David Wilke, industrial design director at CNH Industrial, discussed innovation across areas such as power ranges, sugar harvesting, and design components at African Farming’s Agroinvestment Summit taking place 4-5 June at The Tower Hotel, London
The afternoon session on 4 June saw David Wilke give a presentation on his experience working on designs concepts for different vehicles, such as tractors, construction equipment and mining trucks. He emphasised how design students have created future tractor design concepts and how despite what many may think, prefer working on innovation across tractors than other vehicles.
In an interview with African Farming at the summit, David Wilke explained the importance of meeting high standards in tractor design and the challenges that he has faced along the way.
“We design together with our engineering and innovation department. We also do a lot of testing, field testing so the people who test or work through field testing are specialists and users too. We give our products over before they go onto the market or are tested by users so that we are sure they are robust, strong and do the right job.”
“My biggest challenge is convincing some people that design matters and can make a difference, because we live in a world of agricultural equipment, where it has to do a job. People can ask “Does it really matter what it looks like?” And actually it does, because if it is well designed, it can work better and also look better. They often go together; if something works well, it often naturally looks good. If something works badly, it reflects on the way it looks too.”
He added, “So my tough job sometimes is convincing people to spend a bit more money on the development, so it could last longer and be more robust.”
When asked what was one of the most exciting projects he had recently worked on he said, “We did the New Holland methane-powered concept tractor; that was great fun and interesting because we went right through the tractor looking at every element and all the details. We did it from A to Z to try to improve the life on board, use the technology, like the screens with the information coming up for the operator, and it was nice to see it finished. So that has been a good one.”