From humble beginnings, a small Dutch firm has evolved into an international manufacturer of farm equipment with over 2 million machines sold throughout the world.

This year the Vicon brand, established by its founder Hermanus Vissers, is celebrating 100 years of farm machinery manufacturing.

Vicon's RotaFlow RS-EDW spreader is believed to be the first implement in the world compatible with the ISOBUS system.

The original Vicon machine was believed to be a horse-drawn semi-automatic potato planter. Today, Vicon (which stands for Vissers Construction Nieuw-Vennep) is best known for its mower bars, finger-wheel rakes and pendulum-type fertiliser spreaders.

Expansion of the company got under way during the 1950s when Mr Vissers' eldest son, Herbert Vissers took on the job of opening up new markets, including North America and a new and larger factory was opened in Nieuw-Vennep to cater for the increased demand.

The 1960s saw the successful development of a sugar beet harvester while Vicon also extended its product programme with a spading machine.

Later that decade, the Vicon rotary mower was introduced as an important extension to the hay and grass harvesting line-up.

This era of fierce growth saw the company employ over 1000 people. A Dutch investment company acquired a majority share of the company and Herbert Vissers stepped back from being managing director.

During the early 1980s Thyssen Bornemisza, a large industrial group, looked at the agricultural industry as a growth market and acquired full ownership of Vicon.
Interestingly, this allowed funds to become available, thereby permitting expansion of its crop care product range with the acquisition of Belgian sprayer specialist Allaeys.

The forage harvesting product range was further strengthened by the take-over of French baler specialist Rivierre Casalis while, in Canada, Vicon purchased two manufacturers of cultivators, field sprayers, round balers and PTO-driven combine harvesters - to serve the North American wheat belt areas.

In Nieuw-Vennep the company made a break-through with micro-electronics in agricultural machinery. One of the key developments was the HP1600 high density baler, which was the first electro-hydraulically operated baler capable of producing quality baled silage.

Vicon's Nieuw-Vennep factory also became a development centre for farm electronics and in the early 1980s pioneered the ISOBUS standard which has now been adopted globally by the agricultural industry as the next generation of machine control systems.

A period of consolidation saw Thyssen Bornemisza bring its Vicon, Zweegers, Rivierre Casalis and Deutz-Fahr implement companies together in one organisation, called Greenland. This newly re-organised company adopted the single and strongest brand name - Vicon.

In 1998 the Norwegian Kverneland Group acquired Greenland. Both manufacturers' product ranges complemented each other well and Vicon's worldwide distribution was further strengthened, particularly throughout Eastern Europe, the Russian Commonwealth of Independent States countries and China.

By 2008, the Kverneland Group had simplified its brand strategy to concentrate on its two strongest identities — Vicon and Kverneland.
Production of Vicon fertiliser spreaders and sprayers remained in Nieuw-Vennep, in The Netherlands, while manufacturing of Vicon disc mowers, rakes and tedders moved to Kerteminde in Denmark.

A facility in Soest, Germany, now produces the seed drills and seeding combinations, while the Modena, Italy, plant builds power harrows and rotary tillers.

A fifth plant in Les Landes-Genusson, France, makes disc and tine cultivators.