21 November 1997

MDW acquisition means big changes for Case line-up

BIG changes to the Case line-up of combine harvesters have come after the companys acquisition of production and distribution rights for MDW combines.

For the first time in a number of years Case is able to offer a range of straw-walker combines to market along side its Axial-Flow machines – and it also means the revolutionary Arcus combine can be marketed in Case livery.

But first a look at the existing Axial-Flow range which has received sufficient tweaking to warrant, Case considers, the new designation of the 2300 series. Outwardly identical to the one before, the main changes have occurred in the cab, where a new automatic Climate Control system is now in place.

Cab temperature

Designed to hold the cab temperature at a required level it is claimed to enable the operator to concentrate better on driving the combine.

Of perhaps more interest to visitors at Agritechnica was the launch of the 525 and 527 straw-walker models, each of which is offered in two formats. The 525 can be powered by either a 195hp or a 229hp engine, the lower powered version having a mechanical transmission and the other a hydrostatic. In the same vein, the 527 is offered with either a 268hp or 271hp block along with the transmission variants.

Visually similar in build, the 525 has five straw-walkers and the 527 four, each with four steps. Header options range from 16ft to 20ft for the 525 and from 18ft to 24ft for the 527. Due to be available for the 1998 season, prices have yet to be announced, although it is generally agreed that they will be lower than those of the Axial-Flow models.

And then there is the Arcus. A combine which has set out to break with combine tradition in a big and impressive way. It would appear, after three years of testing in European conditions, it has some success to look forward to.

Developed initially by MDW, the four-wheel drive Arcus has its large driving wheels at the rear and steering wheels at the front, an arrangement which the designers claim better utilises the weight distribution of the combine.

If that configuration is not enough to cause a second look, discovering how the Arcus sets about achieving a 40t/hour output should make even the most staid tarry a while.

After the crop has been cut and passed along the bed it is met by two spiral separators occupying the space normally used by the elevator. These separators extend well back into the main section of the combine and, due to their connection to the table, are required to rise and fall as the header is raised or lowered.

Most of the straw leaves the combine half way along the machine, with grain and chaff being moved into two separation areas at the rear, with the grain finally entering a 12,000-litre tank.

Case intends to have a few models working in the UK next season with a commercial launch scheduled for the autumn.

Case 525 is one of two straw walker models the firm can now offer after its acquisition of production and distribution rights for MDW combines.