Tough Conditions in the Field

Magnetic Rotary Sensors Bringing in the Harvest

The demands placed on sensor technology are ever increasing - not only for industrial automation, but also for mobile applications, such as mobile agricultural machinery. Consequently, the demand for non-contacting rotary sensors is increasing. And frequently, magnetic processes are favored. They are reliable even under tough environmental conditions, they yield absolute measurements over the entire 360° range, and they can easily be adapted to the desired application. Their relatively low cost in comparison to other measurement technologies makes them suitable not only for countless applications in machine engineering and plant design but also for mobile applications, such as the one described here.


The Big Bale Transtacker (see image) is an innovative piece of agricultural machinery that can be utilized to efficiently collect and stack in the field different sized bales of straw or hay. This machine is pulled and driven by a tractor, and also operator-controlled from the tractor. When the driver uses the joystick to activate the loading mode, for example, the bales of hay are grabbed by the lateral forks of the Transtacker. They are then stacked onto a swiveling turntable, where they can also be tied for better cohesion. This feature, as well, is activated by the operator with the push of a button on the control panel.

Once the table is full, the bales are pushed onto the load bed. While driving, the table is placed into the vertical position, where it secures the load. In order to switch to “Road Mode“, the operator just needs to move the forks into their road position; which - of course - happens with another push of a control panel button. Upon arriving at the storage facility, the load bed can be tilted. The turntable is utilized to off-load and place the bales. It can also be used to help pick up and reload them. The driver does not need to leave the tractor’s cabin for any of these tasks.


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