ATHENA

Continuous olive harvester ATHENA

Continuous olive harvester ATHENA

ATHENA is the new self-propelled crawler olive harvester designed for intensive and super-intensive orchards.

Harvesting units

ATHENA can harvest olive trees up to 5 meters high. The machine moves along the side of the row shaking laterally the vegetation by the means of three sets of patented harvesting units. The patented movement of the harvesting fingers shakes the productive branches and leads to the detachment of the olives without producing any damage to the branches or to the fruits.

The harvesting units can be independently moved by the operator in order to follow the geometry of the trees without damaging the delicate branches. A series of swivel panels, creating a closed harvesting room, guides the olives on stainless steel conveyors.

Eventual leaves or branches are taken off by integrated specific cleaners. The clean crop can be discharged into bins hold on the rear forklift or into a trailer towed by the machine.

Transmission

ATHENA is powered by an heavy duty hydrostatic transmission and is equipped with wide rubber tracks allowing to operate safely in extremely wet conditions and on slopes.

ATHENA's ground pressure is less then 0,4 kg/square centimetre. The rubber track undercarriage allows the big advantage to plan the harvest independently from weather conditions.
The reduced soil compacting helps the spreading and development of the olive trees roots.

Cab

ATHENA is equipped with LED lights all around the machine and can operate also during the night. A wide and comfortable cab with air conditioning, air pressurizing, heating and acoustic insulation protects two operators. The first operator drives the machine along the row by an electronic control proportional joystick with cruise control function.

As a result the driving feeling is very easy, allowing smooth manoeuvres even in narrow space.
The second operator seats in a higher position facing the row and has the best visibility to the position of the three harvesting units inside the vegetation. The lateral movement of the harvesting units is controlled by two hydraulic joysticks.

The frequency of the vibration is adjustable according to the variety and the picking time. An automatic control system keeps constant the harvesting frequency setting independently from the Diesel speed.

Engine

Diesel engine FPT N45, 4 cylinders, turbo intercooler, common rail, displacement 4500 cc, max power 93 kW @ 2200 rpm, max torque 525 Nm @ 1200 rpm. Fuel tank capacity: 200 litres. ATHENA is designed to harvest at only 1600 rpm, thus using the best engine efficiency and low fuel consumption.

Transport

ATHENA is designed to rapidly shift from harvesting to transport configuration and vice versa in order to speed up the loading of the machine on a truck or a trailer.

The vertical frame holding the harvesting tools can be hydraulically rotated and the horizontal conveyor can be folded in a few seconds to reach the overall dimensions suitable for transports: 2.50 meters of total width and 3.20 meters in height.

Efficiency

ATHENA is a versatile harvester and it is particularly suitable for intensive plantations (400-800 trees/ha) with a row spacing of 5-7 meters. The machine can reach its maximum efficiency, with working speed up to 2 km/h and more than 95% of the crop harvested, when only a few wooden main branches are growing perpendicularly to the row.

This suggests to prune the trees to create a sort of hedge with the main branches running in the direction of the row and the fruitful small flexible branches growing in the direction of the row spacing. The hedge can be 5 meters high starting the vegetation from 0.9-1 m.

This system of growing is suitable for high quality olive varieties, reducing the pruning cost (pruning is easier and can be mechanized) and drastically reducing the harvesting cost. ATHENA can be assembled with harvesting units on the right or on the left side. For large olive orchards it is possible to use two mirror machines, one right and one left, harvesting at the same time the two sides of the row. When using a single machine for the harvest, it is suggested to use a specific trailer available in option and towed by a tractor moving parallel to the ATHENA, to collect the few olives falling on the other side of the row.

The possibility to harvest at high speed without damaging the crop allows to operate rapidly and at the best picking time, thus increasing the quality of the oil.

The possibility offered by ATHENA of harvesting continuously up to 5 meters in height, allows to grow the olive trees in a high hedge shape characterized by large photosynthesis surfaces exposed to the sun. This possibility and the reduced thickness of the branches, allow an high air volume to run along the row spacing with great advantages on the wind pollination. This means important increase of olive and oil production per hectare.

Dimensions

Working configuration
Transport configuration
Length
6000 [mm]
6000 [mm]
Height
4700 [mm]
3200 [mm]
Width
3200 [mm]
2500 [mm]
Track width
450 [mm]
Weight
7000 [kg]