"Machine of the Year 2012": prize for Claas JAGUAR forage harvester with MAN V12 engine
This accolade is awarded every two years at the Agritechnica agricultural machinery show by trade magazines from all over Europe, publishers Deutschen Landwirtschaftsverlag acting as patron. Those innovations in agricultural technology are singled out that are best suited to practice.
One major reason for awarding the prize to the Claas JAGUAR was the new V12 engines from MAN. The top model from Claas is powered by an MAN D2862 V12 diesel engine rated at 650 kW (884 hp) with a capacity of 24.2 litres. The Claas JAGUAR is equipped with the "Dynamic Power" control system, which automatically reduces the engine's power output if full power is not required. The electronics in the MAN common-rail engines makes it possible to implement such a control system and provides the interfaces for it. This Claas development adjusts the engine's output in the partial load range to the conditions of operation in ten stages, which considerably reduces fuel consumption and cuts the costs per harvested tonne. The diesel engine always runs in the optimum speed range around 1,800 rpm. Together with the cruise control system this ngtechnology both saves fuel and makes the driver's work easier. The machine's maintenance- and user-friendliness too played a major role in the award decision. The long maintenance intervals of the MAN diesel engines of up to 500 hours of operation make for high maintenance efficiency. The prize-winning vehicle was displayed at the Agritechnica show in special black paintwork – the reason for this is that it also marked an anniversary: the forage harvester is the 30,000th JAGUAR to be built.
Forage harvesters reap plants such as maize, grass or alfalfa, but unlike combine harvesters they chop and process the entire plant. After passing through the intake rollers the plants are chopped up in a cutting cylinder. Then rollers crack open the fruit, e.g. maize kernels. The harvested matter is then discharged at high speed via a slewing spout into a transporter travelling alongside or behind. The chopped matter is silaged for animal food, and more and more forage harvesters are now being used for harvesting the regenerative materials for energy production.
Powerful harvesters like the JAGUAR 980 forage harvester from Claas are a typical application for MAN diesel engines in the off-road sector. Highly efficient, they are designed to harvest large areas with a low energy input and as few process steps as possible. Today such machines harvest crops with a working width of up to nine metres and are among the most efficient items of agricultural machinery. The most powerful JAGUAR forage harvester can process up to 400 tonnes per hour, which is equivalent to the load capacity of 16 semitrailer trains. The trend is moving constantly towards even greater working widths and thus to higher engine ratings too. The main reasons why MAN engines are used in the JAGUAR 970 and 980 are to be found in their high efficiency and compactness, which means that high power requirements can be covered with just one MAN V8 or V12 engine (570 kW / 775 hp or 650 kW / 884 hp). Apart from the engines' high reliability and outstanding maintenance-friendliness their quiet running is an important factor: for long harvesting operations a low noise level is needed. The new MAN V12 engines are distinguished by their particularly low-vibration operation. On the roads too the JAGUAR is thus as comfortable to drive as a car with automatic transmission. It reaches its top speed at a very low engine speed and thus minimises both fuel consumption and driving noise. Two mechanical gears can be engaged electro-hydraulically.
Another innovation in the Claas JAGUAR demonstrates that today's agricultural machines are highly efficient tools with online links: the forage harvester can be fitted with Claas NIR sensors (near-infrared technology) that analyse the chopped matter in real time. They record the dry mass, starch, crude protein, crude fibre, crude fat and crude ash content of the grass or maize silage. This information allows the driver to adjust the cutters to the correct height, and for documentation of all quality data. It can also be read out via a telematics system, allowing a detailed insight into operational analysis.