Comer Industries and Claas Hungaria: when power transmission meets harvest know how.
Italian manufacturer of advanced engineering systems and mechatronic solutions for power transmission Comer Industries Spa and agricultural engineering equipment manufacturer Claas Hungaria have set the base to enter into an agreement for the supply of a complete transmission to equip Claas’ grain headers such as the models Flex and Vario.
In 2014 the Claas’ machines successfully passed field tests. The Comer Industries’ transmission is currently in advanced pre-production. The market is rewarding this solution with positive results in terms of purchase of the new machine.
Claas is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural engineering equipment. The company is the European market leader in combine harvesters and is the world leader in self-propelled forage harvesters. Claas is also a top performer in agricultural engineering with tractors, agricultural balers and green harvesting machinery.
To develop this new implement, Claas chose Comer Industries to provide the complete transmission for the double synchronized cutterbar and for the single cutterbar.
Matthias Stauffer, Product Manager at Claas Self-Propelled Harvesting Machines, Claas, says: «The new generation of Vario cutterbars represents the next logical stage in over 50 years of development of adjustable cutterbar tables. The new concept ensures quick adaptation to the grain and rapeseed harvest and is therefore the ideal system for harvesting the respective type of crop».
Providing transmissions for grain headers is not a new challenge for Comer Industries: for more than 25 years, the company has been designing and manufacturing gearboxes for a wide range of these applications.
Focused on customer needs
Comer Industries’ solution has been developed in co-design with the customer. Claas was looking for a transmission for double cutterbars, realized in such a way as to avoid the loss of synchronism between the two bars, typical of the systems using belt transmission.
Comer Industries proposed a complete side transmission for cutterbars, consisting of the N-671 gearbox unit, produced in aluminum to obtain a significant weight decrease 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. Particular attention was paid to design solutions to maximize reliability and light weight of the system.
Specific laboratory bench tests have been 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 on the field have also been carried out jointly with the customer. Specific calculation tools have been implemented and verified on the field: this approach aims at the correct sizing of the drive, granting safety standards are achieved.
With the goal of continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, the project has been managed by a multifunctional team following APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) methods as well as DFMEA (Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis), PFMEA (Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis) and PPAP (Production Part Approval Process).
This, together with Comer Industries’ experience in the market place, provides flexibility in gearbox selection and confidence that any gearbox offered has been well tested and proven to provide years of reliable service.
Comer Industries business model development is based upon EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) methodologies. This internal process and safety control assigns each gearbox component a classification with regards to failure and level of safety. Different levels call for different process controls or sub-supplier selection. A separate metallurgic laboratory at Comer Industries’ Headquarters analyses individual key gearbox components to guarantee their mechanical and chemical properties, and ultimately the safety of the implement itself.
In addition to laboratory testing of gearboxes and components, Comer Industries has considerable experience assisting customers with field tests aimed at validating specific applications and shortening the time to market for new machines.
Sebastian Gamble, Head of Purchasing at Claas, comments on the partnership with Comer Industries as follows: «With Comer Industries we have developed a premium product. The Italian team was fully committed to follow the relevant milestones of the projects and offered smart problem-solving solutions. We are on the right path to develop more successful products together!»
Comer Industries offers complete power transmissions, whether the job requires custom engineered solution or a more standard product. An innovative engineering approach, together with the recognised know-how in the agricultural market, make Comer Industries the preferred partner in the power transmission components business.