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Rotor Welding and Balancing
Rotors for combines are completely welded and balanced at AGCO Hesston Operations. Here, the transverse-mounted rotor for an S Series combine is welded from two pieces of steel with internal welded supports and ends. Tack-welded by one operator, the completed subassembly then moves to the dual robotic welding system.
This $500,000 computerized dual robotic welder eliminates the need for manual welding. Each robotic arm is programmed to orient itself and locate the position where the particular welding must occur. This assures precise welding to exacting tolerances. Dual robotic welding cells also allow one robotic welder to tack-weld while the other does finish welding.
Laser cutters are used heavily at AGCO Hesston Operations. In 2013 alone, AGCO processed 32 million pounds of steel using laser cutters. Steel utilization averages 80 percent with only 20 percent scrap. Some of AGCO’s Trumpf® lasers operate during three shifts and may be programmed to work even when an operator is not present.
Robotic Welding of Rotary Cutter
A $500,000 dual robotic welding system provides high precision and consistency as it welds together pieces of steel that will become the rotary cutter assembly of a large square baler.
Numerous press brakes are used at AGCO Hesston Operations to bend and shape sheet metal of different sizes and thicknesses. Here, a press brake is beginning to bend the Gleaner® transverse processor, taking it from a flat surface to a curved surface.
Dyno Bay and Post-production Inspection
The dyno bay, put into service in February 2012, features a jounce test that rocks the combine back and forth while completing a thorough check of all sensors, electronics, hydraulics and diagnostic systems. It also provides a thorough break-in of transmission and final drives. A 7,000-pound header simulator tests header speed as well as header drop speed, and a load is applied to the feeder house output shaft to validate engine horsepower. Even the cab lighting is adjusted to proper angle. More than 120 areas are checked and approved before a combine goes to post-production inspection.