Design Challenge - September 2016

HELPFUL SYMMETRY

ALBERTO SECO

Jon Pope Alberto has been involved in design projects from cell phones to heavy equipment. After a spell at an Italian design consultancy and as an industrial designer, he now works in the automotive sector.

The symmetrical design of the IASA concept is its main difference over current combine harvesters, a feature that offers considerable advantages for an aging operator. Access to the cab is now possible from both sides, with dual ladders removing the need to walk around the machine. Instead of a vertical ladder, access would be further eased by steps with a 75º incline. With plenty of handrails, the ladders have three positions:

- Integrated under the combine body to avoid damage during operation;
- Side-access mode, directly to both cab doors; and
- Front-access mode, more accurate while the header is not mounted during transport duties in tight spaces.

When in the autonomous driving mode, projections on the windscreen and aural signals would advise the operator about the performance of the machine and any potential decisions that may be required. Of course, the driver could modify the route and operation when necessary.

During conventional driving, the operator would be continuously informed and advised for improved performance and added safety. Vibratory warning systems on the seat would enhance the communication between machine and operators with aural problems, making HMI an integral area of the IASA concept.

While safe rear movements would be guaranteed by means of a rear camera, a real view of the harvesting and unloading operations is still desirable. The chamfer design of the combine body or grain tank therefore offers a clear view of the unloading operation on either side. The flexibility provided by the central unloading auger would offer the possibility of placing it where the operator feels most comfortable to match the trailer and check the unloading, overcoming problems related to constant twisting of back and/or neck in the same direction.

The access to the engine, fuel and other mechanical components has been placed at the rear of the combine. The tailgate would leave a 1.8m height free for access to the first ladder section placed at the chopper. The V-shape of the rear end translates the interior disposition of dual ladders for accessing the exterior maintenance platform to each side of the unloading tube. The three sections of ladders keep a 65º incline for all the steps, making it easier to reach that height. Convenient handrails are displayed from the chopper to the upper platform. To better illuminate the hidden ladders, the rear body includes a window made of blue transparent polycarbonate that also supports and highlights the IASA brand.

Despite the large size of the two side platforms, their shape has been studied to increase visibility from the cab corners, even with the ladders in front-access mode. Convenient front access for manual cleaning of the windscreen is via a front-mounted platform and a step, plus handrails on the throat of the combine that complement the cab’s right ladder on the front-access mode.

In case of rollover, an aging operator would have serious difficulties leaving the cab. The entrapment hazard would be very high. Cab safety would therefore be based around three elements: ROPS would maintain the interior space inside the cab; an antilock alarm and vibratory warning for seatbelt would force the operator to use it; and airbags on the roof and cab pillars would create a bubble around the driver, avoiding any impact with the cab structure.

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CONTACT DETAILS

Web: www.behance.net/albertoseco

email: albsec@euskatel.net


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