Agricultural Field Machinery for the future – from an Engineering Perspective
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aalborg University,
Fibigerstraede 16, DK-9220 Aalborg East, Denmark; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
When analyzing agricultural field machinery from an engineering perspective, it appears that the technical development has progressed in a different pattern compared to what is seen in other industrial mechanical or tooling systems. As in other fields, the technical development of agricultural field machinery has brought new technical and engineering elements into use. Especially for tractors and combine harvesters, where modern mechanical and control engineering solutions are implemented. Developing work on implements has more concerned on monitors, sensors and actuators for the classical adjustment elements. It is special for agricultural field machinery, that the overall design and the tooling principles have changed very little even since the time of horse driven units and during the following up-scaling of tractor and implement size, which has continuously taken place until now, where the power of an tractor is more than 10 times bigger, than for the first tractors. When analyzing the design of industrial mechanical or tooling systems, the technological and engineering based development has in many cases been accompanied by change of working principles, operation interactions and of the overall design and layout. The assumption is that the development of agricultural field machinery is in a stage where further up-scaling is not the best solution due to optimization of the overall production economy. Instead it is expected probable, that the next design step will involve a radical redesign of the whole systems for the different types of implements. A logical approach is development of compact integrated tooling systems, where propulsion and tooling systems will be integrated in harmonic systems and the design will be dedicated to specific operations. The sizing then, will be balanced due to a new set of conditions.