Magnum AFS Connect: the next level in data monitoring and management – and new cab comfort standards

Just over three decades since it was unveiled to the world’s farmers, with more than 150,000 units having gone to work around the world in the interim, Case IH is launching the 7th generation of its flagship conventional tractor, the Magnum AFS Connect. While externally-obvious changes include a full-length door and new styling and lighting, some of the most significant upgrades are inside the cab and the tractor itself, resulting in the new Magnum AFS Connect designation and a machine that helps the operator and owner to manage farming operations with new levels of precision.

The range for the European market comprises the following models – Magnum 280, Magnum 310, Magnum 340, Magnum 380 and Magnum 400 – with respective maximum power outputs of 351, 382, 409, and 435hp. The Magnum 400 is available with 21/5 PowerDrive transmission only, offering 40 and 50kph at reduced engine speed. All models feature 8.7-litre FPT Industrial Cursor 9 six-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled engines which use the latest FPT Hi-eSCR2 technology to meet EU Stage V emissions legislation, with 13 patented developments, including a new catalyst, resulting in cleaner combustion. Models 340, 380 and 400 can also be specified in rear-tracked Rowtrac configuration. As before, the tractors have a rear lift capacity of up to 11,700kg while lift capacity of the front hitch, where fitted, is 4,090kg. Six remote valves are available at the rear and three at the front. Specifying a front linkage does not now limit the number of rear spool valves. Hydraulic pump capacity options are 160, 221 or 282 litres/minute.The range has been extended with the introduction of the Magnum 400 for even heavier and more demanding applications.

Designed in response to customer feedback

“The new Magnum development began when we set out to research and understand what users today are looking for in this class and size of tractor, spending time with farmers across the world to maximise our understanding of their needs and requirements,” says Brad Lukac, Case IH global product manager for Magnum.

“It was an exercise that involved manufacturing, marketing and quality standards staff not just from the Magnum plant in Racine, USA, but also from Case IH around the world, enabling them to exchange and compare ideas around what was important in different countries and global regions, from North America to Europe to Australia and beyond. From this we tested concepts both in the 3D design facility at our Burr Ridge research and development site in Illinois, USA, and out in the field. The result is a new range that recognises the broad needs of farmers across those regions, and while it meets the requirements of those innovative, forward-thinking farmers who are exploiting the potential of new precision technology, it does so in a way that retains ease of operation for those who may be less technology-minded.”

AFS Connect: seamless, instant transfer and recording of data from all tractor areas

At the heart of the new Magnum models lies the recognition of the importance of data to today’s farmers. That encompasses not just operating data such as the location of their machines, how they are performing and what they may require in terms of supplies such as fuel, but also data such as field records – area worked and rates of application, for example. All of this data can now be recorded and transferred securely in real time on the move with the AFS Connect telematics technology inside the new Magnum models. As a result, the new tractors allow owners and operators to adjust, manage, monitor and transfer data the way they want.

AFS Connect is based on proven Case IH Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) precision technology, but takes this a step further with new hard- and software, including a new display, operating system, receiver and completely redesigned hardware environment, allowing for remote display viewing, remote support capabilities and more. The new technology is contained within a redesigned cab interior equipped with new controls and displays.

Ultimate connectivity and supportNew Magnum AFS Connect technology developments provide a two-way link between the new AFS Pro 1200 display in the cab and the Case IH AFS Connect portal available through the mycaseih.com website. This provides the gateway to management of data generated by the Magnum series tractor and the activities for which it is used. It allows farm managers to manage with precision their farm, fleet and data from their office or mobile device, monitoring current field operations, fleet information, agronomic data and more, with these activities recorded in real time. Secure wireless data transfer means no requirement for manual movement of data using USB memory sticks, eliminating the associated risk of loss or damage. Farm owners and managers can also then have the freedom to share selected agronomic data with third-party partners of their choosing – such as their agronomist – and tractor operating data with their dealer, to help identify service or operating issues and get the best from their machine. 

