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Cutting the commute for New Holland’s combine harvesters

To exploit every last minute while harvesting conditions are optimal, New Holland’s developers work hard to decrease time spent driving between fields. By reducing the pass-by noise of the machines, they can gain a higher road speed rating – saving the drivers’ time.

When harvesting corn, time is of the essence. The corn needs to be harvested while conditions are optimal. Nowadays, more and more of the work at harvest time is done by ever-larger contracting companies, with centralized fleets that must drive quickly between fields. Just as trucks have a lower speed limit than cars, there are progressively lower limits for agricultural vehicles, and one important parameter for setting the limits is pass-by noise.


The legal noise limit for road vehicles is 90 dB(A). For 20-tonne combine harvesters with complex, decoupled powertrains, it is a challenge to keep the noise under this threshold at the higher speeds that customers were requesting.


Brüel & Kjær created a system that uses GPS time stamps in the noise data to correlate pass-by noise measurements with noise data from on-vehicle sources like the CAN bus and on-vehicle transducers. Therefore, engineers can correlate parameters like engine speed and hydraulic pressure with sound peaks measured trackside. In addition, they can make detailed correlations between specific components and the acoustic levels where the legal limit is measured.


New Holland can drill down into the noise data to accurately and quickly target specific sources and components for noise reduction, enabling faster road speeds within the legal noise limits.

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