- Focus on the megatrends of digitalization, automation and sustainability
- World premieres: premium radial tires produced in-house, and intelligent rubber tracks
- Modular driver workstation and exhaust-gas aftertreatment system round off the complete range for the agricultural industry
Hanover, November 13, 2017. At Agritechnica, the leading international trade fair for agricultural technology, taking place from November 12 to 18 in Hanover, technology company Continental will be presenting its custom-made solutions for greater efficiency in the fields at Booth F19 in Hall 3. “Our future path is clearly mapped out. We will continue to expand our agricultural business and, in parallel, step up our digitalization, connectivity and automation activities” commented Hans-Jürgen Duensing, the Continental Executive Board member who is also responsible for the off-highway segment. “Data are 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 thereby significantly cut costs.”
Enhanced efficiency is also a priority for the new premium radial tires, designed for use in the agricultural industry, and which will have their world premiere at Agritechnica. “Having the right tires 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 Tire division. “This is why our return to the agricultural tire 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.”
The first two agricultural tires from Continental’s new premium radial tire portfolio – the Tractor70 and the Tractor85 – are celebrating their world premiere at Agritechnica. The two tires share the seal ‘Engineered for Efficiency’. Thanks to innovative bead and nylon technologies they are characterized by their robustness and durability, and also ensure a high degree of ride comfort and tractive force. The tires have been produced in the Continental plant in Lousado, Portugal, since September. The agricultural tire portfolio is to be developed to include a total 100 sizes by 2019.
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 minimized. 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 tires depending on the particular application.
Sensor technology also plays an important role in other Continental components. The company is currently working on a new high-resolution vehicle surroundings sensor to support highly and fully automated driving in combination with other sensors. The high-resolution 3D Flash LIDAR creates a comprehensive and detailed 3D image of the area up to 200 meters around the vehicle that is accurate to just a few centimeters. The sensor is reliable even in adverse weather conditions and dusty environments. This makes it a key component of the 3D environment model that will deliver a seamless, true-to-life, 360-degree view of the entire vehicle surroundings. Alongside precise data evaluation, it is a basic requirement for highly advanced driver assistance functions and automated driving, including work out in the fields. The 3D Flash LIDAR works with pulses of laser light. This simple yet very efficient method allows us to construct a highly accurate and undistorted map of the environment. Series production is scheduled to start after 2020.
Increasing digitalization 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.
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 aftertreatment system including SCR (selective catalytic reduction) in a single container. Both strategies – close to the engine and with standardized 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 aftertreatment system having to be certified for each individual application. An exhaust-gas aftertreatment system that can be used for multiple applications therefore also results in cost savings.
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