Note: Video of the machine in action has been added below.
Vermeer on Thursday unveiled its fully continuous round baler concept, a prototype machine still in the development phase.
Developed in conjunction with Lely Group, the new CRB concept machine allows two bales to be formed simultaneously, enabling the operator to continually move forward without having to stop and wait for a finished bale to eject before moving on to the next bale.
"When operators must stop and wait for each bale to eject, that eats up a lot of time that, when you add it all up, could be devoted to another field or another task," Jason Andringa, Vermeer's President of Forage and Environmental Solutions said in a statement. "Continuous baling will help operators become more productive, so they can produce the same, if not more, bales in the same amount of time, and with fewer balers and operators in the field."
Vermeer's design allows the CRB concept machine to shape two bales simultaneously. As the first bale nears its desired size, it is guided back toward the bale ramp. At the same time, the next bale begins to take shape near the feed intake. Once the finished bale is ejected, the next bale moves into the main chamber for completion. This process is repeated continuously until the job is done.
"Stopping, waiting and starting again takes a toll on the operator," said Andringa. "So in addition to improving productivity and saving time, continuous baling also helps to reduce operator fatigue."
According to Alexander van der Lely, CEO of Lely Group, continuous round baling is something hay and forage producers worldwide are ready for.
"No matter where you are, there is a certain window of opportunity to perform baling and forage harvesting to create the right feed for cattle. The continuous round baler allows you to bale more bales, with the right quality, in the narrow window of opportunity you have," van der Lely said.
The CRB is still in the development phase and is not yet available for sale. According to Andringa, an official launch date has yet to be determined.