Campus Units

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Human Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality Applications Center

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


16th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

16th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference

First Page




Conference Title

16th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference

Conference Date

June 22-26, 2015


Dallas, TX


This paper presents conceptual design and feasibility analysis for oversized grain harvesting combine headers with dynamic topology. To meet customer harvesting productivity requirements, the harvesting header must increase in width from 40 to 60 feet, yet be usable on current generation combine harvesters. While designing concepts for an oversized harvester head is a complex problem by itself, it also presents a latent challenge with packaging and transporting. Transporting a 60ft harvester header using traditional methods will violate road transport regulations imposed by US state and federal governments. This warrants innovations in both designing an oversized header concepts and viable means to package it for domestic and international shipping. The Advanced Systems Design Suite (ASDS) was used to design, visualize and perform quick assessment of the proposed concept designs. Three preliminary design concepts were generated based on customer requirements and manufacturer’s guidelines, of which one design was chosen for transitioning into detailed design stages. Static engineering analysis showed that the combine harvester’s feederhouse mount can support the additional mass of the larger header. Articulation mechanisms were represented by primitive shapes created in ASDS to visualize the preliminary design solution for packaging the header for transportation. Finite Element Analyses (FEA) was performed to determine the required size, shape, and position of the articulation mechanisms. Harvest productivity analyses were performed to assess business feasibility on the oversized header design. Header performance requirements identified potential time and monetary savings of an articulated header compared to a non articulated head of the same size. Reducing the time required to perform “non-harvesting activities” with currently available combines enables the manufacturer to generate a more feasible detailed design addressing this difficult design challenge. The ASDS, along with supplementary analyses tools can be used to generate viable design concepts and the work presented in this paper shows that the oversized combine header design is feasible and is worthy of transitioning into detailed design stages.


This proceeding is published as Alex R. Renner, Frederick Thompson, Vijay K. Kalivarapu, Eliot H. Winer, Jim Oliver, Brian Gilmore, and Dennis Silver. (2015) "An Application of Conceptual Design and Multidisciplinary Analysis Transitioning to Detailed Design Stages", 16th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference, AIAA AVIATION Forum, (AIAA 2015-2647). DOI: 10.2514/6.2015-2647. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Alex Renner, Frederick Thompson, Vijay Kalivarapu, Eliot Winer, Jim Oliver, Brian Gilmore, Dennis Silver



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