In 2013, Fendt was awarded a silver medal by the Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft (DLG) [German Agricultural Society] for its energy-efficient, comfortable Flat Face Coupling (FFC), a product with sound environmental credentials. Until now, the FFC was only available for the Fendt 1000 Vario. Now the system is being extended to the Fendt 800 and 900 Vario product ranges.
The flat face design of this two-sided Fendt hydraulic clutch that can be operated at full pressure prevents oil leaks, protecting the ground from getting polluted by escaping oil. With pressure losses eliminated, the oil does not heat up as much, so energy does not get squandered. These Flat Face couplings come as standard with high flow rates: 140 litres for rear valves 1 – 6 or optionally up to 170 litres on the fourth rear valve.
Also, conventional hydraulic couplings are very difficult to keep clean. This results in the ingress of dirt in the hydraulic circuit. "In contrast, the absolutely flat surface of these flat-sealing hydraulic couplings makes cleaning an easy task while, at the same time, the extremely low level of dirt ingress also extends the filter change interval", states Roland Schmidt, Fendt Marketing Director. The fact that the coupling insert components are easy to dismantle is also a great help with maintenance. This new system virtually eliminates the need for repair work resulting from damaged couplings and connectors.
One hydraulic manifold – different sizes of coupling
"With our system, the customer can equip his hydraulic manifold with different sizes of coupling - adapted to suit his operational requirements. As well as the ½-inch coupling, the one used most frequently, there is a ¾-inch coupling and the new flat-sealing 5/8-inch coupling. This means that a farm does not need to change over to the new system from one day to the next, and can instead do so one step at a time", explains Roland Schmidt. The inserts, available in various different sizes, can be screwed into position, making them convenient and easy to replace.
Tried-and-tested features of the previous hydraulic couplings are of course adopted - and are then adapted to suit the FFC system. A lever is still used to operate the attachment and disconnection operations, meaning that no force needs to be applied. As you would expect, the system can be attached on both sides while under pressure. The proven tear-away failsafe is also incorporated. Fendt also retains its familiar colour coding scheme for connecting pipes on the hydraulic coupling system.
The Fendt coupling plate enables equipment to be connected up rapidly. It can accommodate four hose attachments. This helps to prevent any confusion over hydraulic hoses. "The coupling plate is a great help because it provides a way on different tractors to employ the same coupling procedure. This, together with a pre-programmed teach-in sequence, removes any scope for operator error", says Roland Schmidt. "To guarantee that the coupling plate is connected up correctly, centring bores are fitted to our system.
To make it easier for farmers to switch between today's standard couplings and the flat-sealing couplings, implements with differing connector sizes and types can be combined with one another. With the flexible cartridge insert on the tractor, a gradual changeover is possible. From March 2017, these Flat Face hydraulic couplings will be available as complementary options for the Fendt 800 Vario, 900 Vario and Fendt 1000 Vario series, instead of the comparable conventional standard couplings.