Italy, and Europe in general, continues to be a fruitful region when it comes to innovation in the agricultural machinery sector.

The Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Federation was keen to showcase developments within the industry at EIMA 2018 – the well-known machinery exhibition.

To further the interests of its members and agricultural innovation in broader terms, the organisation makes a series of awards to those companies with new products that it considers noteworthy.

Among these are the items we’ve detailed below. The list includes a “smart” power harrow, a device designed to assist with starting high-inertia machinery and trailer axles that can “think for themselves”.

Power harrow with ‘AI’

Alpego has developed a power harrow that’s equipped with sensors, which detect the load on the levelling bar. This data is, in turn, used to measure the working depth.

The data is managed by an ECU (Electronic Control Unit). According to Alpego, this approach helps to maintain a “constant working depth” and “avoids excessive working of the soil”.

The machine in question is known as the ‘Rotodent Dmax AI-Sense’.

Serrat ‘Hidrahelp’

The Serrat ‘Hidrahelp’ is a hydraulic starter device (powered by a tractor’s hydraulic system) for machines with heavy rotors – such as shredders.

The device is designed to help relieve stress on the tractor’s PTO, by providing hydraulic assistance to get a rotor turning (thus reducing any shock loading on the tractor’s own PTO).

The humble trailer axle has not been spared from the advances of digital technology. The so-called Teknoax 2.0 records and communicates data relating to load, speed and pneumatic pressure – encountered by a trailer and its suspension system.

‘Clever’ trailer axles

The data is managed by a control unit, which subsequently enables predictive adjustments to be performed in real-time. The system also tracks and records any on-board operations carried out.

The manufacturer claims that such data opens up a myriad of possibilities for the future design and use of axles for trailers and other trailed equipment.