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.
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!
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!
Gleaner will help bring the story of Dust Bowl recovery to audiences across the country as a major sponsor of “Harvesting the High Plains,” a film documentary. The documentary details the story of two men who began farming in 1933 in Dust Bowl–stricken western Kansas. Using never-before-attempted crop production practices, they overcame what were thought to be impossible challenges to reclaim the Plains. In 1947, they harvested one of the largest wheat crops ever raised by a single farming operation of that era.
Produced by Inspirit Creative in cooperation with Wichita Public Telecommunications, the film debuted during November at select theaters in Kansas and Nebraska. Gleaner’s sponsorship of the film documentary is a natural fit, according to Kevin Bien, Gleaner brand marketing manager with AGCO in Duluth, Ga.
“Gleaner combine harvesters were born in Nickerson, Kansas, and the innovation in these early harvesting machines is very much a part of the story told through ‘Harvesting the High Plains’,” says Bien. “This story will resonate with farmers and their families across the nation; and though the time may be different, the challenges remain today. It is a great story of farmers’ perseverance and overcoming insurmountable odds to raise a successful crop.”
Narrated by Mike Rowe, creator and host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” and directed by Colby, Kan., native Jay Kriss, “Harvesting the High Plains” brings to life the story of two men who lived in western Kansas during the 1930s. The story is told through the letters between the men that describe in detail each challenge, failure and triumph of their farming ventures — over 10,000 pieces of correspondence in all. By working with methods such as summer fallow and other dryland wheat farming techniques, the men restored the land and reclaimed the High Plains, helping to make the region the breadbasket of the world.
Gleaner was one brand that brought mechanization to the farm, helping forge change in the agriculture of that day. “The Gleaner name was very prominent throughout our research of this time, and we were thrilled to include a restored Gleaner model ‘A’ in part of the film,” says Kriss. “If you can imagine, at one point during the 1947 harvest, GK Farms had more than 130 custom-operated combines cutting on one given day.”
“Harvesting the High Plains” is currently airing on regional public television stations in the High Plains, and will air nationally on public television in early 2013. For dates and times the film documentary airs, check online at harvestingthehighplains.com.