From the early days of the first combine in 1936, Claas has concentrated on developing machines design-ed to achieve optimum performance in European conditions.
When it was launched in 1996, the Lexion range set a new standard for combine harvester productivity.
Twenty years later Claas has unveiled the Lexion 700 range which introduces a number of new features and improvements to the cleaning and residual grain separation systems, the straw chopper and electronics.
In good news for smaller operators, there will also be a roll-out further down the range of performance enhancing features previously only available on top-of-the-range models.
Under the bonnet, the latest Lexion 700 series combines will from next year be powered by engines that are Tier 4f emission compliant. All these latest models will be powered by Mercedes Benz engines, with the exception of the Lexion 760, which will be powered by a 12.5 litre Perkins engine.
The top-of-the-range Lexion 780 and 770 models will have maximum power outputs of 625hp and 585hp respectively, compared to 598hp and 551hp on current models.
The Lexion 750 and 740 models will be fitted with a 10.7 litre engine.
A particular feature of recent Lexion models has been the development of systems and components designed to increase performance, but use less engine power, thereby saving fuel and making more power available for other components.
An example of this approach is the so called "dynamic cooling" system originally introduced two years ago on the Lexion 780. From this year that system will also now be fitted on the smaller Lexion 750 and 740 models.
The dynamic cooling package incorporates a charge-air pressure cooler, hydraulic fluid cooler and engine radiator.
Unlike a lot of competing cooling systems which are vertically mounted, with dynamic cooling the cooler package lies horizontally behind the engine - a design that the German manufacturer says intentionally targets a larger engine surface area. This draws clean air from above the combine into the radiator, which is then forced downwards over the engine before exiting through louvers in the side of the engine bay.
Crop flow control
It not only ensures clean air is being continuously drawn into the engine, but that the whole engine bay area is cleaner, reducing maintenance.
To accommodate the potential increased capacity possible due to the higher engine power, the top-of-the-range Lexion 780 now features a larger, 13,500-litre capacity grain tank. The discharge rate from the tank is 130 litres/second, which means that the huge tank can still be emptied in less than two minutes.
Claas has developed a new automatic crop flow control for the Lexion 700.
The crop flow control monitors and compares the rotation speed of the engine, and the APS primary and secondary separation systems.
Once the operator has set their preferred slip level using Cebis, when this is exceeded the crop flow system will alert the operator.
At the same time it shuts down the cutterbar drive and feederhouse, engages the cutterbar brake, disengages the unloading auger and reduces the cruise pilot speed to the minimum speed.
In this way the crop flow control system gives the operator confidence to push the combine and operate it at its maximum capacity, knowing that a potential blockage will be avoided as well as the downtime it would have incurred.