In conjunction with attending Agritechnica, I was able to tag along with a touring group of North American Fendt dealers and customers. We traveled to Marktoberdorf, Germany, where Fendt is headquartered and its tractors are made.
In all, Fendt has 22 acres of manufacturing under roof and 86 acres for the total campus.
It takes 14 hours to build a tractor, and with today’s facility the company can produce up to 80 tractors a day.
The manufacturing process includes a mixed line of products including the200, 300, 400, 700, 800 and 900 Series tractors. Currently, there is a five to six month lead time for a tractor order, which are manufactured in the order they are received.
Fendt employs just-in-time and just-in-sequence manufacturing practices with more than 350 parts suppliers. The housings, transmissions and cab are delivered to the assembly line only three hours before the assembly begins.
The company sources components from 24 foundries, and 80% of the transmission content is sourced in-house.
In 2009, Fendt built its 100,000th Vario tractor. And today, all of the company’s tractors are geared with the Vario transmission.
With each machining step, the components are measured to verify they are up to standard. It takes 90 minutes to measure and verify every tractor frame.
Throughout the assembly area, an overhead crane carries parts as heavy as transmission units to their end point.
The company uses a heat recovery system that is able to capture 65% of the heat from 1600 machines throughout the facility. In the summer, the factory uses an active cooling system.
At the end of the assembly line, the final inspection includes a five minute drive test and five minute brake test.
Fendt employees 2,500 people at the Marktoberdorf facilities, and another 900 employees work at the company’s cab building operations in Asbach-Baumenhein, Germany.
With a $200 million investment, called Fendt Ahead, by mid-year 2012 the company will expand to produce up to 100 tractors a day, 20,000 tractors a year, and 30,000 Vario transmissions a year.