Partially autonomous harvesting
With the Tiger 6S, ROPA presented two new developments that automatically adjust the working depths of the harvesting attachment:
• R-Trim - automatic adjustment of the defoliator height
• R-Contour - automatic share depth adjustment of the individual rows at the RR lifting unit
Both systems adapt their working depth to the changing conditions in the beet crop throughout the field. The automatic systems react to different crown heights or to ground unevenness crosswise to the direction of travel. The currently used measuring system at the scalper has been extended to include an additional measuring system for recording the ground contour directly at the beet rows.
R-Trim - automatic defoliator height adjustment
Automatic defoliator height adjustment and ground contour sensor system for better quality of the harvested beets combined with a significant ease of operation
1. Normal sugar beets - medium crown height; 2. Large sugar beets - high crown height; 3. Normal sugar beets - medium crown height; 4. Small sugar beets - low crown height; 5. Angle transmitter; 6. Defined scalper height
A new powerful on-board computer on the lifting unit of the Tiger 6S reads all measured values within a split second and, with the aid of the newly developed software, changes the defoliator height or the lifting depth of the individual rows. The combination and interaction of both systems make the driver's work much easier and allows partly autonomous guiding of the lifter attachment. Topping losses due to changes in the condition of the crop are avoided without stress for the driver despite the reduction in the size of cut-off leaf stalks. This prevents not only the unnecessary pickup of soil by the lifting share and increased fuel consumption due to excessively deep lifting, but also root fracture of the beet if harvesting too flat.
The Micro-Topper comb detects the crown height of the topped beets. A height profile (blue line in the chart) is calculated from the average values of these crown heights. The height of the defoliator shaft is constantly adjusted to this profile. This prevents too intensive topping of the beet crowns, e.g. when the beet crop changes from small to large. Furthermore, too large leaf stalks are avoided when the beet size changes from large to small.
How does it work?
The driver uses the menu to set the desired height of the defoliator shaft over the cutting height of the scalper flail (red arrow in the chart). This setting defines the average length of the stalks remaining on the beet after the defoliator knives. An angle sensor on each Micro-Topper records the crown height of each beet row. In the case of differences in the crop growth (e.g. dry areas) the activated R-Trim automatically corrects the height guide of the defoliator shaft depending on the highest beet.
Automatic share depth adjustment of the individual rows at the RR lifting unit
The machine operator uses the joystick on the operating console to set the lifting depth as required and thus defines how deep the lifter share will penetrate the soil. Ultrasonic sensors beside every beet row record the ground surface contour. Powerful on-board computers process the measured values and ensure that the lifting depth is maintained in accordance with the ground contour. Compared to the previous systems for automatic adjustment of single rows, this system has many advantages, particularly with higher growth in beet rows beside roads.
How does it work?
The driver activates the R-Contour (ground contour sensor system) on the terminal. Thus, the share depth adapts to the ground contours. The activated R-Contour prevents root fracture of the beet if harvesting too flat or unnecessary pickup of soil if harvesting too deep. The share depth adjustment is displayed synchronously on the terminal.
RR lifting unit
RR lifting unit with automatic share depth adjustment of the individual rows and hydraulic stone protection
The RR lifting unit is equipped with counter-rotating oscillating shares, seven lifting rollers, completely maintenance-free hydraulic stone protection and single-row adjustment of the share depth. The 850 mm large depth-control wheels combined with the intelligent three-point suspension guarantee accurate depth control of the lifter. Maintenance costs are minimized with adjustable taper roller bearings in transmissions and the oscillating share drive.
With seven lifting rollers, welded as standard with extremely abrasion-resistant, carbide containing hard-coated wire "Ropa Scretec". Simple, fast exchange of the lifting rollers for varying conditions (different diameters, outfeed, infeed, etc.)
The defoliator and the lifter assembly can be raised hydraulically up to 90° above the lifting unit for service (scalper flails, lifting shares). It is raised from the cabin by pressing a button without requiring the driver to leave the cabin, or from the ground using the push buttons.
RAS - ROPA all-round defoliator
Integral leaf-layer or leaf ejector
The integral leaf layer shreds the beet leaves and deposits them between the rows. A press of the button in the cabin switches the machine. When operating with leaf ejection the shredded beet leaves are spread over the harvested area by a leaf-spreader with a leaf auger feeding the leaves to it. Optionally, it can be equipped with RBSO (without switch-over function to integral) with 4 fixed depth-control wheels as well as with a leaf pile conveyor for harvesting beet leaves (biogas or dairy cattle).
RIS/RISU - ROPA integral defoliator
ROPA integral defoliator - standard model for normal harvesting conditions
Leaves from the beet crowns are mulched with robust defoliator knives and spread between the rows. This process spreads the beet leaves with all their nutrients evenly over the soil, forming the optimal basis for the subsequent cultivation for quick conversion of the green waste to humus. The integral defoliator is available with depth-control wheels (RISU) and mechanically folding leaf sensor or without depth-control wheels (RISU) with a hydraulically folding leaf sensor.
The comb of the Micro-Topper follows each beet head, adjusting the trimming gap to the size of the head, so that the beet is cut not too much and returns maximum yield. Nothing is lost, no sugar beet is trimmed too much, and the quality is better than ever. The intensity of the cut can be easily adjusted from the cabin. You may choose between topping and "shaving off" leaves only (micro-topping).
RES - ROPA rubber defoliator
The speed and height of the two fully hydraulically powered and counter-rotating cleaning rotors can be independently adjusted – unique! The front shaft as a combined shaft is fitted with steel blades and cleaning rubbers, the second defoliator shaft is fitted with cleaning rubbers only.
Various settings can be stored and accessed on the joystick using a memory function.
Contractor and farmer Sören Kremeike reports about his experiences with the ROPA Tiger 6S with defoliator
Sören Kremeike operates his own farm with biogas system in Brome (eastern Lower Saxony) and serves as an agricultural contractor, who has specialized in sugar beets – from sowing to harvesting. Starting in 2015, sugar beet harvesting was done with a euro Tiger V8-4 with defoliator. For the 2020 harvest, the team selected a new Tiger 6S, also with defoliator. The reasons for the defoliator are the own biogas system and the demand for this process from various customers. When set correctly, very good defoliating results can be achieved. Service is provided by Palandt.
Cleaning - gentle, efficient and individually adjustable
The hydraulically tensioned sieve conveyor efficiently transports the beets to the first strainer wheel. The portal axis enable maximum throughput without slowing the beet flow or damaging the beets. The driver can steplessly adjust the sieve conveyor speed and reverse it if necessary from the cabin. The beet flow monitoring prevents the beets from overflowing the machine. Three strainer wheels equipped with forged tines, which have improved speed adjustment (a separate pressure sensor for each strainer wheel), clean the beets with extreme efficiency and care. The offset carrier tines ensure fast forwarding even at low strainer wheel rotation speeds.
The extra-long unloading conveyor is attached high up. A great advantage when overloading on driving alongside trailers, as it is performed shallower. The unloading conveyor is 3-way foldable and 2000 mm wide for simple laying of 10-meter-wide piles or easy loading on trailers. Gentle polyurethane fingers guarantee high feeding capacity with short unloading times of less than 50 sec. with a full beet bunker holding approx. 43 m³.