With the Lamma show just a couple of months away, now is perhaps a timely opportunity to consider entering for the 2016 Lamma Innovation Awards. Geoff Ashcroft talks to winners from the 2015 event.
Innovation continues to be a major highlight of the Lamma show and the 2016 event looks set to continue the innovation theme.
Those who walked off with the 2015 awards proved worthy winners. Horsch, it may be recalled, was presented with two awards for its innovative Boom Control Pro system.
In addition to being award overall best new product or innovation at the show, Boom Control Pro was also identified as the best new product or innovation for mechanical crop production equipment.
“We were delighted to be recognised for this development,” says Stephen Burcham, Horsch UK’s general manager. “We believe this is the most precise boom control system of any sprayer on the market, and it is helping growers to improve spray application accuracy, and reduce drift.”
While Mr Burcham believes the Lamma award has helped to increase sprayer sales this season, it has also highlighted awareness of how boom height can influence spray drift.
“The closer you can get to the target, the less drift will be created,” he says. “But doing so demands the best boom stability and control.”
Building on the success of Boom Control Pro, Horsch says Boom Sight is its next sprayer development.
Intended to boost the safety of spraying at night, Boom sight uses a laser on top of the tractor cab to scan ground conditions beyond the visibility offered by lights.
“Boom Sight will detect field obstacles 20m in front of you and provide an early warning,” he says. “It will also detect gaps in the crop and adjust its working height to suit.”
In addition to the awards presented to Horsch, four other manufacturers received recognition at the show.
Agriknives gained its award for a knife sharpening device. Developed by Irish contractor James Geoghegan, as a solution for his own forage wagons, the sharpener was created to handle all types of knife, including balers, forage wagons and shear grabs, for example.
“There’s just no need to sharpen twice a day when you sharpen correctly,” he says.
Mr Geoghegan says a lot of operators just don’t know how sharp they can make their knives.
“Even new blades are not as sharp as blades that have been across our machine.”
He believes the key to his sharpener’s success is its slow grinding speed combined with the use of coolant.
“If we keep the knives cool, we won’t affect the tempering of metal, so knives will stay hard and sharper for longer,” he says. “Typically, knives sharpened using our machine are lasting three days before they need sharpening again.”
“I have one customer who reckons our sharpener has saved him 10 litres of fuel per day with a Fendt 828 and Pottinger Jumbo forage wagon,” he says.
“Winning the Lamma competition was great – we’ve since sold over 70 machines, including one to New Zealand.”
Typical sharpening times are 60 seconds per knife, and the Agri knives machine costs €2,400 (£1,725).
Irish firm Moocall picked up its award for its tail-mounted calving sensor. Using accelerometers, the device monitors tail movement patterns and can detect an increase in tail activity when the cow is close to calving.
Via a roaming SIM, the device then contacts the farmer by text message, often within an hour of the predicted calving.
“We were very pleased to have won a Lamma Award and since launching Moocall at the beginning of 2015, we have sold over 5,000 units to over 20 countries,” says the firm’s Emmet Savage.
“As the electronic eyes and ears in the shed, it is a cost-effective solution to a long-standing problem,” he adds. “And the device is helping to educate farmers more and more about cow behavioural patterns when close to calving.”
The IAgrE Ivel environmental award for best new product or innovation was presented to Trelleborg, for the progressive traction tyre concept, which has since gone into production applied to the firm’s TM700 series.
Currently available in four sizes – expect more variants to follow – Progressive Traction uses a stepped, double-lug profile that improves tyre rigidity and increases the footprint.
Using a small, secondary lug at the base of the main lug, Trelleborg says it has been able to achieve a design of tyre that delivers two points of anchorage. In addition, there is said to be a reduction in vibration and an improvement in self-cleaning capability.
“In tests, our TM700 with Progressive Traction delivers around five per cent less slip than the regular TM700 tyre,” explains Trelleborg marketing manager Bruce Lauder (pictured left).
“It is quite an accolade to receive an environmental award for a tyre – its something we are very proud of, and we hope to show many additional sizes at Lamma 2016,” he adds.
The farm machinery and equipment innovation award, in association with Farmers Guardian, was awarded to Trakjak – an innovative device that attaches to the tractor’s lift arms to lift the rear wheels off the ground.
“It was great to get the recognition from winning a Lamma award,” says creator Pauric Fay. “Trakjak is a very safe means of jacking up and supporting the rear of tractors – it takes out the guesswork of setting up bottle jacks and using blocks of wood.”
To use Trakjak, the rear lift arms are connected to the Trakjak frame which runs under the rear of the tractor. Raising the lift arms pulls the frame against the pickup hitch and simply levers the tractor off the ground.
With rear wheels removed, Trakjak’s solid wheels enable the tractor to be slowly maneuvered – with four-wheel drive engaged – from workshop to wash bay, and vice-versa, making it easier to clean a tractor ahead of a strip-down or service, reducing the risk of contamination.
Since launching the device, Mr Fay has developed an alternative version that can be used with ladder-type continental hitches. But he has yet to develop one that can work with front linkage systems.
He has also created the Trakjak axle remover – a lifting device that is used in-conjunction with a pallet truck, and simplifies the removal of rear axle trumpet housings.
“Pallet trucks have great hydraulics – so I designed an adjustable frame with different bolt-hole patterns that can be bolted to the tractor’s axle,” he says. “By using the pallet truck as the carrier, it becomes much easier to remove and refit the axle housing.”
New for 2016 is an award designed to promote innovations, products, or practice which incorporate health and safety within their design.
For example, this may relate to design features such as lighter products, simplified production, longer life time, improved performance, as well as beneficial effects to the environmental.
SSAB’s key segment manager for agriculture, Johan Mattsson says; “It is common knowledge that agriculture is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. In some countries, farming accounts for twice as many deaths as all other industries and it has been the deadliest in U.S. industry every year for the last decade.
“The two main reasons for this is the number of older equipment still in use and the fact that safety has traditionally not been a priority from a design perspective.”
However, Mr Mattsson says this is all changing. “As well as producing lighter and stronger components, using high strength steel allows for many opportunities to increase safety in farming.
“For example, the Automotive sector has been transformed during the last 20-30 years where today, safe and fuel efficient cars are something that everyone takes for granted.
“It’s now time to look upon the agriculture segment in the same way and produce machinery with higher safety levels, reduced fuel consumption and increased cost efficient production methods.”
The award is open to any company, institution, organisation or individual. In addition, a product or a tool must have been produced as a prototype or be in production. It must also be suitable for serial production and a method must have been tested and documented for use in serial production.
There are no time limits within which the product or method must be evolved or developed.
Do you have a new product or innovation that could win a Lamma Award? If so, it is time to get your entry in.
Applications must be received by December 1, 2016, terms and conditions apply.
To enter the new Health and Safety award and find out full details, visit www.iagre.org/about/awards. Entries must be submitted by November 15.
All award winners will be announced and presented during the Lamma Show on January 20 and 21.