By Bernhard Schmitz
AGCO’s new technology strategy, FuseTM Technologies, was a major component of AGCO’s presence recently at Agritechnica, the world’s largest exhibition of agricultural machinery and equipment. Held in Hanover, Germany, from November 12-16, 2013, the show attracted 450,000 visitors from across the globe.
Show attendees could experience Fuse products and learn more about the strategy in several ways. The Fuse booth was located at the center of the AGCO floor plan, where visitors could interact with touch screen stations to learn about the Fuse connected strategy.
The Fuse booth also included the interactive smart farm display that showed how Fuse Technologies helps growers through each phase of the crop cycle. Eric Hansotia, Senior Vice President of Global Harvesting and ATS, and Helmut Endres, Senior Vice President of Engineering Worldwide both visited the Fuse booth and interacted with the Fuse smart farm screen.
After learning about what Fuse is and how it helps growers, visitors could venture out to each brand area—Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra, as well as Fella—which featured technology stands staffed with experts ready to answer attendees’ precision farming questions.
Show attendees could interact with each brand’s precision farming products, especially some of the new products that made their debut at the show such as VarioGuide Light and the latest AgCommandTM integrations.
Additionally, AGCO’s own Matt Rushing, Vice President of Product Management, Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) and Electronics Functional Group, was on-hand at the Massey Ferguson stand to explain the Fuse Technologies strategy: click here to see the video.
Dr. Bernhard Schmitz is the Commercial Manager of ATS Products for EAME based in Neuhausen, Switzerland.
AGCO officials cut the ribbon Aug. 16, 2013, celebrating completion of a two-year, $40 million revitalization project to equip the Hesston, Kan., manufacturing facility with the latest finishing and paint technologies.
“We fully understand how important a high-quality finish is to our customers and dealers, and the impact it has on machine life and resale,” says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “That is the reason we invested in this new E-coat and powder paint facility. It is the most advanced and extensive coatings application center in the North American agricultural equipment industry today, and we’re excited to start using it!”
The electrocoat (E-coat) and powder paint processes at AGCO are equivalent to those of the automotive industry and provide a thorough, consistent, durable finish on each part, enhancing the overall quality and longevity of the final piece of equipment.
The new 200,000-square-foot state-of-the-art dip and powder-coat paint facility consolidates AGCO Hesston Operations’ two paint stations into one streamlined, efficient building. Parts for all products manufactured in Hesston will be painted and finished there before being assembled into final products. Nearly 75 percent of parts will go through the 17-step E-coat process, which involves dipping parts in a series of solutions that remove all rust, scale and laser oxides, then applying a high-performance corrosion- and weather-resistant finish comparable to that used in the automotive industry. The E-coat primer is applied using a high-voltage and high-amperage charge for 180 seconds, ensuring thorough coverage. After curing in one of 10, 375-degree F ovens, parts receive a powder topcoat with one of five colors, then another final oven cure.
The remaining 25 percent of parts, including gearboxes and drives, components that cannot withstand heat, and parts that are best painted after they are assembled, will be painted using a liquid coating system.
Farm equipment has been built in Hesston, Kan., since 1947, and today, the Hesston manufacturing facility builds Hesston by Massey Ferguson hay harvesting equipment; Gleaner, Challenger and Massey Ferguson combines as well as White Planters; and its nine manufacturing lines produce as many as 45 pieces of farm equipment per day, depending on the season. Today, with more than 1,400 employees, AGCO is the largest employer in Harvey County and much of the surrounding area.
It was literally standing-room only as nearly 1,800 Gleaner dealers, customers and enthusiasts filled Wichita’s Hartman Arena as the Gleaner S8 Super Series combines were introduced Aug. 15, 2013.
The full line of Tier 4 Final, Class 6 through Class 8 platforms and the industry’s first Class 8 transverse rotary combine is built on the Optimum Harvesting Performance platform, and is the culmination of design refinements that further reduce the liabilities of weight, size, fuel consumption, wear and complexity while maximizing capacity, grain quality, reliability and durability. These attributes have been part of many of the brand’s design principles since it was introduced in 1923, and they heavily influence today’s Gleaner Super Series combines.
