DULUTH, Ga. — AGCO Jackson Operations, the Minn.-based manufacturing center for AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), a worldwide distributor and manufacturer of agricultural equipment, is the first agricultural manufacturer to receive the AME Excellence Award presented by the Assn. for Manufacturing Excellence (AME). The Jackson facility manufactures complex, custom-configured Challenger and Massey Ferguson agricultural machines, including tractors and application equipment. The 2017 AME Excellence Award was presented Oct. 10 at the AME 2017 International Conference in Boston, Mass.
AGCO was chosen based upon the company’s work converting the Jackson facility to a mixed model line and the quality, efficiency and productivity improvements that resulted in just over two years. Empowering employees, adopting new tools and integrating innovative technology using Glass, an assisted-reality, wearable headset device, are key factors leading to the success. AGCO is the only agricultural equipment manufacturer to use Glass technology in its manufacturing processes.
“The machines we manufacture are built to order, and rarely are two exactly alike. With our mixed model production approach, an employee may build an engine assembly in the morning and turn to an applicator later in the day,” says Peggy Gulick, AGCO’s director of business process improvement. “For our workers, Glass provides instant access to parts lists, assembly instructions, quality checkpoints and other work instructions for the specific machine on the line at that time.”
The new assembly line with in-process quality testing, and the use of Glass implemented in the past two years, resulted in a 40% improvement in early-hour repair frequency for the tractors and applicators manufactured in Jackson. Other improvements achieved within the facility include a 30% reduction in inspection times, a 25% reduction in production time for low-volume, high-complexity assemblies and the ability to train staff 300% faster. Today, AGCO has more than 100 pairs of Glass deployed at the Jackson plant and has begun integrating Glass into other facilities around the world.
The AME Excellence Award is sponsored by the Assn. for Manufacturing Excellence. The award involves a rigorous selection process that begins with an extensive achievement report to demonstrate continuous improvement, best practices, creativity and innovation in manufacturing. Manufacturing facilities then are further evaluated through an extensive site visit during which the achievement report is validated.
To learn more about the Excellence Award, visit www.ame.org/excellence-awards.