AGCO’s multi-million investment created the world’s most modern engine factory in Linnavuori, Tampere Region, Finland17.2.2023
AGCO’s plan to invest over 100 million euros in AGCO Power engine manufacturing in Linnavuori, Finland, made the headlines in January 2019. The projects made possible by the investment have significantly strengthened the manufacturing capabilities of the Linnavuori factory. With them, a new engine family has been developed along with all that is needed to develop and manufacture engines in Linnavuori.
AGCO is a global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of agricultural machinery, with such brands as Massey Ferguson, Valtra and Fendt. As a result of the investments in AGCO Power engine manufacturing, there is now the world’s most modern engine factory in Linnavuori, Finland.
– Efficiency, flexibility and automation are our lifeblood, and the basis of our competitiveness, says AGCO Power CEO Juha Tervala.
AGCO Power operates globally and manufactures engines at its facilities in Finland, China, Brazil and Argentina. The investment in Finland was made after careful consideration.
– We have here all the support and development functions of manufacturing, and product development, which is a clear advantage for us. Furthermore, there is plenty of automation expertise in Finland, and a major concentration of metals industry in the Tampere Region, says Tervala.
Investments relied on local competencies
The investments of AGCO Power have been supported by a large local partnership network. The company has made big procurements of automation technology from Fastems, JTA Connection and MTC Flextek. The tool and automation supplier network in the Tampere Region is very strong.
– We have a genuine tendering process in all our procurements. Additionally, we have employed enterprises of all sizes with our investment projects, starting from the local plumber, says Ville Yli-Jama, Sr. Manager, Machining Operations at AGCO Power.
Construction projects have employed local businesses, and AGCO Power is satisfied with their services. However, special equipment and massive machine tools had to be imported. These purchases have enabled certain Finnish companies to strengthen their maintenance organizations.
– The City of Nokia is also worth mentioning, the city government has been really helpful and flexible towards our needs, for example supporting our road projects, says Tervala.
– AGCO’s package of industrial investments is a great source of pride for the Tampere City Region, says Harri Ojala, Director, investments and global operations, at Business Tampere.
The region in actively contributing to the conditions that enable forerunners, such as AGCO, to improve their market positions continually. Availability of expertise is essential and, according to Ojala, the surrounding ecosystem shall also be capable of growth-boosting.
– These investments indicate that the Tampere City Region is one of the most competitive locations in the global scale for the industrial twin transition: to design and manufacture digital and low-emission products, says Ojala.
New engine family – platform for future technologies
AGCO Power has recently started manufacturing the first member of the new engine family in Linnavuori. CORE75 is a 7.5-liter engine with 6 cylinders. Development process of the engine took the total of ten years, and resulted the world’s most modern diesel engine.
– In the off-road machinery market, diesel will be the number one choice for a long time. But as long as we have been developing our new engine product family, we have always taken into consideration that the fuel might be something else than diesel, says Tervala.
In the years to come there will be two more engine family members. The CORE family is the heart of a work machine and a platform on which future technologies will be developed, powered by either hydrogen, biogas or other alternative fuel, and at the same time enabling elecrification.
– Our current engines will stay in production for a long time. Once the new engine family begins to use up our capacity, their production may be transferred to the AGCO Power Brazilian facility, says Tervala.
No needless moves in assembly plant
Efficiency of the new assembly plant is largely in logistics: in its path from supplier to a finished engine unit, engine component is touched as few times as possible. All unnecessary movements are weeded out of the assembly process. The new CORE family is also designed to be assembled as quickly and practically as possible.
– This gives us productive competitive advantage in the assembly process. And in the machining lines, high automation is very important for the competitiveness, says Yli-Jama.
AGCO Power is currently constructing a visitor and training center next to the new assembly plant. The center will provide modern training facilities for customers and business partners to train the engine maintenance. It also provides an opportunity to see how the engines are assembled.
– We bring our customers closer to our production. I think that is also a competitive advantage, says Yli-Jama.
Good work environment increases performance
The multi-million investment allowed AGCO Power to design a new process for the new assembly plant. The main idea: to manufacture all the factory’s different engines using one flexible assembly line. The employees and their ideas were engaged in the planning of the process.
The result is a brightly lit working area, with all possible sources of noise eliminated, for example by replacing pneumatic tools with electric ones. Workers have the necessary tools, components and instructions within reach. Should there be problems, help is a button-push away. Later, if the assembly plant needs modifications, they are easy to do, because bolting things to floor has been avoided as much as possible.
Another central idea is that AGCO Power don’t do turnkey procurements, but seek to keep the knowhow in the company.
– For example, we have been the integrator of the assembly plant’s robot cells and used the expertise of several partners. Knowhow stays with us and it is easy to make more robot cells in the future, says Yli-Jama.
Engine factory is hiring
The number of persons employed by AGCO Power Linnavuori factory has been increasing, currently reaching 900, temporary agency workers are also included. The more engines are manufactured, the larger amount of people is needed to make them.
– This year we’ll make 33 000 engines, the next year even more. Naturally, the global situations and markets keep varying, but our basic assumption is growth, says Tervala.
The company has a clear roadmap of when and which products will be equipped with engines made in Linnavuori. The growth originates mainly from inside of the AGCO concern, but outside growth is also pursued.
New employees are therefore needed. AGCO Power has been successful in finding the workforce, and also managed to grow the competencies of its existing personnel. Job contents have been under close scrutiny in order to employ everyone at their proper skill level.
– It is easy to talk about investments, but investing in knowledge is the most important thing. Machines do nothing without skilled people, says Yli-Jama.
Author: Päivi Stenroos
Photo: Opa Latvala