Claas' annual Lexion Adventures in the Field showcase event this summer in Omaha took a proud look back at the German company’s heritage and a look ahead at their latest combine offerings. The event drew dealers and farmer customers from across North America to the Class of America headquarters and combine assembly plant that produces the Lexion combine lineup.
Claas is celebrating its 100th jubilee in 2013 throughout the world. It was founded in 1913 in Germany by August Claas and his brothers. Today, Dr. Helmut Claas, the family-owned company’s second chairman, and his daughter, Cathrina Class-Muhlhauser, continue to manage the daily activities of the company.
Claas is the European market leader for combines and the world’s fourth largest ag machinery manufacturer. The company also offers hay equipment worldwide, including the popular JAGUAR self-propelled forage harvester.
The Omaha plant was built in 2001 as part of the Caterpillar/Claas partnership to produce the Lexion combines that were then sold through Caterpillar dealers. But when Caterpillar exited agricultural manufacturing in 2002, Claas purchased its 50% share in the partnership and, in 2003, its headquarters moved from Columbus, Ind., to Omaha.
Leif Magnusson, president of Claas North American Holdings, Inc., spoke proudly of Class as a family-owned company, likening its focus on family values to those of three- and four-generation U.S. farm families. “We operate under family values but with a corporate structure,” he said.
The company introduced its Lexion 700 Series in 2010 and in 2013 expanded the series with the new model 780. It officially was launched in January.
“This is our top-end Class 10 model, capable of operating the largest headers,” said Jeff Gray, product coordinator for Lexion combines. He said the trademark of the new Lexion 780 is a 16L Mercedes-Benz diesel engine that complies with Tier 4i fuel standards.
It produces 543 horsepower with a bulge that increases total power output to 590 hp. “To support the higher horsepower engine, CLAAS engineers integrated a new cooling system, dynamic cooling, that enhances cooling for larger engines with larger horsepower demands,” according to Gray.
A 63-inch rotating screen behind the engine draws in clean air from the top of the combine. Plus, air that is expelled from the engine through side cooling vents “create a curtain effect” that prevents debris buildup on the radiator, Gray said.
Claas Electronic Machine Optimization System, or CEMOS, technology is a dialogue-based system using sensors and monitors that allow the operator to establish correct settings under different situations. In the 780 series, CEMOS has become automated for small grain growers. CEMOS Automatic makes immediate adjustments in rotor speed, fan speed , rotor cover plate position and sieve openings based on changing conditions. For now, this automated function is available for small grains only.
670 Straw Walker
Gray also highlighted updates to the Lexion 670 straw walker combine that include improved fuel efficiency and emissions controls and a 300-bushel grain tank. To comply with the Tier 4i emissions standards, the 670 comes with a Caterpillar C 9.3L, 360-horsepower engine. It also features an optional 4XL unloading auger.
An optional Cruise Pilot system tracks speed, feeder house crop volume, engine speed and grain losses, to anticipate peak loads and maintain maximum production levels.