Mod­ern full-har­vest har­vest­ing har­vesters in the beet and pota­to har­vest are high­ly com­plex agri­cul­tur­al machines that per­form the entire har­vest­ing process ful­ly auto­mat­i­cal­ly. The desire to increase effi­cien­cy has led to the fact that both the machines and the stor­age bunkers have become larg­er and larg­er, allow­ing more and more rows to be har­vest­ed simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. A trailed pota­to har­vester of the lat­est gen­er­a­tion has a total weight of over ten tons. When ful­ly filled, a mod­ern beet har­vester can even reach a total weight of over 60 tonnes. This weight cre­ates a dan­ger­ous con­flict of objec­tives in the devel­op­ment of har­vesters. How can weight be reduced with­out caus­ing a reduc­tion in per­for­mance and volume?


Our com­pe­tence: Weight reduc­tion as an impor­tant devel­op­ment goal

In prod­uct devel­op­ment, design­ers of new har­vest­ing pro­to­types are work­ing to solve this chal­lenge. They know that cus­tomers want to reduce soil com­paction. One solu­tion is to use wider tyres with a larg­er con­tact area. The dis­ad­van­tage is that this does not result in a reduc­tion in weight. If a man­u­fac­tur­er of agri­cul­tur­al machin­ery wants to reduce the weight of his har­vesters, the use of elas­tomers and plas­tics is essen­tial. In addi­tion to weight reduc­tion, plas­tics also offer advan­tages in terms of dura­bil­i­ty and abra­sion resis­tance. Elas­tomers, on the oth­er hand, score points with their elas­tic­i­ty and good seal­ing and damp­ing properties.

In coop­er­a­tion with the lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of har­vesters, we often car­ry out joint part devel­op­ments for har­vester pro­to­types. Thanks to our mate­ri­als exper­tise in the field of rub­ber and plas­tics and our many years of expe­ri­ence, chal­lenges in the pro­duc­tion of assem­blies and com­po­nents are over­come more quick­ly. Our own test bench­es for the pre­lim­i­nary inspec­tion of mate­ri­als and assem­blies reduce the time required for field tests. In this way, we active­ly sup­port design­ers in bring­ing inno­v­a­tive pro­to­types to series pro­duc­tion readi­ness more quickly.

Each indi­vid­ual idler roller in the har­vester reduces the weight – by a total of almost 500 kilograms

Up to 200 sup­port rollers with a weight of 600 kilo­grams are installed in the screen belt sys­tems for har­vesters. The JÄGER Group has tak­en up the chal­lenge of redesign­ing the com­po­nent, which pre­vi­ous­ly con­sist­ed of met­al. After exten­sive mate­r­i­al tests, glass-fiber rein­forced plas­tic was select­ed in com­bi­na­tion with a tread made of a rub­ber com­pound. Only the ball bear­ing is still made of met­al today. With this choice of mate­r­i­al we have achieved a weight reduc­tion to only 550 grams per idler – the har­vester thus weighs half a ton less.

Crop con­vey­or belts with rub­ber­ized car­ri­ers pro­tect the harvest

No con­sumer would buy pota­toes whose skin is dam­aged. Our crop con­vey­or belts with rub­ber­ized car­ri­ers in pota­to har­vesters are there­fore very impor­tant. The steel dri­vers used so far are too hard and can cause pres­sure marks and scrapes on the crops. The JÄGER Group offers indi­vid­u­al­ly adapt­ed elas­tomer com­pounds for dri­vers and con­vey­or belts. In addi­tion to a weight reduc­tion, this also pro­tects the potatoes.

New devel­op­ment of assem­blies with high reliability

Togeth­er with the man­u­fac­tur­ers of har­vesters, we are work­ing on the new devel­op­ment of com­po­nents to map the entire life cycle of the prod­uct. In addi­tion to prod­uct prop­er­ties such as abra­sion resis­tance and reli­a­bil­i­ty, this also includes the avail­abil­i­ty of spare parts. Replace­ment time is an impor­tant cri­te­ri­on, espe­cial­ly dur­ing har­vest­ing, and the time and effort required for assem­bly must also be tak­en into account. Too long assem­bly times result in expen­sive machine downtimes.

We see a great oppor­tu­ni­ty in every devel­op­ment part­ner­ship for the con­struc­tion of a new pro­to­type for har­vesters: We bring in new ideas and prove our own mate­r­i­al com­pe­tence in the devel­op­ment project! The con­trol of mate­r­i­al prop­er­ties with the help of the appro­pri­ate mix­ture is a suc­cess fac­tor in the devel­op­ment of parts. Every assem­bly whose weight can be reduced and which is supe­ri­or to the mate­ri­als used so far in terms of dura­bil­i­ty helps to over­come the con­flict of objectives.


ARTEMIS Kautschuk- und Kun­st­stoff-Tech­nik GmbH

- Ger­many -

Trans­port­ban­den­fab­rie EA Broeke­ma BV

- Nether­lands -

Tel. +31 598 – 696464

Broeke­ma Belt­way USA Inc. 

- USA -

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