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Monday 25 September 2017

Fendt plays the field with latest silage harvester

Demonstration day gives testers a chance to try out German giant Fendt’s newest machine, the Katana 65. By BruceLett

Boasting what Fendt claims is the largest chopping cylinder in the industry at 720mm in diameter, the Katana 65 (below left) has other features such as a six-roller feeder unit from header to cylinder to even out the crop flow into the cylinder
Boasting what Fendt claims is the largest chopping cylinder in the industry at 720mm in diameter, the Katana 65 (below left) has other features such as a six-roller feeder unit from header to cylinder to even out the crop flow into the cylinder

Bruce Lett

Venturing into the self-propelled silage harvester market, Fendt recently showcased its new Katana 65 at a field event in Germany.

The Katana 65 broadens the spectrum of equipment that the AGCO-owned firm offers and will, no doubt, be watched closely by Claas, John Deere, New Holland and Krone, the other relative newcomer to the self-propelled market.

Peter-Josef Paffen, managing director of Fendt, said that the company had to move into the harvester market.

Portfolio

"For a leading global agricultural equipment manufacturer and the premium brand, Fendt must offer all key machines in the product portfolio. With the Fendt Katana 65, we have taken the last big step towards becoming a full-liner," Mr Paffen said.

To design and develop the Katana 65, Mr Paffen said that the newly formed forage harvester team, which included 20 engineers, used the existing development expertise from the tractor division at Fendt.

This led to new ideas and enabled new approaches in the development of the Fendt Katana 65 forage harvester.

Boasting what the firm claims is the largest chopping cylinder in the industry at 720mm in diameter, the Katana 65 has other features such as a six-roller feeder unit from header to cylinder to even out the crop flow into the cylinder.

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The Katana comes from the Japanese word for a samurai sword and stands for high performance, sharpness and precision.

Powering the Katana 65 is a 16-litre, V8, 650hp MTU engine, which uses selective catalytic reduction technology to meet Stage 3B emissions targets.

MTU was, essentially, the engine wing of the Mercedes family (including Detroit diesel) until 2005 when Daimler Chrysler sold it off to a Swedish firm. MTU produces engines from 120kW to more than 9,000kW for everything from a generator to a submarine.

For the operator, the Katana is fitted with a new Fendt cab, which, the firm says, was designed specially for the harvester. The cab will also be equipped with a multi-function armrest, the new Variotronic control and joystick, plus a 10.4-inch Varioterminal.

In designing the electrical and electronic system, Fendt again used the expertise of the tractor division. The Katana features CAN bus communication in its electrical system, which effectively cuts down on the volume of wiring necessary in a machine. CAN bus uses two CAN wires, CAN High and CAN Low, to carry all communication and commands between electronic control units.

On the road, the Katana has a top speed of 40km/h and Fendt, again using the expertise of the tractor division, has developed rear-axle suspension to improve driving safety, stability and operator comfort.

No doubt it will be a welcome addition when it reaches our shores, assuming Fendt does some testing here before releasing it onto our market.

The high road speed and suspended rear axle should help cut transport times between jobs.

At the business end up-front, John Deere-owned German firm Kemper is providing the pick-up and headers for the Fendt harvester as a factory solution.

Fendt says that it has had two prototypes out working for the past two years. In addition to having undergone several hundred hours on the test bench, the company states that these machines have successfully harvested thousands of hectares of maize and grass as part of their development and evaluation programme.

Efficient

The firm adds that the Katana 65 has proven to be extremely fuel efficient while delivering outstanding chopping quality and a high output.

Fendt says it plans to put the Katana 65 into production in the early part of next year.

Essentially, though, these are pre-production machines and will be limited to about 10. These, Fendt says, are being built specifically for extensive field testing and further development, before going into full-scale production. All 10, Fendt claims, will be operated by the company and will be working with German-based contractors.

While the prototypes have been produced at AGCO's Marktoberdorf plant and headquarters in Germany, the firm plans to build the Katana 65 in a new facility at AGCO Hohenmölsen GmbH, south of Leipzig, Germany.

Irish Independent



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