CLAAS launches its infinitely variable transmission system
Following the introduction of the new ARION 600 and 500 last year, CLAAS has extended the range with the introduction of a new CMATIC version, driven by a CLAAS designed and built infinitely variable transmission.
The new CMATIC transmission option will be available on all ARION 600 and 500 models. This means that CLAAS will now be able to offer an infinitely variable transmission option on all its tractors from the 145hp ARION 530 through to the 530hp XERION 5000, which is the most powerful infinitely variable tractor on the market and gives CLAAS the broadest range of infinitely variable transmission tractors on the market.
The new ARION CMATIC models are all fitted with the new EQ200 transmission, which has been designed and built by CLAAS in Paderborn, Germany. The new system is based around, two multi-plate clutches, a stepped planetary transmission and two wide angle hydrostatic units from Danfoss Power Solutions. It is the intelligent interconnection between the mechanical transmission and the hydrostatic units which gives the EQ200 its unique characteristics.
As the tractor accelerates, the two clutch shafts gradually adjust their speed and eventually align at the moment when the transmission automatically changes from the lower to the higher speed ratio.
As it changes to the higher speed ratio, the characteristics of the two hydrostatic pumps change, with the unit that was pumping changing function to being a motor, and the unit that was the motor becoming a pump.
This unique switch provides a completely seamless automatic change of range and avoids the need to manually change range. The driver does not notice any change in drive ratio as they accelerate, giving them the ability to go from 0 to 50km/h without any interruption in tractive power, combined with high, constant efficiency at any speed.
The new EQ 200 transmission is the result of a €40 million investment by CLAAS and demonstrates the company’s commitment to the future development of the CLAAS tractor range. The transmission has involved over 80,000 hours of development work, with over 17,000 hours of testing on a newly developed test rig and a further 15,000 hours of validation on the road and in the field.
The Paderborn plant has been used by CLAAS as a ‘drive’ design technology and manufacturing centre for nearly 50 years. As a consequence, staff there have long experience in the development of drive components, such as the TERRA TRAC units used on combine harvesters, electronics and hydraulics. Aside from manufacturing components used within CLAAS products, the division has also supplied components to a wide range of agricultural and other off-road machinery manufacturers, in addition to automotive manufacturers such as Volvo and Mercedes Benz.