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Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
AGCO’s paint preparation area uses automated guided vehicles (AGVs), a type of robot that follows markers or wires in the floor, or uses vision or lasers. The AGVs are used to move racks of parts to and from the paint system. Small AGV load stations can handle loads less than 6 feet wide and less than 2,500 pounds. Large AGV load stations with specialized carts/dollies transport large assemblies like combine welded mainframes, large square baler mainframes or cabs to the track system, which moves the parts through the paint building. These large loads can be up to 56 feet long, 10 feet wide and 6,500 pounds.
E-Coat and Powder Paint Process
AGCO is the first agricultural equipment manufacturer to E-coat and powder-paint all major parts on harvesting and hay equipment products. About 75 percent of parts will ultimately go through the E-coat and powder paint process. The parts go through a 17-step process, beginning with the dip system, which removes rust, scale and laser oxides. Each of the 15 dip tanks is 35,000 gallons in capacity. E-coated parts are then baked in one of 10 cure ovens at 375–450º F before receiving powder paint. They are then baked in one of 10 powder-coat ovens at 425º F.
The total process takes four-and-one-half hours, results in a finish with increased resistance to corrosion and weathering, and has a low environmental impact. With a liquid paint process, about 50 percent of paint adheres, while the other 50 percent is waste. With the powder paint process, about 95 percent of the paint transfers to the part. Powder-painted colors include black, chassis gray, Challenger® yellow, Gleaner® gray, Massey Ferguson® red.
a. A Gleaner welded mainframe is picked up by the special hanging device. It is placed into the first high-temperature dip tank, containing a 160º F alkaline solution, for 90 seconds. Each of these 15 dip tanks is 35,000 gallons in capacity.
b. In the second and third dip tanks, the parts to be painted are rinsed at ambient temperature for 30 seconds each.
c. Acid-solution dip tanks, both at 160º F, are used to remove any rust, scale and laser oxides.
d. Rinsing through four additional tanks occurs: a rinse tank at ambient temperature; an alkaline solution at 160º F for one minute; and finally, two reverse-osmosis rinse tanks at ambient temperature.
e. The combine mainframe is ready for a zirconium coat dip tank, then two more reverse-osmosis rinse tanks at ambient temperature.
f. A combine mainframe reaches the E-coat tank where it receives E-coat primer with a high-voltage and high-amperage charge for 180 seconds. It is then processed through two more rinse tanks, both at ambient temperature.
g. The frame will now go to one of the 10 E-coat ovens to be baked at 375º F for 40 minutes. This is followed by a 20- to 60-minute cooldown.
h. Parts going to the three powder booths will be painted one of five different colors. These booths feature an automatic section of 32 paint guns and two manual reinforcement painters.
i. AGCO’s powder paint system features reclaim booths that fully reclaim all unused powder. After being powder-painted, parts go to the powder oven for 60 minutes.
j. The finished Gleaner welded mainframe has a high-quality surface that will resist rust and hold its appearance for years.
Liquid Paint System
The liquid line is set up to paint six different colors: black, chassis gray, Challenger yellow, Gleaner gray, Massey Ferguson red and Fendt® green. All parts painted in the liquid paint system undergo a six-step process similar to the powder-paint system. The parts washer system has a 5,200-gallon capacity and 500 spray nozzles. The main spray pump flows at 1,735 gpm. Inside the 40-foot paint booths, the down-draft system flows a minimum of 100 feet per minute (fpm), with 80,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) exhaust flow per booth. After priming and painting, racks of parts move into one of four ovens and are baked at 200º F for 45 minutes.