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Published February 19, 2008, 12:00 AM

CNH expanding plant

$10M addition caters to influx of product demand
Case New Holland’s Fargo plant is working on a major expansion. The 42,000 square-foot addition will include a new 24,000-square-foot paint system. The rest of the addition will be used for manufacturing.

By: Tracy Frank, The Forum

Case New Holland’s Fargo plant is working on a major expansion.

The 42,000 square-foot addition will include a new 24,000-square-foot paint system. The rest of the addition will be used for manufacturing.

“The increase in demand for agricultural and construction equipment has caused us to expand the plant capacity to meet that production,” said Erik Olson, general plant manager.

The plant, which is one of 39 Case New Holland manufacturing facilities worldwide, makes tractors and construction equipment.

There has been a significant increase in demand for agricultural and construction equipment over the past three years, Olson said.

He said one reason for the increased demand is the changing agricultural market because of biofuels.

“Farmers have another outlet for their product,” Olson said. “Before, it was just going to the food industry or the feed industry. Now there’s more competition for their product.”

Construction on the

$10 million project started in October. It is scheduled to be finished in August.

The new paint system will look like a massive railroad system suspended from the ceiling, Olson said.

A significant number of small parts are now sent to other painting facilities, he said. The plant is also limited in the amount of product it can paint.

In addition to increasing volume, the new system will improve corrosion protection and cosmetic paint quality, Olson said.

“We’re trying to upgrade our technology on the paint process so we have better quality in regards to cure and adhesion,” said Bill Moser, manufacturing engineering manager. “It’s going to give it better paint performance.”

There are some issues with paint chipping off the edges of equipment now, Moser said. The new system will make the paint last longer.

Case New Holland has 25,000 employees and about 11,500 dealers in 160 countries.

Equipment ranges from tractors to specialty grape harvesters and skid-steer loaders to hydraulic excavators.

One in three combine harvesters and backhoe loaders, and one in four tractors and skid-steer loaders sold worldwide come from Case New Holland, according to the company’s Web site.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526

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