How New Holland builds a baler
Last week, several members of the farm media gathered at New Holland's North American headquarters in New Holland, Pennsylvania, at the company's invitation. During the past several years, NH hasn't done a lot to get media attention, and this was meant to be a new beginning.
Abe Hughes, II, NH's vice president of North American sales and marketing, said the company now has a new management team in place, and they intend to talk a lot more about products and innovations as they take a higher-profile approach to marketing. Engaging the media will be an important part of their strategy, so you'll be hearing and reading a lot more about the company in the future.
While we were at the corporate head office, we were given a tour of many of the facilities at the 365-acre site. It started off a few blocks away at the original factory building, which now houses residential condominiums, but the building's facade remains essentially as it first looked when it housed all the firm's operations, in the late 1800s.
From there, the company hired some of the local Amish farmers to take us to the current hay equipment assembly plant in a convoy of horse-drawn wagons. The city of New Holland is in Lancaster County, which is known for its Amish population.
NH actually has an open-door policy at this factory. During regular operating hours, anyone can walk in off the street and ask for a tour. But in case you're not going to be in Lancaster County anytime soon, here's a look at some of what you'd see if you did.
All NH balers destined for the North American market are built there, along with a variety of other implements. The process of building a round baler starts off with individual component manufacture. Here, Phoenix Rann, operations manager (rear), and a plant worker demonstrate how each part built at this stage is checked to ensure it meets correct tolerances.
Some components are powder coated at this station (notice the painter standing in the haze, which looks thicker than it really is due to the long shutter speed the camera needed).
Once all the parts are built, assembly begins, which starts with the bale chamber. Paint is applied to difficult-to-reach areas before the baler moves on.
Hitches are added.
The basic baler chassis is now built and fully painted.
At the end of the line, balers wait for testing.
Here, a worker uses an electric motor to run the baler and test all the systems before it's declared finished and ready for shipment.
Be sure to check future print issues of Grainews, Country Guide and Canadian Cattlemen for articles on NH machines and the new management team's plans to move the company forward.
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