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AGCO’s Jackson Plant: Better, Stronger, Faster

Imagine taking a brand-new tractor, worth tens of thousands of dollars, and purposefully trying to break it. That’s what the folks at the AGCO manufacturing facility in Jackson, Minn., do just about every workday.

It all happens at Jackson’s Quality Gate Five. The $1.97 million-facility can hold and check two tractors at once, one on the “jounce” and PTO testing station, and the other on a chassis dynamometer.

For the jounce test, a tractor’s rear wheels or tracks are positioned on pads that rock back and forth. This test is used to verify that there are no loose fittings, hoses or electrical connections. Afterward, the tractor is physically inspected to make sure nothing came loose as a result of the shaking, which is so violent no one is allowed to be in the cab.

While still at the first station, the PTO is tested at various speed and load levels, and its output measured across the rpm range. Each tractor is then moved to the second station and the chassis dynamometer. Here, a multi-roller bed is used to verify different functions like the steering, brake, transmission shift quality, DEF functionality and limited powertrain performance.

Six winches hold the tractors in place as they speed up to 33 mph and rev to as high as 400 HP. The dynamometer reads the engine rpm, what gear it’s in and how well it shifts, and when it shifts, how low the rpm goes.

“What we learn,” says Eric Fisher, the plant’s director of operations, “also affects what we do upstream.”

Overall, according to Fisher, the work in Gate Five takes about two hours, and includes 250-plus tests and the analysis of more than 150,000 data points. In just the first month of operation, the inspections, he says, “yielded a 25% reduction in defects, and that’s just a start.”

“Like its customers, AGCO doesn’t embrace technology for its own sake,” says Bob Crain, AGCO Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas. “There must be a return on investment.”

The expansion and upgrades at the Jackson plant, as well as those throughout the company’s global facilities, offer just that, says Crain, “in the company’s relentless pursuit of its stated goal—to be No. 1 in customer-perceived quality.”

For more on the Jackson plant’s best-in-class quality assurance facilities, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/agcos-jackson-plant-better-stronger-faster/.

MF4610: One Tractor, Many Jobs

In its heyday a century ago, scores of horses were used to do dozens of jobs at Biltmore. Today, one utility tractor—with 99 HP—performs multiple jobs at one of the country’s most beautiful agricultural operations.

Kevin Payne, Biltmore’s farm manager

Kevin Payne, Biltmore’s farm manager

Biltmore has long been a Massey Ferguson® customer. Their small fleet includes Massey Ferguson tractors dating back 35 years. The nearly new MF4610 is the most recent jack of all trades making life easier in a diversified operation.

“Masseys are easy to operate and affordable to work on. They do the job,” says Kevin Payne, Biltmore’s farm manager. “The 1979 MF1100 is as strong as when it was new.” And he should know. Payne has worked at Biltmore since the year that MF1100 was purchased.

Payne loves the smooth but powerful shuttle transmission on the MF4610. At Biltmore, Payne and crew can be hauling cattle feed in the morning, cutting thick sudangrass by afternoon and moving rolling chicken coops by evening.

“The shuttle transmission is really nice when you are picking up feed pallets or baling, then loading hay,” says Payne. “It is a whole lot quicker doing anything where you are moving from forward to reverse frequently.”

The MF4610 does it all with a 3-cylinder engine that generates torque as well or better than comparable 4-cylinder engines. “I use this tractor to disk ground, and it moved through the field like the disc wasn’t even back there.”

For the full story, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/biltmore-ritzy-home-real-farm/.

AGCO Brands Win Big at SIMA 2015

This year’s SIMA Paris International Agri Business Show was a triumph for AGCO’s core brands. Massey Ferguson debuted two new tractors and showcased the MF 5610 tractor that journeyed to the South Pole. Challenger’s MT775E was the winner of the “Machine of the Year XXL” award. The new Fendt 300 Vario was named “Machine of the Year” in the category for tractors below 150 hp. And the new Valtra T Series won the “Machine of the Year” award in the 180–280 hp category.

Challenger_MT775E_MotY_HighRes

 

Valtra New T

SIMA is one of the largest indoor agricultural industry shows in the world. This year, the event focused on a theme of “Innovation First!” and brought together 1,700 companies from 42 countries with an emphasis on three key topics: people and territories, equipment and crops.

AGCO embraced innovations in communication by sharing this year’s SIMA experience through social media. Those who weren’t able to attend the show could follow the #AGCO25 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, and additional news and videos can be found on the company’s social media portal created specifically for the event.

AGCO, now in its 25th year as a global leader in the agriculture industry, had a powerful presence at SIMA as an exhibitor. The company is living the “Innovation First!” concept through its cutting-edge Fuse™ Technologies — a platform that brings together machines, technology products, support, training and dealer services to ensure that farmers’ operations are optimized, coordinated and seamlessly connected through all phases of the crop cycle.

 

Workhorses: From MF135 to MF8670

For being named the 2013 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year, James Cooley received use of a Massey Ferguson® tractor for one year. He chose the MF8670, known for its continuously variable transmission (CVT), fuel efficiency and comfort.

Cooley and the MF8670

Cooley and the MF8670

It is not, however, his first Massey Ferguson. “We love Masseys,” says Cooley. “We’ve got 17 of the old 135s” used for bringing out peaches and light work. For parts, he calls on Nance Tractor and Implements in McConnells, S.C.

Adds Cooley, the vintage workhorse “was Massey’s special tractor, Daddy always said. The 135 is a tractor that everybody can drive. It’s easy to maintain regarding its parts and availability of them.”

As for his new MF8670, which Cooley calls the “Cadillac of tractors,” he plans to put it to work preparing peach and strawberry land. “We’ll use it for making the soil loose and ready for the roots to spread out on the peach trees,” he says. “And we’ll use it for fixing the ground for the strawberries.

“The view is remarkable,” continues Cooley. “It’s a smooth ride and the turning radius is remarkable. And, of course, it [has] unmatched power.”

For more on the Cooley farm, see http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/farmer-of-the-year-coming-out-on-top/.

My experience as AGCO‘s Africa Ambassador at Africa Summit 2015

Written by: Jean Kaahwa, AGCO Africa Ambassador 2015

AGCO Africa Summit 2015On the night of 16th January 2015, I said warm goodbyes to my immediate family and they wished me all the best in Berlin, Germany. As I set off to the airport I kept having flashbacks of my journey in the agriculture sector from the time when I was dreaming of turning that idle swamp into a productive fish farm, how the dream materialized, my growth in the agribusiness sector and eventually heading to Berlin as AGCO‘s Africa Ambassador for 2015.

I travelled from Uganda via Istanbul and was received warmly by a gentleman in Berlin. I was amazed at the beauty and scenery of the city that met me. At the hotel I bumped into Sue Musunga Chuzu, who was AGCO‘s first Africa Ambassador in 2012, and I immediately felt at home.

I later met the warm and friendly AGCO team and AGCO Africa Ambassador 2014, Joy Jelimo Chelagat as well. Joy and I toured Berlin together the next day and also visited the Africa Summit venue.

On the morning of the 4th AGCO Africa Summit I was nervous. However, I received some encouraging words from Mr. Nuradin Osman, Managing Director Africa and Middle East of AGCO, and Dr. Amrita Cheema, one of the moderators of the conference, just before the program started.

Looking at the conference agenda made me feel like I had to listen to every word spoken as I found the topics and presentations practical, applicable and contextual for the smallholder farmers like me in Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

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