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Beauvais tractor manufacturing facility wins France’s Factory of the Year Award 2016

AGCO’s Massey Ferguson Manufacturing Facility at Beauvais, France, has been presented with France’s prestigious Factory of the Year 2016 award.

The Beauvais site in Picardy beat ten other shortlisted factories from a wide range of industries in France to win the title.

Moundir Rachidi, Member of the Jury, Eric Odièvre, HR Director AGCO France, Spain, Portugal, Africa and Middle East, Thierry Lhotte, Vice President Marketing Massey Ferguson EAME, Olivier Dussart, Manager Manufacturing Engineering & APS AGCO Beauvais, Philippe Kerbat, Manager Quality Beauvais Site, Xavier Arruego, Communication Officer Beauvais Site, Boussad Bouaouli, Vice President Manufacturing AGCO Beauvais, Laurence Barbaray, Member of the Jury ( ©Pascal Guittet )

Moundir Rachidi, Member of the Jury, Eric Odièvre, HR Director AGCO France, Spain, Portugal, Africa and Middle East, Thierry Lhotte, Vice President Marketing Massey Ferguson EAME, Olivier Dussart, Manager Manufacturing Engineering & APS AGCO Beauvais, Philippe Kerbat, Manager Quality Beauvais Site, Xavier Arruego, Communication Officer Beauvais Site, Boussad Bouaouli, Vice President Manufacturing AGCO Beauvais, Laurence Barbaray, Member of the Jury ( ©Pascal Guittet )

The Factory of the Year Awards are organised by “L’Usine Nouvelle”, the leading industrial magazine in France. In selecting the overall Factory of the Year Award winner, the Jury looked for a facility that has demonstrated an in-depth transformation initiative and delivered significant performance gains including increases in productivity, quality, competitiveness and market share. Key partner of the awards event and a member of the judging panel is Boston Consulting Group, a leading global management and business strategy specialist.

Operated by Massey Ferguson’s parent company, AGCO, which is headquartered in Duluth in the United States, the AGCO Beauvais site designs and manufactures Massey Ferguson tractors from 75-400 hp. It is France’s largest producer and exporter of farm machinery. Some 14,500 tractors leave the assembly lines each year, 85% of which are shipped to markets all over the world. In the last 12 months, four new MF tractor ranges built at the plant have been unveiled for global markets.

The Factory of the Year award recognises the AGCO Beauvais facility’s successful and wide-ranging reorganisation project known as MF Fast Forward. The plant has seen significant productivity gains through the implementation of Lean Manufacturing processes, 5S good housekeeping techniques and the Hoshin Kanri Continuous Improvement Strategy.

factoryIn addition, the Jury highlighted the site’s Quality Transformation Initiative and the clear commitment of Beauvais employees to the transformation process. Latest in-house figures from the plant show a rise in manufacturing quality levels, while Massey Ferguson’s Customer Satisfaction Index reveals improvements in perceived quality by end-users. For example, non-conformances in the production process have been reduced by more than 40% during the last two years from what was already a very good base. Massey Ferguson’s comprehensive Customer Satisfaction survey reveals that in respect of tractor product quality at the point of delivery, the ‘positive answers’ ratio from end-users has moved up to 94% in less than five years.

“It is a privilege and honour to win this coveted award,” says Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director, Massey Ferguson, Europe, Africa, Middle East. “It is a tribute to our 2500-strong workforce at Beauvais who have been the architects of the factory’s major transformation over the last five years. This latest accolade is yet another milestone in our relentless pursuit of continuous improvement to ensure our customers get the very best products for their farm businesses.”

“The award comes in addition the prize won by the Beauvais site earlier this year as France’s Best Foreign Exporter,” he continues. “High-quality manufacturing is at the heart of the renowned reliability and dependability of Massey Ferguson equipment. This, coupled with our leading design and engineering, is ensuring that our famous ‘Triple Triangle’ brand continues to move ahead. Massey Ferguson’s market share increased again across the Europe, Africa, Middle East region last year – the 6th consecutive year we have increased this figure.”

Commenting, Boussad Bouaouli, Vice-President Manufacturing Beauvais says: “The Beauvais Quality Transformation Initiative is part of AGCO’s global objective to be N°1 in Perceived Quality and was considered an outstanding achievement by the Factory of the Year Award Jury members. It illustrates every single employee’s dedication to deliver ‘best in class quality’ for each individual tractor on the production the line. We are thrilled to receive the title of Factory of the Year and congratulate all our employees in Beauvais. This award is truly the result of their commitment and hard work.”