AFS Connect technology also makes it possible for remote display viewing of the tractor’s AFS operating screen by farm owners, managers and – with permission – the dealers supporting their equipment, providing exactly the same screen view the operator is seeing on the AFS Pro 1200 display in the cab. This can help identify problems and allow deeper insight to be gained into how they are caused and how they might be addressed. If users agree, dealers can also use remote service support to remotely identify maintenance and service needs and, if required, to identify the types and numbers of any parts needed before visiting the machine.

Three key components at heart of new technologyThree core components work together to create the AFS Connect specification of the new Magnum range: the AFS Pro 1200 operator display terminal, the AFS Vision Pro operating system and AFS Vector Pro satellite receiver. These elements allow users to configure tractor management and precision farming functionality in the way they prefer.

The new AFS Pro 1200 display uses AFS Vision Pro operating system allowing the operating system to be configured to the operator’s preferences. In addition to touchscreen operation, pre-programmed hot keys allow certain functions to be accessed more easily on the move in the field.

The three AFS Connect elements work together to enable seamless communication between tractor owner, operator and, with the owner’s permission, third parties such as their dealer and, for example, the farm agronomist. With remote display viewing, dealers can help address operational questions in real time, while two-way wireless data transfer means, for instance, that a variable-rate prescription map could be sent wirelessly to the tractor for seed or fertiliser application. All of this saves time, money and risk by eliminating the need for person-to-person transfer of data manually or via USB memory stick.

New levels of cab comfort and operating ease

The cab interior of Magnum tractors has been revised and refined throughout to create a new operator environment that sees familiar Case IH concepts such as pillar information displays and the Multicontroller plus its armrest controls retained but re-thought. Enhanced levels of intuitive operation have been at the core of the development of new operating controls and data displays in the new Magnum with AFS Connect technology, says Hans-Werner Eder, Case IH product marketing manager for Magnum in Europe.

“The new Multicontroller armrest now has four configurable buttons on the new Multicontroller joystick and a further four on the armrest, plus a turn-and-press encoder dial for selecting functions on the AFS 1200 monitor, and industry-exclusive configurable remote valve switches to allow drivers to set their tractor up the way they want to operate it. Key tractor operating data such as fuel level and coolant temperature can be gauged quickly on the new compact VIS2 smartscreen display on the right front cab pillar, which replaces the former individual displays in the pillar.”

Turning to driver comfort, the tractors gain a new ‘light wheat’ colour interior and new seat with 40-degree right and five-degree left swivelling. Performance of the tractors’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems has been improved, and these functions are operated via a new car-type control system in the right-side cab headliner. Storage and connectivity have been enhanced with the addition of a new arrangement of compartments and cup holders plus charging and data ports, while a full glass door with no centre pillar and a wiper option improve visibility. A further industry-exclusive is the access management key fob, with automatic door lock/unlock feature and programmable functions, while the driver is also supplied with an in-cab torch at the base of the left wheel arch.

Also new for the operator on Magnum tractors is a brake-assisted steering system, managed via the HMC II headland management centre. Aimed at Rowtrac rear-tracked models in particular, but also available for wheeled Magnum tractors, this aids headland/end-of-row steering by automatically applying the brake to the inside rear track or wheel when a steering movement is made. A further option is variable-rate steering, as established on Case IH Optum tractors, for altering response rates between those required for field operations and those for road travel.

New look is about more than just styling

The key component of the restyling the Magnum with AFS Connect technology has undergone is the front-end design reminiscent of the Case IH Autonomous Concept Vehicle. The new grille can be specified with the option of LED headlights which, combined with new cab-mounted 360-degree worklights with a cab exit delay, provides lighting with a power of over 35,000 lumens. The nose of the tractor is also one place a camera option can be installed, for front-end implement viewing and road safety. A total of four camera feeds can be viewed on the AFS Pro 1200 display, with two cameras standard on the luxury cab configuration. Further cab options include tyre pressure monitoring sensors and a hydraulic semi-active cab suspension system.

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