“Since the day we launched the Super Series, we’ve been developing the Gleaner combine platform so that all functional areas of the machine deliver optimum performance and efficiency,” says Kevin Bien, Gleaner brand marketing manager at AGCO. “We’ve created a light, nimble combine designed so that the horsepower is used to efficiently cut and thresh the crop, not to move a heavy machine or overly complex system through the field.”
Gleaner’s one-of-a kind combine platform gets its start on a unitized, welded mainframe with a low center of gravity and true centerline design. This provides the lightest, most balanced weight distribution combine in the world. In fact, the Gleaner S88 is as much as 12,300 pounds lighter than competitive Class 8 combines, allowing the Gleaner to get through muddy fields when others will require substantially more horsepower and tracks to get through similar conditions. The new Class 7 Gleaner S78 is as much as 8,200 pounds lighter than other Class 7 machines.
There are many exciting new features and even special purchase incentives available. You can learn more at www.GleanerCombines.com or see the S8 Super Series combine at the 2013 Farm Progress Show, Husker Harvest Days and the Big Iron Farm Show.
AGCO announced their sponsorship of the 23rd annual International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) World Forum and Symposium. The conference takes place in Atlanta, GA June 18-20 with a mission to develop and sustain talent across the diverse value chain of global food production – from smallholder farmers in emerging regions of the world to the sophisticated commercial agricultural practices in mature economies. “It is a natural fit for AGCO to sponsor this organization and we are very happy to support young people who have chosen to pursue a career in agriculture,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO. “Education is key to the advancement of the agricultural industry and key to the advancement of global economies.”
The Earth’s population is set to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. However, the number of young adults going into the agriculture industry is quickly declining. Global farm productivity has to change in order to keep up with growing needs for food, fuel and fiber and the industry needs the best and brightest minds in order to keep up with demand.
Eric Raby, Vice President, Global Marketing & Commercial Development will be a guest speaker at the event on June 20. In his speech, he will outline how Africa can play a decisive role in transforming global agriculture as well as what AGCO is learning from working in emerging markets. “AGCO knows the importance of attracting high quality talent to the ag industry because they will set the stage to feed, clothe and fuel the world for generations to come,” said Raby. “Even with today’s economy, people have not and will not stop eating; therefore, agriculture leads the way in career opportunities for the graduates of today and tomorrow.”
The International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) is a nonprofit organization that unites industry, students, academics, government leaders and other key stakeholders across the value chain of food production and consumption – to improve the global food and agribusiness system in response to the changing needs of the world. Founded in 1990 IFAMA fosters information sharing, knowledge advancement, discussion, debate, networking and career development through members across more than 50 countries. The annual IFAMA World Forum and Symposium is the organization’s cornerstone event, where leading experts address the most current and pressing issues in food and agriculture. Visit www.ifama.org to learn more.
AGCO will host the 2nd annual Africa Summit on January 21, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.
Food security has never been so profoundly challenged. In 2050, it is projected that the global population will rise to more than 9 billion people. The challenge is to produce more food to meet this ever-increasing demand; with less resources and at a higher cost than ever before.
In addition to the world’s exploding population, diet patterns are changing: as developing nations gain affluence eating habits shift from staple crops towards more consumption of dairy and meat products. Annual meat production alone will need to increase 75% by 2050 to keep up with demand. This puts further pressure on already-dwindling reserves, and means society will have to make a trade-off between growing crops to feed the local community, and delivering marketable goods to meet demand elsewhere. Innovation and investment has driven agricultural productivity to new highs in developed countries, and should now be redirected towards a continent that has the resources and potential to feed the world.
Africa provides the answer. Nowhere in the world is there such an abundance of untapped resources. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 15% of the world’s arable land lies in Africa, of which 86% remains uncultivated. Pre-1960 – Africa provided 10% of the world’s food – that figure is less than 1% today.
Africa lies at the heart of what promises to be a new Agricultural Revolution.
The solution is to develop a systematic approach that enables a strategic partnership to deliver crops that feed increasing populations in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible way. While the challenge is enormous, the opportunities are both substantial and achievable. Farmers are among the main beneficiaries of agricultural development and are at the very core of the solution. But there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. A lack of infrastructure, mechanization and technology across the continent calls for market-based cooperation between farmers, private industry, government and society to establish a new blueprint.
Africa holds the key to ensuring a sustainable food supply, but only if a new road map for progress is developed, harnessing both the expertise of the private industry sector and the knowledge of local communities.