MF 35 – the People’s Tractor – launched in Kenya

Massey Ferguson is launching a tractor for the Kenya market which will provide emerging farmers and new-start agricultural contractors with the important first step in farm mechanisation.

“Straightforward, dependable and affordable, the 36hp MF 35 is truly the ‘People’s Tractor’,” says Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director Massey Ferguson Europe/Africa/Middle East. “This well-proven model offers exactly the right specification and technical features for Kenya’s emerging farm enterprises. It brings mechanisation to a new generation of farmers, farm workers and entrepreneurs. It is the ideal, multi-purpose machine particularly for first-time tractor owners and operators who are ambitious to develop their businesses and transform their families’ livelihoods. Our message is clear – for those who thought that a tractor straight from the showroom was out of reach, then think again because the MF 35 could be the perfect solution.”

Sales, parts, training and service support are being handled by Massey Ferguson’s highly-experienced National Distributor, FMD which has a nationwide network of outlets and mobile service teams. A special package of implements to complement the MF 35 tractor is also under development to include a choice of cultivation, planting and transport equipment.

With strong Massey Ferguson heritage, this latest MF 35 is based on the renowned machine, with the same model number, which cemented its reputation in Africa and around the world over many years. Key features include a rugged 36hp engine, 6-forward/2-reverse speed mechanical gearbox and hard-wearing robust construction. Easy-to-use and maintain, the MF 35 is highly flexible. It is equally at home in cultivation, planting, transport or yard duties, working across a wide range of farm sectors including arable, livestock and horticulture, flower, tea and coffee production – making Kenya the ideal market. The tractor’s compact size means it is exceptionally manoeuvrable on smaller plots of land, while its rear three-point hitch boasts maximum lift capacity of 1100 kg enabling use of a wide variety of implements – ranging from transport boxes and mowers to ploughs and cultivators.

The launch of the MF 35 is part of Massey Ferguson’s parent company AGCO’s commitment under the Grow Africa initiatives of the World Economic Forum. AGCO is a business champion for Grow Africa which is focused on accelerating private sector investment for sustainable growth in African agriculture.

Welcome home! Police escort through city streets for returning South Pole tractor hero

The MF 5610 tractor which spearheaded the gruelling Antarctica2 expedition to the South Pole in December received a rapturous hero’s welcome on its return home to the French City of Beauvais on 13 February.

Crowds turned out to honour the tractor at special homecoming ceremonies held at the AGCO manufacturing plant, where it was designed and built, and at the Town Hall where Madame Caroline Cayeux, Mayor of Beauvais welcomed it back on behalf of the City.

Left to right: Antarctica2 MF 5610 at the Beauvais 2 Training Centre. Simon Foster - Expedition Creative Director, Manon Ossevoort - Expedition Ambassador, Nicolas Bachelet - Expedition Mechanic

Left to right: Antarctica2 MF 5610 at the Beauvais 2 Training Centre. Simon Foster – Expedition Creative Director, Manon Ossevoort – Expedition Ambassador, Nicolas Bachelet – Expedition Mechanic.

Special guests at the ceremonies were the Antarctica2 Expedition’s Ambassador and Lead Driver, Manon Ossevoort, Lead Mechanic, Nicolas Bachelet and Cameraman, Simon Foster. In taking Manon safely to the South Pole, the MF 5610 not only helped her realise her 12-year dream to drive a tractor ‘to the end of the world.’ but also became the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.

At the Beauvais plant, Manon officially handed back the tractor’s keys to Richard Markwell, Vice President and Managing Director Massey Ferguson Europe, Africa and Middle-East, who had previously presented them to her on 29 July, 2014. “We are all so proud of our tractor and the incredible achievement of Manon and her Antarctica2 team,” said Richard. “Our warmest congratulations on their courage and their determination as well as, of course, their belief in the Massey Ferguson brand. Employees here at Massey Ferguson along with a global audience of millions followed the team’s battle across the ice as news of their exploits unfolded like an adventure story each day. It was exciting and inspiring to see one of the tractors designed and built in this factory making both history and headlines around the world.”

