- (September 11, 2006) -- In 1977, farmers in the U.S. first learned about a groundbreaking new harvest technology that threshed and separated grain more gently, thoroughly and economically than conventional combines. And they loved it. Axial-Flow from Case IH is the simple single-rotor design that revolutionized combine harvesting.

Leading the industry in productive harvesting technology is in our DNA," says Gerry Salzman, senior director Case IH global product marketing management, harvesting. "This wasn't the first time Case IH and its legacy companies have revolutionized bringing in the crop. Cyrus McCormick invented and patented the mechanical reaper in 1834, J.I. Case began selling threshers in 1842 and International Harvester produced the first commercial cotton pickers in 1949. Those actions were step-changes in agriculture. As was the introduction of Axial-Flow."

Leading the industry means recognizing customers' needs for increased productivity. "Farmers and custom harvesters have experienced many changes in the way they do business since 1977. Global competition has increased. Grain quality is a priority. Efficient throughput is a necessity," says Salzman.

"Our engineers have continued to improve and upgrade Axial-Flow to keep pace with customers' productivity needs," Salzman says, resulting in a total of six generations of Axial-Flow combines being introduced by Case IH and its legacy company, International Harvester.

"However, as Axial-Flow technology has been improved, the basic principles of the Axial-Flow design remain. These combines are still easier to operate, more reliable, and less costly to maintain than conventional or more complex rotary designs. That's why Axial-Flow is so successful around the world," he says. "Customers place a high value on the grain savings, grain quality, crop adaptability and simple design."

Veteran custom harvester Rick Farris of Edson, Kansas, spends every season following the harvest; he hasn't spent a summer at home since 1957. This long-time Axial-Flow user recognized the advantages of the technology as soon as he saw it:

"We looked at everybody's combine and Axial-Flow looked like the best machine," Farris says. "It has been. It's let us do a lot that we couldn't do with the old conventional models. We harvest specialty crops, including malt barley, pinto beans and sunflowers, plus our wheat, corn, and milo. All with the same machine.

"We have a lot less crop damage in the threshing process with an Axial-Flow. And, they've made a lot of design changes that have improved the machine over the years," Farris says.

Case IH engineers are continuing to update and upgrade the Axial-Flow line. Today's Axial-Flow combines offer greater capacity, more flexibility, and higher productivity than ever, Salzman says. Around the world, Axial-Flow sets the standard by which all other combines are measured.

In 2007 Case IH will offer four models, the Case IH Axial Flow 7010, filling out the lineup in the Class 7 size, the Axial-Flow 2577, Axial-Flow 2588 and the top-of-the-line Axial-Flow 8010. At 400 hp (298 kw), the Case IH Axial-Flow 8010 has more than twice the horsepower of the original 1460 from 1977," Salzman says.

The identification and paint scheme have both been upgraded to reinforce the Case IH legacy of leadership in harvesting, Salzman says. "Our new product identification links the brand, the model name and then model number. For example, Case IH Axial-Flow 7010.

The signature Case IH red paint scheme has been beefed up for 2007 to include service decks, grain tanks, unloading augers and engine covers. Again we're reinforcing the heritage of the Case IH brand.

"If imitation is a measure of success, those engineers in the 1950s who began working on and refining the concept of the Axial-Flow single rotor were very successful indeed. Every other major combine maker has adopted some version of rotary design," Salzman says.

Today, nearly three decades, 40 countries and nearly 130,000 combines since its debut, Case IH, its customers and its dealers are poised to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Axial-Flow technology. Marking the industry milestone, all 2007 model Case IH Axial-Flow combines will carry a special 30th anniversary decal on the grain tank. "It's a fitting tribute to a technology that's changed an industry and boosted farmers' productivity globally," Salzman says.