Made-to-Order Tractors Harvest Global Returns

Successful manufacturers keep an ear to the ground. They are flexible, adaptable. They know in order for their products to remain relevant and vital they must evolve to meet the needs and demands of new markets at home and abroad.

AGCO, an agricultural equipment manufacturer which bills itself as a company providing “high–tech solutions for professional farmers feeding the world,” has grown rapidly over the past 21 years through mergers and acquisitions.

It’s a company that’s mastered the precarious art of manufacturing for specialized markets on a broad global scale, balancing the production of highly configured equipment with some standardization.

Watch the Video – AGCO’s director of global engineering processes and architecture talks about the company’s growth and its PLM strategy in a global market.

Examples of AGCO’s innovation around the world:

Tractor engines which run on renewable biogas on a farm in Sweden – AGCO’s made some significant investments in sustainability. From creating fuel-efficient equipment to meeting differing regulatory requirements around engine emissions across the world.

Case in point: the Valtra N101 biogas demonstration tractor runs on biogas created from farming byproducts such as manure and waste from crops. The Valtra N101 is an all-purpose tractor for farms, municipalities and contractors who have access to biogas at the job site. It gets 70-80 percent of its power from biogas.

The dual-fuel engine functions like a diesel engine and if no biogas is not available, the engine can run completely on diesel fuel. With 170 liters of biogas farmers can expect about four hours of production, AGCO says.

Meeting China’s diverse agricultural needs – China’s crop landscape is diverse, from flood-irrigated rice in the south to corn and wheat fields in the north, but only a relatively small portion of China’s land is farmable. Because of this, China is heavily dependant on imported grain from other countries – something the Chinese government wants to change.

AGCO is busy designing equipment to meet China’s needs. Equipment which is relevant for the region – self-propelled combines, for instance. AGCO is evaluating existing global product platforms in China and has solicited product reviews from owners, operators and dealers at its Changzhou facility. It’s also sent a group of engineers out to China to collaborate with local product development teams.

Boosting productivity in Kazakhstan – Northern Kazakhstan—with its vast amounts of agricultural land—is looking for a cost-efficient way to farm. AGCO has replaced old-style Soviet tractors in Kazakhstan with the AGCO Challenger brand. Just two AGCO Challengers can do the work of 10 Soviet-era tractors.

What do you think of AGCO’s global strategy? What are the challenges and benefits of creating specialized products on global platforms?

AGCO uses PTC’s PLM solutions to manage its global product data. Visit the PLM Resource Center to learn how PLM can improve business processes and build better products.

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