Shortlines Krone and Lemken partnered to create an autonomous machine for forage harvesting and tillage.
They’re calling it the Combined Powers autonomous process unit.
The machine has a cabless diesel-electric drive unit capable of up to 170 kilowatts or 230 horsepower to pull various implements.
The implement controls the drive unit, a detail the companies considered “imperative” for optimal results. The implement and the drive unit act as one integrated smart system, communicating with each other using ISOBUS and Tractor Implement Management. Multiple sensors and artificial intelligence detect obstacles and keep the machine running safely.
The operator will control and monitor the Combined Powers system from a mobile device. The operator can transmit jobs and job reports via a communication module and a data exchange hub called the agrirouter.
Combined Powers is an exclusively proprietary development — from the frame and driveline to the software. It’s specifically designed for Krone and Lemken attachments and automation of forage harvesting and tillage.
Krone and Lemken say Combined Powers passed trials in cultivating, plowing, sowing, mowing, tedding and raking last year. A project manager working on Combined Powers says additional processes will follow in the future.
The autonomous unit is meant for 24-hour use all year round. It’s positioned as a solution to skilled labor shortages in agriculture and as a way to increase farmers’ efficiency and productivity.
Combined Powers will undergo intensive trials in all types of conditions this year, as Krone and Lemken seek feedback from farmers and contractors about the units.
The companies didn’t announce where the trials are happening and did not respond to a request for an interview about Combined Powers by the time of this recording.