An innovation-interview with Michael and Leo jun. Einböck
with Michael and Leo jun. Einböck
Michael, you have recently presented 5 innovations. Before we go more into detail, a general question: In which product lines do you see the markets in the future?
There is great potential in all of our 4 product lines. Of course, as a smaller manufacturer, we cannot provide innovations and further developments in all areas or in new product lines every year. Therefore, we focus on our core area and continue to expand them regularly: While a few years ago, it was tillage and weeding technology with our HURRICANE and AEROSTAR-ROTATION, or two years ago the new CHOPSTAR-TWIN, it is now once again the hoeing technology with CHOPSTAR-PRIME and -VERSO. The new weeder AEROSTAR-FUSION or the seeding technology with JUMBO-SEED and CHOPSTAR-SEEDER. So, we are constantly expanding and developing all product lines – also in the future.
Let’s start talking about your innovations in hoeing technology. The new PRIME-hoeing element has a lifting height of up to 50 cm (1.6 ft). Tell us a little bit more about it.
We are more than satisfied with a lifting height of up to 35 cm (1 ft) for our standard machine. For 95 % of users, a lifting height of approximately 30 – 35 cm (1 ft) is more than sufficient. But as we want to attend the full 100 % in weeding and hoeing technology, we have increased the lifting height of our new premium row-crop cultivator. A final hoeing pass is now still possible in very high crops, such as corn or sunflowers at a height of approx. 1 m (3 ft). Unfortunately, a problem is still the tractors’ clearance. Therefore, in our opinion, a higher lifting height makes no sense.
What makes the PRIME so special?
Another unique feature on the market is the quick adjustment of all tools. This means that all tine bars can be loosened, adjusted, and fixed again at the same time. During the development of the ”PRIME“ it was also important for us to be able to change the following tools like finger hoe or following weeder tines quickly and we have found a very innovative and, above all, practical solution right here. For farmers that need to change a lot on their machines or have many different crops, the PRIME will certainly save a lot of time.
Another innovation is the CHOPSTAR-VERSO. What characterizes this row-crop cultivator?
Higher speed with the same precision. Due to the tools clearing away from the plants row, even plants in the early stage and furthermore small plants can be hoed quickly and with the greatest possible precision. This results an even tighter hoeing band, which reduces weed pressure close to the crop row. Trailing tools such as finger weeders or trailed rotative weeders make the work much easier.
What do you see as another advantage of the new concept?
Another advantage of the COPSTAR-VERSO is the extreme immerse under difficult conditions such as heavy crusts or e.g., clayey soils – this is made possible by the rotating cutting discs, which pre-cut the ground in front of the angle knives. Moreover, what convinces many farmers is his work with organic material. Due to the combination of cutting discs with trailing angle knives, the hoeing element does not clog even with higher organic residues.
Leo, the new weeder AEROSTAR-FUSION – why was it developed?
Our goal is to be a full-range supplier in the hoeing technology. As the largest hoeing manufacturer in the world, we wanted to set new standards with the new „FUSION“. We have certainly succeeded with this premium tined weeder. With this “super weeder”, we are therefore supplementing our extensive product program and are pleased that we have now further expanded the potential applications of our technology once again.
What do you think makes the AEROSTAR-FUSION so special?
Its practicality, operational reliability under a wide range of conditions, and the many individual technical solutions. Thanks to our many years of experience in weeding technology, we know which operations a precision weeder needs to do or must be able to do. In this way, we were able to integrate all our experience from many discussions with customers as well as the practical knowledge from the tests on our testing farm into the development. Weeding technology experts will probably quickly appreciate what makes the AEROSTAR-FUSION so special. For example, the frame is designed to be extremely flexible – one keyword soil adaptation – or the support wheels can be quickly adjusted to the respective crop.
What’s the heart of the new “super tined weeder” like you call it?
The adjustment and precision of the independently working tines: the ingenious tine adjustment allows two different positions by “foldable tine fields”. The transport position, for example, has many advantages – keyword folding, safety etc., but also the constant pressure during the work, no matter in which position the tine is, brings higher precision. The tine pressure can also be set extremely high – the highest value on the market, ensuring soil with hard crusts can still be weeded efficiently. The tine attachment is designed very robust, light, precise, requires low maintenance and is very durable. I could go on for hours, but we’ll be presenting our innovations in detail in a few weeks anyway – there all open questions will be answered.
