step up our digitalisation, connectivity and automation activities,” commented Hans-Jürgen Duensing, the Continental Executive Board member who is also responsible for the off-highway segment. “Data acts as our seeds for the future. They are the keys to predictive maintenance concepts and are becoming increasingly important for our customers worldwide. They increase efficiency, reduce idle time, enhance operational dependability and significantly cut costs.”
Enhanced efficiency is also a priority for the new premium radial tyres, designed for use in the agricultural industry, and which have their world premiere at Agritechnica. “Having the right tyres is essential, for the productivity of agricultural machines, and also for the quality of the work they do,” said Nikolai Setzer, member of the Continental Executive Board and head of the Tyre division. “This is why our return to the agricultural tyre business also involves further expanding our complete range of highly efficient products for the agricultural industry – and thereby offering our customers genuine added value. Our commitment and long-term investment plans demonstrate that we are serious about the agricultural industry.”
Engineered for Efficiency: Continental presents premium radial tyres for agricultural use
The first two agricultural tyres from Continental’s new premium radial tyre portfolio – the Tractor70 and the Tractor85 – are celebrating their world premiere at Agritechnica. The two tyres share the seal ‘Engineered for Efficiency’. Thanks to innovative bead and nylon technologies they are characterised by their robustness and durability, and also ensure a high degree of ride comfort and tractive force. The tyres have been produced in the Continental plant in Lousado, Portugal, since September. The agricultural tyre portfolio is to be developed to include a total 100 sizes by 2019.
Predictive maintenance and condition monitoring increase the longevity of components
Continental rubber tracks are becoming intelligent. Equipping the rubber tracks with sensor technology means that it is possible, for example, to measure and monitor the carcass temperature of the rubber tracks during use on vehicles. Targeted monitoring extends the service life of the components, increases their efficiency and lowers repair costs. The previously required speed restrictions during the transition to asphalt can therefore be minimised. Predictive maintenance also means that operators can respond to any kind of defect before it happens and replace the component accordingly. This avoids unscheduled downtime, thereby increasing the progress of work during operation. Rubber tracks give heavy tractor units such as tractors or combines a secure grip on soft, pliable soil, even with drive power exceeding 500 hp. They also reduce the compaction of soil and provide an important alternative to tyres depending on the particular application.
High-resolution sensor can be used to support autonomous vehicle operation
Another highlight is the high-resolution 3D Flash LiDAR that will be available for agriculture applications. Continental offers its solid state LiDAR with various field-of-view lens options. The camera is to be used by companies interested in ground or aerial applications where high-quality 3D point cloud and high-resolution map output is required. Starting with a resolution of 128x32 pixels (4096 pixels), the lightweight sensor captures up to 30 frames per second and can be used to support autonomous vehicle operation and ‘sense’ functionality. It can also support aerial mapping, inspection and other related applications.
Experiencing the interaction of man and machine in an original driver’s cab
Increasing digitalisation and automation will also impact the interaction of man and machine going forward. In an original-sized cab, Continental is showing Agritechnica visitors how an optimum human-machine interface provides drivers with workplace support and supplies them with the right information at the right time in a clear overview. The cab interior features two world premieres. The 7-inch screen of the instrumentation solution MultiViu Compact 7 shows vehicle information such as speed, engine speed and fill levels, and sends it to the smartphone via the Bluetooth module. MultiViu Media also provides extensive information. The technology platform, which comprises a monitor, radio and display controller, combines vehicle connectivity and control functions via CAN with diverse multimedia functions. Drivers can connect their smartphones to MultiViu Media and stream music or use the integrated touchscreen to control other devices in the vehicle.
Exhaust-gas after treatment: ready for the Euro V emissions standard
Sustainability will become even more important going forward. The Euro V emissions standard, which comes into force from 2019, is set to tighten exhaust gas regulations even more. One of the main aims is to further reduce soot particles emitted by off-highway vehicles. Continental is introducing two solutions to cater to these requirements. The metallic catalyst substrate, which enables easy-to-integrate oval and even asymmetrical design types, forms the basis for catalytic converter systems that are mounted directly on the engine. Continental is also introducing the ring catalyst, which enables highly integrated development of a complete exhaust-gas after treatment system including SCR (selective catalytic reduction) in a single container. Both strategies – close to the engine and with standardised box – clean exhaust gases effectively and cover a diverse range of possible applications. In the case of agricultural and construction machinery in particular, the engines are installed into different vehicle types, with the exhaust-gas after treatment system having to be certified for each individual application. An exhaust-gas after treatment system that can be used for multiple applications therefore also results in cost savings.