Friday, November 24, 2017

Claas to build a new test centre

By WniF editors

Claas is significantly increasing its testing capacities for the development of new agricultural machinery by building a new centre at its site in Harsewinkel, Germany. By the time it’s completed in autumn 2018, the total investment in the new centre will be more than 15 million euros.

“We will merge the test laboratories at our Harsewinkel site into the new test centre; it will also enable us to expand our capacities and lower the dependency of our testing cycles on the harvest schedules,” the head of validation at Claas, Oliver Westphal, said.

The test centre will be able to simulate a broad variety of climatic conditions encountered during harvests around the world. These simulations help the engineers to assess the performance capabilities and reliability of the machinery at an early stage of its development.

The new centre will be equipped to test components for combine harvesters, forage harvesters and tractors.

“We exclusively test the functions and durability of the components in our machines,” Mr Westphal added. “They are becoming increasingly complex, while at the same time needing to satisfy an increasingly large raft of statutory requirements.

“We do not test the quality of harvest flow here; there are other test facilities responsible for that.”

The new test centre will be absolutely state-of-the-art, and the project manager in charge of construction, Ulrich Elfers said 300kW electric drive units will be used instead of diesel engines to test the transmission components.

The new test centre will also satisfy modern standards of energy efficiency. For example, a heat-recovery process will be installed into the test systems so that a conventional heating system will not be necessary in winter, while a water system with heat exchangers fitted to the underfloor radiators will provide cooling in summer.

The building will have total floor space of roughly 8,000 square metres, of which half will be used for assembly, the laboratories and the actual test facilities. Adjacent to these areas will be more than 200 workstations for test engineers and developers, as well as additional facilities containing the technical supply systems.

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