In presenting the ERNST BLICKLE AWARD to Claas Mühlhäuser, the SEW EURODRIVE Foundation is honoring an entrepreneur who sees ecology and profitability as characteristics essential to state-of-the-art, sustainable agricultural engineering.
Sustainable agricultural engineering? Agricultural engineers have made great efforts to increase the efficiency of machinery and reduce pollutant emissions over the last decade. For instance, engine manufacturers have significantly increased the combustion temperature in cylinders to reduce the particle concentration of exhaust gas. As a result, the engine cooling system requires a larger, more complex design. The results speak for themselves – particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions have gone down by more than 90 percent since 2008. Huge strides have also been made in harvesting technology. A CLAAS combine harvester already requires no more than 1.5 liters of diesel to harvest an entire metric ton of wheat.
State-of-the-art agricultural engineering? "Farming 4.0"! It's no longer enough to simply improve individual machines. Machines are being equipped with increasingly intelligent technologies, enabling them to communicate with each other and automatically coordinate working processes. It's becoming more and more important to see all the tasks on the farm as a big picture. The focus is increasingly shifting toward teamwork. The high yields a combine harvester can achieve and increasingly short harvesting periods are now posing greater challenges for transport logistics. For this reason, CLAAS networks tractors, combine harvesters and transfer vehicles so that the transfer vehicle can regulate the tractor's speed as needed.
These are just two of many examples illustrating what drives CLAAS and the chair of its supervisory board, and what vision is guiding this agricultural engineering company into the future. In light of these achievements, Dr. Claas Mühlhäuser has rightfully earned her place among the renowned winners of the Ernst Blickle Award.
She already knows how she plans to spend the prize money: "It's going to be used to further develop the large vehicle alert system so it can be used by as many automobile manufacturers as possible. This system alerts drivers to agricultural machinery on the road, transmitting real-time telemetry data from agricultural machinery and tractors on the road to assistance/navigation systems and smartphone apps in the vehicles of other road users. In this way, the drivers of cars and trucks can be proactively informed and warned about the location and status of agricultural machinery on their route," explains Dr. Claas Mühlhäuser.