Massey Ferguson begins production of award-winning IDEAL combine harvesters

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Following global industry acclaim – including Machine of the Year 2018, the DLG Silver medal for Innovation and the Red Dot Design Award – production of the first IDEAL combine harvesters has commenced at AGCO’s European Harvesting Centre of Excellence in Breganze, Italy.

Exploiting advanced modular build construction, the move marks more than six years of preparation and production workflow modelling by the Massey Ferguson team. With the help of augmented reality and on-screen digital visualisation, the project’s manufacturing, engineering and quality leads have been able to optimise the design, engineering and assembly for the new IDEAL in a virtual environment.

For example, during the design stage, experts were brought in for electronic installation, wiring runs and protection, as these are now an integral part of the machine working – 56 identical sensors send information continually to the Vision cab reporting performance and settings. Similarly, hydraulic pipe locations and fixings were given equal importance as both are the lifeblood of the IDEAL combine for maintaining efficiency.

Perfected through 45 prototypes and six years of testing, the IDEAL is one of the most sophisticated and capable commercial combine harvesters ever created. Setting new levels of efficiency, productivity and output in the field, three models offer a choice of machines from 451 to 647hp with single and dual rotary threshing systems.

Much of the work on the sub-assemblies used within the IDEAL is completed away from the production line – for example the threshing components are all installed into the main frame before major assembly. Quality-checked parts are picked in groups for a specific unit so that the assembler focusses on the whole group. The complete assembly is quality checked again once installed on the machine.

The whole process has been choreographed for efficiency and simplicity to provide units of the highest quality. This quality starts right at the beginning when the components arrive at the factory, samples are taken to the quality lab and are checked against the CAD drawings for size, thickness and make-up of the material.

Each machine is a build-to-order specification: options include one or two rotors, TrakRide or wheels and ParaLevel or Flatland. Once built, each IDEAL is put through its paces in a Dyno area with a rolling road to test the operation of the hydraulics, transmissions and electronics.

Located in the North of Italy, AGCO looks forward to welcoming prospective customers to the Breganze facility to see IDEAL production first-hand.

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