One of the most talked about launches at the National Ploughing Championships this week is that of the Fusion 3 baler-wrapper from McHale.
The first two Fusions earned robust reputations, so the new machine has a lot to live up to.
James Heanue, McHale's Irish sales manager, said the Fusion 3 was an integrated system that draws on the strengths of its predecessors while introducing a plethora of new features.
These include changed machine guards for better access and a more modern look, a new platform and handrails for easier access to the net system, and improved net storage capacity on the main platform.
A heavy-duty Walterschied PTO and a five-tine bar pick-up is used on the new machine.
Double row rotor bearings reduce service intervals, and contractors will be able to make use of additional film roll holders.
Judging by the publicity photos, the Fusion 3 appears more streamlined than its predecessor. New twin skin panels give it a modern look.
The machine is fitted with a split-drive gearbox and a heavy duty PTO with star tubing and crosses.
"The Fusion 3 machines will be fitted with a 2m galvanised high-intake pick-up," said McHale's sales manager Mr Heanue.
"We estimate the five-tine bar pick-up system will give 25pc better ground cleaning," added Mr Henue.
"The feed rotor on all Fusion 3 machines is welded on both sides for superior strength, and on the drive side the rotor is fitted with a double-row bearing with a long service life."
Chop quality monitoring systems have been installed, and knife working pressure is monitored and displayed on the control box.
If the knife pressure becomes too high or low, audible and graphic alarms are activated.
A sensor monitors the distance between the top of the knife and the spine on the rotor, and if the knife moves out of position, the operator is notified via the control box.
Customers will have the option to upgrade the chopper unit on the machine to a selectable knife system.
This provides three options: engage and chop with a bank of 11 knifes; a bank of 12; or fine chop with both knife banks, which brings the 23-knife chopper system into play.
This is capable of delivering a chop length of approximately 46mm.
The bale chamber on the new Fusion will be fitted with 18 heavy-duty rollers which all use 50mm heavy-duty forged shafts.
The bale chamber splits horizontally, raising the top section upwards, while the lower section tips backwards simultaneously, ejecting the bale into the wrapping ring.
The wrapping ring can apply four layers of film in approximately 20 seconds, or six layers in around 30 seconds.
The Expert Plus control console, when combined with the load-sensing valve, is capable of making both baler and wrapping operations fully automatic.
An electronic control system provides clear performance indicators on a graphic display.
In addition, its lube check alarm reminds the operator to check grease and oil levels, while forage chop length can be adjusted using the selectable knife option.
The McHale Fusion 3 will be on show at stand M396.