Now you have many different weeding types and variations of equipment, why?
A weeder always has to be adapted to the crop, the soil and the work it has to do. That’s why we also have expanded our weeding technology, from the original weeder – the AREOSTAR-CLASSIC for cereals and standard crops about 35 years ago – to now 9 different models. Thus, we have the right machine and specification for every operation in our program. On our website there is a general overview of the different weeding types and their variations.
How would you say it is decided what is the right machine for the particular customer?
On the one hand, our consultants do this on the base of their experience. Together with the farmer, a decision is then made concerning the most economic and suitable equipment for the specific requirements of the farm. Of course, not only the crop, soil, farm size or work requirements are considered, but also special requests and expectations of the customer. In this way, the perfect machine can be put together in collaboration between the farmer and the Einböck consultants. Especially in hoeing and weeding technology, it is extremely important to be able to deliver a perfectly adjusted machine.
Now let’s talk about the innovations in your seeding technology. Why was the JUMBO-SEED developed and what makes it special?
Michael Einböck: That can be answered very quickly: If the P-BOX-STI with 500 l tank gets too small or the working width and / or application rate too high, then the front tank JUMBO-SEED is the solution. The advantage from the JUMBO-SEED is its ability to be combined with weeding, hoeing, and seeding technology in all different working widths. The 4 outlets make this possible: with a 12 m (39.4 ft) or 15 m (49.2 ft) wide weeder or with a 12- or 16- row-crop hoe, you need 4 distribution heads and metering units to ensure an even more precise and safe fertilizing or seeding. So, what makes the JUMBO-SEED special is its flexibility, that it can be quickly combined with many different rear machines, such as seeding machines, cultivator, weeders, hoes etc., as well as the 4 distributor heads, to sum it up.
How does the JUMBO-SEED work, can you give us a little technical insight?
The dosing is controlled by our well-known SPEED-TRONIC operating terminal. This has shown us on many thousands of seeding boxes that it is an extremely accurate, easy to use, as well as operationally safe electrical control unit. The seeds or fertilizer are distributed after two stainless steel metering units, each with two outlets, by a powerful hydraulic fan trough up to 4 distributor heads on the rear machine. Here, we are also extremely flexible when it comes to the number of distributor heads and also the number of outlets on the distributor heads. For example, a 12-row seeder, or a hoe can be optimally “fed” with 3 distributor heads and in each case with 4 outlets.
Talking about seeding machines – your CHOPSTAR-SEEDER also has some new features.
Leo jun. Einböck: Yes, exactly. The CHOPSTRAR-SEEDER which was presented for the first time 4 years ago, has been added with great improvements. A further equipment variant has been added to the well-known suffolk coulters in form of the double disc coulters. This was made simply to be able to offer the most appropriate and, above all, the most economical solutions for every soil in seeding technology as well. Furthermore, the compatibility with intern as well as extern seeding technology has been improved. For example, our P-BOX-STI or the front tank JUMBO-SEED can now be combined with the rear machine even more easily and quickly. Of course, the combination of already existing technology with the "SEEDER" can be realized without much effort.
What else has been changed or approved?
A seed firmer has been added, an even stronger retraction spring and the adjustable cyclones. Above all, the downpressure is gigantic now: with up to 180 kg of coulter-pressure per parallelogram, our CHOPSTAR-SEEDER runs very smoothly and precisely and maintains the placement depth, especially at high working speeds.
So, for which user is the CHOPSTAR-SEEDER the right machine?
I would say for farmers with legumes in row sowing such as soybeans, field beans, rape or even in other crops that can be grown in rows, such as cereals. The great advantage of our row-crop drill is its flexibility, e.g., to realize different row distances, as well as its simple and uncomplicated construction and thus its high economic efficiency. For many contractors, it is not economical to cultivate legumes or cereals with a precision seeder and for many farmers it is not profitable to have these crops seeded by externals or to buy expensive seeding equipment for just a view applications. This is exactly where the “SEEDER” is the right machine. So to speak, the CHOPSTAR-SEEDER is a perfect addition to small and sometimes inflexible 3 m (10 ft) seeding machines and expensive precision seeding technology.