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Case story

Better corn crops with an electrically adjusted picking plate

More efficiency, better performance – the requirements for agricultural machinery are constantly increasing. For German specialist Geringhoff, a new grain picking application has enabled them to offer their customers a solution that maximises crop output.

Better corn crops with an electrically adjusted picking plate

Geringhoff, a specialist in crop attachment for combine harvesters, has responded to increased market demands for more efficient grain picking appliances. Their invention ‘Freedom’ stands out for its fundamental redesign of the picking row, among other things. Thanks to the new and patented design of the Freedom picking line, the plants are passed very gently to the hollow. The feeder chains are angled, thus optimising the picking process and maximising the crop output.

Going from hydraulics to electric
Another special feature of the new picking row is the picking plates. They are no longer adjusted hydraulically, but by an electric system. The picking row is adjusted by means of an electric actuator LA36 from LINAK®.

Better corn crops with an electrically adjusted picking plate

The angled feeder chains of the picking rows have improved the plant acceptance. Depending on the size of the corncob, the driver of the combine harvester must adjust the width of the picking gap. The ratio of the thickness of the stalk and the cob is decisive for this adjustment.
An adjustment maximises the crop output and prevents a blockage of the picking row. 


In other corn attachments, the picking plate is adjusted by a single acting hydraulic system. However, due to the large width of the Freedom attachment of up to 12 metres, a single-acting hydraulic system is not enough. This was reason enough for the Geringhoff designers to look for an alternative to the hydraulic adjustment.

‘We opted for an electric version because of its many advantages,’ explains André Hemmesmann, team leader for development and design at Geringhoff. He believes that the simplicity of the system was an important argument for the use of electric actuators. 

‘When using one or more hydraulic cylinders, signal lines must be laid next the hydraulics lines to query the position. By using an electric actuator, only a simple cable is used’.

No additional actuators required
Furthermore, no further valves are needed when using electric actuators. With the new system, only a mains connection must be established.

‘It is very convenient that we do not have to use the hydraulic system of the combine harvester to adjust the picking plates. By connecting the system to our own control system, it will become self-sufficient,’ Hemmesmann explains.

Using the electric system, a programmed routine can be run, which will briefly open and close the plates if the picking plates should block.

Why Geringhoff chose LINAK
According to André Hemmesmann, the reason why Geringhoff decided to use LINAK actuators was not least because of the known robustness.

‘Fruit acid, dust, dirt, and water block the actuator. We tested the system over two years and we are very satisfied with the reliability,’ he says and concludes:

‘With an electric system much more is possible. We can imagine many things the future’.

Future agriculture depends on automation
The keyword is automation. With a corresponding programming, for example, you could quickly open the picking plates once each turn and close them again to prevent a possible blockage. It would also be conceivable to also use a sensor system to permanently ensure the optimal setting.

An important benefit of LINAK actuators is the optional integrated controller (IC). Thanks to IC, the actuators can be easily programmed and integrated with the existing system. The actuator receives the control command, while the electronics take over the rest. The IC actuators are provided by LINAK in various configuration levels and with different options. CAN bus variants are also available.

About Geringhoff
Geringhoff was founded in 1880 and over the years the company has become a specialist in crop attachments for combine harvesters. The family business started as a blacksmith and agricultural machinery trading company. 135 years later, Carl Geringhoff Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG is a modern and internationally oriented mechanical engineering family business, run by the fifth generation of Geringshoffs.

Manufacturing takes place at different locations. Headquarters is in Ahlen, Germany. Another manufacturing facility is in St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA, where crop attachments for the North American market are manufactured.

Electric linear actuator solutions for agricultural machinery from the LINAK® TECHLINE® division play-icon

Electric linear actuator solutions for agricultural machinery from the LINAK TECHLINE segment


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