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Go Inside CNH’s Product Development Center
Jun 23, 2010
At its Burr Ridge headquarters, CNH builds upon the company’s history for tractor development and testing.
First purchased by International Harvester in 1917, the site spread across 414 acres and was the original test farm for the Farmall Regular. This was the first all-purpose row crop tractor brought to the market.
Today, the site totals 112 acres and features the 510,000 sq. ft. facility for engineering and product development. Specifically, this site works on tractors, combines and some construction equipment.
This is where equipment is shaken for durability, chilled down to -27 degrees Fahrenheit, and exposed to high temperatures that simulate the Arizona desert at high noon. This is all part of the company’s testing procedure.
The test cells can condense drivetrain and other component testing by 2:1, 5:1 and even 9:1 ratios. So a 10-year/10,000 hour life cycle test can be conducted in 1,100 hours. The test cells can run 24/7 without human supervision.
The center includes a virtual reality room that has the capability to display the largest CNH equipment. The display wall measures 18’ wide by 14’ tall. The company says it brings in customers at least once a month to virtually go through concept machines and those under development.
Recently, the facility updated an area specifically devoted to CNH sister company and engine partner, Fiat Powertrain Technologies. There are four brand-new engine test cells, which are unique in that the energy generated during the engine tests in these cells can be captured and put back onto the CNH electrical grid on site.
Located on site is a museum that chronicles the interesting array of products in the site’s history. Included are the first self-propelled one-row cotton picker mounted on a Farmall H; two automobiles from the years that Case Corporation made cars; and many other first prototype and hand-built models.