Thanking Massey Ferguson for believing in her dream and supporting the expedition with the supply of the MF 5610, Manon said: “It’s feels good to deliver the tractor safely back to its home. We drove it hard for 28 days across 5000 km and, overall, clocked up 760 hours engine running time – that’s more than many farms would do in two years of normal work. Throughout, it was strong, steady and sure – a tribute to the MF staff who design and build the machines here at Beauvais. Thank you for letting me borrow your brilliant tractor!”

After the factory ceremony, the tractor made its way under police escort to the Beauvais Town Hall plaza to be greeted by Caroline Cayeux, Mayor of Beauvais

“I know I speak for all our citizens in Beauvais when I say that we are brimming with pride to see a tractor produced here reach the South Pole. What an accomplishment!” the Mayor remarked. “Massey Ferguson is an industrial icon in our City and the Antarctica2 achievement is a true testimony to the skills and knowhow of the employees at AGCO Massey Ferguson in Beauvais. Bravo and congratulations from us all.”

The MF 5610 will be one of the star exhibits on the Massey Ferguson stand at the SIMA Show in Paris 22-26 February.

Tractors for the New Generation of Farmers World Premiere for Massey Ferguson Global Series

Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), is unveiling the groundbreaking new MF Global Series tractors at its exciting Vision of the Future event in Beauvais, France.

Backed by an investment of over $350 million from its parent company AGCO, and the result of more than six years of research and development, the Massey Ferguson Global Series is a brand-new product line of 60-130hp tractors which will ultimately be assembled at multiple manufacturing sites and sold globally.

MF 4709 Global Series tractor

MF 4709 Global Series tractor

“With its forward-looking perspective, our Vision of the Future event is the perfect platform for the world public debut of these new machines,” comments Richard Markwell, Massey Ferguson Vice President and Managing Director Europe/Africa/Middle East (EAME). “This is the largest manufacturing and new product development project in the history of AGCO and is an extremely significant evolution for the Massey Ferguson brand. It signals the biggest extension to our tractor line-up for many years. Massey Ferguson boasts impeccable credentials to spearhead the ambitious Global Series project with unrivalled experience and understanding of designing, manufacturing and selling tractors in international markets.”

“As modern agriculture becomes ever more challenging and hungry for efficient and appropriate mechanisation, these tractors represent a new source of power for world agriculture. Designed from the outset for global distribution, they will offer an array of specification, options and features to suit customers no matter where in the world they farm,” Mr Markwell continued.

Multi-national engineering teams worked on a clean-sheet design. Their brief was to take the concept of the utility tractor and re-engineer it from the ground up whilst incorporating the classic Massey Ferguson design tenets of straightforward, dependable operation. Around 90% of the components are completely new. More than 36,000 hours of lab and field testing have seen prototype models show their paces in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas.

In a concept unique in the farm machinery industry, the thrust of the manufacturing strategy is to create a highly flexible network of plants where major units and complete tractors can be produced and assembled at multiple locations throughout the world. Plants in the network include Canoas in Brazil, Chennai in India, Manisa in Turkey and Changzhou in China. At Changzhou, a brand-new state-of-the-art factory has been built to act as an anchor facility for both tractor manufacturing and for the supply of major components. Wholly owned and operated by AGCO, the plant is equipped with all the very latest machine tools, assembly processes and systems as distributed extensively in AGCO factories worldwide.

The Massey Ferguson Global Series will be introduced on a phased approach basis over the next five years. Rugged, dependable, easy-to-operate and maintain, they will be available as footstep, semi-platform, platform and cab versions. The first model – the 82hp MF 4708 – is already in production for African markets and the next model up, the MF 4709 will be launched in other EAME markets later this year.

“The Global Series is designed by our experienced engineering teams, built by using cutting-edge manufacturing and quality techniques and fully backed and supported in the field,” adds Mr Markwell. “These tractors are set to become the machines of choice for the new generation of farmers all over the world.”

Massey Ferguson – a Year in Review

2011 has been a year of new products, investment and multiple awards for Massey Ferguson. That’s the message from Richard Markwell, MF’s Vice-President and Managing Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East in his personal review of 2011 in the latest NEWS@MF web cast. With the outlook for farm industry fundamentals remaining strong, 2012 looks set to be another positive year for agriculture with plenty to look forward to and yet more new developments from Massey Ferguson.

Regards
The MF Editorial Team

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