When AGCO/Fendt drew up plans for its new manufacturing facilities, it was much more than an expansion of the existing facilities…it was a $300 million investment that transformed the entire manufacturing network.

The manufacturing facilities that undertook a complete redesign include the main facilities in Marktoberdorf, Germany, and the cab-manufacturing facility in Asback-Bäumenheim. Cabs for all the Vario tractors in the Fendt lineup are assembled according to customer orders, and delivered directly to the Marktoberdorf facility.

With the assistance of state-of-the-art automation, every Vario tractor is built on the same production line. Components are delivered just-in-time for final assembly according to each customer order. Fendt completely redesigned the final assembly process, taking advantage of the newest technologies and lean manufacturing methods to reduce manufacturing costs and increase efficiency.

“With these two facilities, we have significantly increased our production capabilities,” says Hubertus Köhne, vice president of manufacturing at Fendt. Production at the previous facility was 12,500 units per year. With increased capacity and efficiency, Fendt expects to soon be running at 20,000 units produced per year.

The one-kilometer assembly line runs straight through the facility, so no tractor during any part of the assembly is turned or moved…it starts at one end and rolls out of testing at the other end. “The capacity and efficiency of this plant will allow us to meet future demand for our tractors,” Köhne says. On average, it takes two hours for a single tractor to move along the assembly line.

It is quite a facility to tour. It’s bright and wide open. Parts are delivered directly to stations and assembled by technicians using the latest equipment. Tractors being assembled move along laser-guided trolleys that are automatically adjusted depending on the tractor model being assembled.

The facility in Marktoberdorf is quite impressive at more than 900,000 sq. ft. – more than 16 football fields. And what’s even more impressive is that the plant was built in only 13 months.