On Tuesday 1 September Kongskilde opened its new American factory for agricultural implements, with a range of guests including retailers, customers, suppliers and the local authorities in Illinois all participating.
The background to the investment of 10 million American dollars was the capacity problems at Kongskilde's North American factory and the desire to achieve a great
improvement in competitiveness through significant improvements in productivity and quality.
"Our strategy is to focus on products with built-in Kongskilde expertise, where we can create great value in the form of a greater return and lower operating costs for American farmers," says Ole Gade, CEO of Kongskilde Industries.
He continues: "With our new factory we now have a very competitive platform for growth in North America, in terms of both capacity and quality."
Kongskilde's production and warehouse facilities at the factory in Illinois, USA, have been expanded from 11,000 to 18,000 m2. The investment comprises a new powder paint line and a new production layout, where production and assembly are performed according to modern Lean principles.
In particular the investment in the new, 260 metre long painting facility significantly increases both productivity and capacity. Today one shift of eight workers achieves the same as three shifts of eight workers each managed previously.
The quality of the painting work has been raised to a very high standard compared to competitors. The machine parts are primed and powder painted to be able to withstand 1,100 hours in a salt mist without rusting.
The environment is also a winner with the new factory, as 99.6 per cent of the powder and punch balls are now reclaimed and recycled. For example, the small punch balls, which are used for shot blasting of the various agricultural machine parts are reused 10-12 times.
The new factory is already in use.
"The dealers have welcomed our investment, and in August we received the largest number of orders ever," says Hans Rasmussen, President of Kongskilde in North
Kongskilde in North America markets methods and implements for soil preparation and complete diet mixers for milk producers. A number of machines are produced at the factory for the North American market plus South Africa and Russia, including disc harrows, stubble cultivators and seedbed cultivators. The factory employs 70 people.
The Kongskilde Group employs more than 1,000 people globally and has its own companies in a number of countries. The company develops methods and implements for all kinds of soil preparation and plant care. Kongskilde also markets grassland machinery and complete diet mixers for the production of green fodder. Kongskilde also has great expertise in the transport, drying, storage and cleaning of grain and other crops.