Recent investments in Valtra’s factory in Central Finland enable even better customer service through improved manufacturing efficiency and better working conditions for many of its 1,200 employees.
Big improvements for big tractors
The most noticeable change at the Finnish factory is Valtra’s new 2,000 m2 paint shop. This impressive building sits immediately adjacent to the main assembly line. The new paint shop ensures high-quality of the finished paint for customers and enhances process efficiency.
In the new set up, the assembled tractor frames are taken from the assembly line to the new paint shop via Automated Guided Vehicle carts (AGV)s. The frames are then suspended and carried by overhead conveyors. This hanging method of conveyance and the additional space afforded in the new building allows for more efficient washing, drying, painting and priming processes.
The original paint shop was built in 1969 and was located in the main assembly hall. While painting technology has developed over the years, the old paint shop was not large enough to accommodate Valtra’s newest high horsepower tractors – the Q and S Series. Relocating the paint shop has enabled the Valtra team to better serve its customers by facilitating an accelerated production pace that increases capacity. This change also significantly improves employee working conditions in the assembly plant as the noise, heat and moisture from the old paint shop have been eliminated.
More capacity and efficiency for transmission plant
Valtra’s Suolahti transmission plant is also undergoing significant expansion and modernisation. The factory currently manufactures transmissions used in the N and T Series tractors and delivers powershift transmissions for the South American market and transmission components for other AGCO sites. In the future, the AGCO CVT transmissions used in the Q and S Series will also be made in Finland.
A new transmission test bench dedicated to Q and S Series transmissions will enable higher production of high horsepower tractors to meet growing customer demand.
Other recent investments that improve customer outcomes include the new Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) 5 automated manufacturing system that is linked to the material store and state-of-the-art machining centres. This new system ensures consistent quality while also enabling larger capacities. Three additional machining centers will complete the FMS in early 2024.
Director of Manufacturing Valtra EME, Tiina Herlevi, underscores the importance of safe, reliable, and high-quality production at Suolahti, “We’re investing in technology that improves product quality and production output for customers while also improving safety and working conditions for our team. With increased automation and precision machining, our operators can work in a cleaner and quieter environment.”
Investing into R&D capabilities
Valtra engineering teams will benefit from accelerated test results when a brand-new validation centre is inaugurated in the second half of 2024. The 850 sqm building with full climate control will allow for testing entire tractors or individual modules in extremely hot or cold conditions and various levels of air humidity - regardless of the weather outside.
“The new validation centre makes engineering and research processes more efficient, which is beneficial for our customers and employees alike. Soon, we will be able to accurately test the tractor modules under load and in extreme temperatures all year round here in Suolahti. This change will accelerate the development and testing of, for example, future energy sources and technologies in extreme temperatures or cab thermal management technologies,” comments Valtra’s Director of Engineering Henry Palonen.
Valtra factory visits
Factory tours and visits are available for special groups. During the visits, customers can see many of these recent improvements first hand, as well as the recently refurbished visitor centre and shop located in the Atrium building. Guests can also visit the renovated Valtra Unlimited Studio, located next to the dedicated train line where tractors leave the factory, and the AGCO Reman centre that supplies remanufactured engines, transmissions and parts to Valtra customers.
Valtra continues to improve efficiency and sustainability in its production. Since 2022 the factory has been run using 100% renewable energy and has been using renewable diesel in testing and tractor first fills for over five years. To find out more about sustainable production at Valtra’s Suolahti factory visit https://www.valtra.com/sustainability/our-operations.html
Valtra Inc. develops, manufactures, markets and services Valtra tractors, each of which is designed specifically to meet individual customer needs. Renowned for their versatility and reliability, Valtra tractors are built to withstand the most demanding climates and guarantee the highest level of performance in the toughest working conditions. Valtra is a global brand of AGCO and the leading tractor manufacturer in the Nordic countries, as well as one of the most popular brands in Latin America.
AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology. AGCO delivers customer value through its differentiated brand portfolio including core brands like Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson®, Precision Planting® and Valtra®. Powered by Fuse® smart farming solutions, AGCO’s full line of equipment and services help farmers sustainably feed our world. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, USA, AGCO had net sales of approximately $12.7 billion in 2022. For more information, visit www.AGCOcorp.com. For company news, information, and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.
Pamela Engels, Senior Manager Communications and Digital Marketing, Valtra EME | +358 40 1983 855 | Pamela.Engels@AGCOcorp.com