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.
Although it seems like yesterday, three years ago today we launched the AGCO Blog. We’d like to give a big thanks to our readers and contributors; we appreciate you continuing to read, respond and engage on our blog! Our goal remains to give our visitors – a global mix of farmers, agriculture industry professionals, investors and AGCO employees around the world – the opportunity to take a look inside AGCO and our brands, as well as interact with us. It also serves as a platform to exchange information, find answers, and get expert advice from one another.
As we look back during the past year, we wanted to share some of your favorite blog posts:
Top 3 Blog Posts from Past Year:
- AGCO Launches Mobile App for Professional Farmers – The announcement of our new mobile app, AGCOMMAND, an innovative app for farmers around the world.
- Massey Ferguson 9500 series Combine Proudly Waves the Maple Leaf – Featuring an image of a combine wrapped in the Canadian flag.
- AGCO Publishes First Sustainability Report – When AGCO published the first global sustainability report.
There were many great blog posts throughout the year, and we look forward to sharing more with you in the future. Share in the comments below which blog post was your favorite.
We look forward to many more years of bringing you the best in agriculture!
The AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin in January came and went by very quickly but not so fast as to deny me of memorable moments. First of all I would like to thank AGCO for granting me this great opportunity as their Africa Ambassador 2013. It was overwhelming to be chosen via the video contest from more than 30 applicants and it was a great experience to host such a top-class international conference.
As was to be expected, the high profile representatives from industry and government from within and outside Africa left indelible impressions on me with their varying perspectives about agriculture. Agriculture plays a major role in Africa’s future and the world’s food security. It was not a surprise that the final keynote speech by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, was potent enough to make any businessman, who may have never considered becoming a farmer, to entertain thoughts of serious involvement in ‘agri-business’.
Meeting and interacting with experts of various nationalities and cultures who all have Africa in common one way or another was indeed an experience of high value. It was a particular delight and also a deep honor to announce the speeches of Former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuour (Ghana) and Horst Koehler (Germany).
I cherish the memories of each distinguished speaker that I had the honor of presenting but there is certainly one that stands out much more than any of the others in my mind. Laetitia Mukungu started her entrepreneurial journey at a very young age and indeed at the time of the conference she was 16 or 17 years old. Her delivery of the story of how she started her foray into rabbit farming in Kenya was as remarkable as the content of the story itself. It is no wonder that she is a 2012 Anzisha Fellow, one of several laurels that I expect this young dynamic woman to win. (She has also most recently won the Diana Prize, March 2012.)
Laetitia spoke very clearly about how and why she started rabbit farming, an initiative that would grow into an excellent example of social entrepreneurship with her Women Rabbit’s Association and My Idea Rabbit Center. Her presentation about why she chose rabbits over other livestock was so compelling that I have begun to ponder why I should not start my very own rabbit farm in Nigeria.
The AGCO Africa Summit, Agriculture in Africa – From Vision to Action, served as a call to action for all involved; policy makers, farmers, financiers and entrepreneurs. Participants got insight into the peculiarities of the African agribusiness landscape with the incredible opportunities available through sustainable agriculture.
I am certainly pleased to have been involved and I am grateful to AGCO’s leadership and very talented international team for the opportunity. It was a great honor to meet and interact closely with Martin Richenhagen , Nuradin Osman and several other inspiring leaders of this leading global agricultural equipment manufacturer.
This report would be incomplete without mentioning the delight of experiencing Germany for the first time: the food, the people and the architecture that had me take pictures and video clips enough for a mini documentary. Visiting Berlin in the dead of winter was indeed as cold as expected but the allure of the city could not be overcome by the snow and chill. The sophistication of the city and its rich history is hard to go unnoticed while looking through the windows of your taxi or while going on foot down any Strasse.
I look forward to another trip to Berlin, but more importantly I envision the many great and innovative actions that AGCO, its partners, customers, suppliers and you and I will take on in the coming years for agriculture in Africa. Thank you AGCO for your commitment in Africa and thanks to all the participants for moving last year‘s conversation forward – I am glad to be a part of this and I am happy to be your AGCO Africa Ambassador in 2013.
With the new year upon us, the AGCO team wants to continue to provide you with relevant and valuable information. We want to know more about you and what posts you would like to see on the AGCO blog for 2013. We are asking you to take our brief survey so we can find out what you want to read!
Tell us what type of content you would like to see, and we will make it happen. Share with us what you love about AGCO, and we will continue to deliver it for you.
Also, by completing the survey and entering your email address (optional), you will be entered for a chance to win some awesome AGCO gear!
AGCO announced the availability of AGCO’s latest global mobile application built to serve agriculture professionals on-the-go, allowing them to manage their operation from anywhere, anytime. “AGCO’s industry-leading telemetry service, AGCOMMAND, has gone mobile. Building on the capabilities of our existing AGCOMMAND wireless information solution, it’s exciting to deliver an app designed for the increasing demands of professional farmers and the dealer network that supports them,” said Martin Richenhagen, Chairman, President and CEO of AGCO. “Professional farmers and agriculture enterprises can increase their productivity through this new, wireless agriculture management tool that focuses on fleet management, vehicle health and overall machine uptime.”
AGCOMMAND is a complete end-to-end wireless information solution that provides actionable machine information for professional farmers and their dealers to support improved operations. With more than 13 new features in the core telemetry service*, including new baler-specific functions that benefit hay and forage farmers, the enhanced fleet management capabilities allow users to more productively manage their operation. AGCOMMAND telemetry service for remote machine monitoring is available as an option on Challenger, Massey Ferguson and Valtra tractors, harvesting and application equipment as well as fleet vehicles.Features of the AGCOMMAND app include:
- Unique, integrated radar feature tells you the weather conditions where your machines are located**
- Turn-by-turn directions to machines, from your current location
- History of machine status and machine data
- Ability to compare the performance of multiple machines
- User-defined alerts from vehicles and machines
The new AGCOMMAND app is available as a free download in the Apple App Store. The simple, yet powerful iOS application for both iPhone and iPad is easy to use and is available in 15 languages worldwide. To learn more about the AGCOMMAND telemetry solution, please visit http://www.agcotechnologies.com/naen/AGCOMMAND.htm. Visit the Apple App Store to download the AGCOMMAND app today.
* Cellular service coverage may vary by region.** Radar functionality currently available in North America, Australia and New Zealand only.