‘Green Productivity’ is the guiding theme of Systems & Components, venue for the international supplier industry for agricultural machinery and the off-highway sector, to take place in parallel with Agritechnica, 12-18 November 2023, Hanover, Germany. Deadline for exhibitor registration is 1 February.
The two trade fairs will be focusing on how farmers can increase productivity while protecting the soil, environment and climate. Technologies enabling an increased level of automation and networking will be presented. The registration deadline for exhibitors is 1 February 2023.
Systems & Components aims to answer the question of how the increased need for both high-quality foods and feeds can be met while remaining on course for climate neutrality. The guiding theme this year will be ‘Green Productivity’ with the event offering a platform to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies supporting a sustainable transformation in agriculture. Showcasing the latest developments and innovations in components for agricultural machinery and the off-highway sectors, the trade fair complements Agritechnica. Industry leaders, medium-sized companies and start-ups will present their expertise and innovation prowess in engines, electronics, drive technology, hydraulics, cabs and power lifts as well as replacement and wear parts.
Automation – megatrend in the off-highway sector
Experts agree that increases in productivity and efficiency in agriculture can only be achieved with a sustainable approach to arable land, with farmers facing a range of challenges in the implementation. At the exhibition grounds in Hanover, exhibiting companies will be presenting diverse solutions such as driver assistance, machine optimisation systems, precision farming technologies as well as autonomous drive concepts that keep the machines on track or recognise soil conditions.
Unthinkable just ten years ago, intelligent implements can today manage the targeted cultivation of farmland across combine harvesters, choppers and tractors using intelligent sensor systems, electronics, GPS-based satellite navigation and plug-in technologies – all part of precision farming which will form the focus at both Systems & Components and Agritechnica.
Mobile working machines are increasingly becoming ‘smart devices’ for field work, continuously collecting data using networked sensors, a Systems & Components trend that is now dominating the entire off-highway industry. Software solutions process the data, providing farmers with valuable decision-making tools. Analysing and modelling plant growth, these systems also report machine downtime and malfunctions as soon as they occur. Featured at the trade fair grounds in Hanover, Germany, condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are increasingly the focus in the sector, particularly monitoring the condition of the entire drive train.
Start-ups driving innovations
Drivers of construction machines today are no longer manually operating large steering wheels or control levers. Electrohydraulic pilot control using multifunctional joysticks is the essential prerequisite for the next stage of automated mobile working machines, leading to ‘controlled traffic farming’. The challenge in implementing automated and networked machine functions in practice is ultimately the provision of modern communications and information technologies.
The question, if the navigation solution for entire fleets of autonomous working machines should be developed in-house or purchased, is important for designers of mobile working machines for the construction industry, agriculture and forestry or mining. This is leading to co-operations with start-ups that drive digital transformation, bringing together expertise in robotics, image recognition and navigation, thus enabling progress in developing machinery for demanding terrain. Small start-up companies are increasingly important as cooperation partners, particularly for artificial intelligence (AI). In return for their know-how, the start-ups benefit from the machine manufacturers’ international network as well as their sales and service expertise. Systems & Components is the ideal platform for this knowledge and technology transfer in the off-highway sector.
Smart robots for field work
Many of the investments in start-ups currently focus on the development and commercialisation of autonomous agricultural machinery. Thanks to their wheel design or caterpillar drives, adjustable track width and relatively low weight, smart field robots while performing multiple tasks are not only more gentle on the soil but also more energy-efficient than conventional technology. In addition to RTK steering systems, the self-propelled agricultural machine also use a comprehensive sensor system for detecting hazards and obstacles. The systems can therefore undertake monotonous, tiresome and sometimes hazardous work, freeing up valuable labour time. Particularly in regions in which large areas are farmed, interest in this technology is great.
Engines fit for the future
New drive concepts will be needed for the continued automation of machines. Designers and engineers will find an attractive mix of turnkey solutions and design options at Systems & Components. The engine manufacturers will be offering technology that is not only robust and intelligent but also tailored to the varied and individual requirements of the off-highway market, where downsizing and downspeeding are key aspects. The modern multi-fuel engines expected at Systems & Component offer a modular architecture that can be powered with diesel or natural gas and are also suitable for hybrid applications. Virtually all suppliers of classic combustion engines will be in Hanover, presenting a comprehensive range of solutions that enable OEM customers to comply with the stringent exhaust emissions regulations, the European Off-Highway Stage V and US Off-Highway Tier 4 final. Turbochargers with variable geometry and two-stage turbochargers, high pressure common rail fuel injection, patented exhaust gas aftertreatment systems are just some of the many solutions on display.
Many experts see the key to the transformation of off-highway mobility in alternative fuels, which can be obtained from green electricity and hydrogen thanks to modern Power-to-X processes.
Consequently, the engine manufacturers will be presenting their next steps towards climate neutrality at Systems & Components with market-ready hydrogen engines. Many of these concepts forgo the usual fuel cells or batteries for energy conversion and storage, instead, combusting the hydrogen directly in the engine with virtually no emissions.
Electromobility on the move
Exhibitors will be demonstrating that tailored electric motor and hybrid solutions are now able to convince in a variety of off-highway applications. Farmers are increasingly using their electricity produced on their farm for electrically powered wheel loaders in and around the farm buildings – in part because the rechargeable battery technology is also continuing to evolve. The electrical components have been optimised for a high power density and low maintenance and can be easily integrated into existing mechanical and hydraulic systems.