For ten years or so, technology such as GPS, auto steering, precision seeding and variable rate fertiliser application have helped boost farmers’ profits.
The centre will be pivotal in its development of new agricultural products.
The NZ$25 million centre will have NZ$5.4m of testing gear to speed development of the company’s headers, forage harvesters and tractors.
It was formally opened by Catherina Claas Muhlhauser, daughter of Helmut Claas, after 22 months construction. It has 13 test cells to replicate real world and extreme situations worldwide.
The electrically driven rigs can run unattended 24/7, doing lengthy tests over concise timelines.
The largest rigs can accommodate combine cutter-bars up to 12m working width and will test engineering specifications and durability.
The building itself incorporates several firsts, not least a 600-tonne foundation slab that was cast in a single piece and sits on an air suspension system.
The building has a 1200kW cooling system reckoned equivalent to the heating systems found in 120 family homes.
A purpose built electronics lab develops and tests electronic systems used in harvesting machines.
Complete machine systems are housed in cabinet size enclosures, allowing systems that interact throughout a machine to be tested and improved before upgrades are built into production machines.