Inside New Holland’s Hay Tool Plant
May 01, 2012
It’s a billion dollar factory: the New Holland hay tools plant in New Holland, Pa. In total, the manufacturing facility is 700,000 sq. ft. on the 341-acre corporate campus. Included on the campus is a 150-acre test farm that grows corn and hay and has beef cattle.
The manufacturing facility was opened in 1955 and today comprises three interconnected buildings. In the past five years, the company has invested $30 million, with a large part of that going to revamping and expanding the paint line. The powder coat paint process takes 3½ hours and includes a seven-stage washing process, applying the powder and baking. The factory applies three colors of powder paint: red, yellow and CNH gray.
The facility uses 346 suppliers and consumes 60 million pounds of sheet metal a year. The factory produces 2,200 parts for CNH products manufactured at this facility and others (including Grand Island, Neb.; Saskatoon, Canada; and Poland), and 65% of the baler content is made here at the factory.
It takes one and a half days to build a round baler from the first weld in subassembly until it rolls out of the factory. This facility can build 21 round balers a day. It can produce eight large manure spreaders or three small manure spreaders a day. More than 200,000 round balers have been made at this factory.
There’s a total of 280 ft. of weld on a single round baler, and 80% of a roll belt round baler is robotically welded.
The factory shuts down for two weeks every summer, and it shuts down for two days for deer hunting season.
This is the only factory where New Holland small square balers are made. In 2008, the factory produced its 700,000th small square baler, which was sold to a Pennsylvania farmer who has bought more than 20 New Holland small square balers.
Even with extensive testing, the factory conducts Customer Quality Audits (CQA). In this process, 2% of all product is tested. The staff sets up the machinery exactly as a dealer would and checks every weld, bolt, decal and paint job. The employees score it, and if the machine does not pass the CQA, every serial number since the previous CQA on that product line is checked. This could include any equipment already on dealer lots.
Hay equipment is exported to numerous countries, and on the day of my factory tour there were small square balers being packaged for shipping to China. The packers can fit eight small square balers in a shipping container.