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Published May 13, 2013, 10:44 AM

AGCO announces $42 million expansion

Work will enhance production, capacity and efficiency

By: Julie Buntjer, Forum News Service

JACKSON, Minn. — AGCO Operations broke ground May 7 on a new $42 million expansion project at its manufacturing facility in Jackson, Minn., marking a second major expansion in as many years for the manufacturers of Massey Ferguson and Challenger row crop tractors and Challenger track tractors, as well as application equipment.

“It’s just exciting to see us come to the next milestone for our operation, where we can be expanding again,” says Eric Fisher, AGCO director of operations in Jackson, adding that the bulk of the latest investment will be in technology.

“We intend to be the leader in terms of product quality, and when you lead, you need to stay in the forefront of technology,” he adds.

Over the course of the next three years, AGCO will complete a seven-phase expansion impacting all areas of the Jackson operations. Topping the list is a 30,000-square-foot expansion of the component manufacturing area. Expected to be completed this fall, the addition will allow AGCO to increase capacity and improve efficiency in work flow through assembly stations.

Both the tractor assembly and application equipment assembly lines will be expanded during the process, and a robotic welder and sheet laser will also be added to improve productivity. An in-line paint system will be added to the application assembly line, along with cutting-edge testing capability of finished products.

Once the work is complete, AGCO estimates production capacity will increase by 25 percent on both the tractor and sprayer assembly lines.

Fisher says the 2011 expansion took AGCO Operations in Jackson to “a new plateau” with a product line-up that is the “best it’s ever been.”

“The global need for our type of equipment is there and increasing,” he says. “The pressures are on for feeding the world, and AGCO, specifically the Jackson operations, are going to be a big part of the answer for that.”

Fisher says orders for Massey Ferguson and Challenger tractors, as well as spraying equipment are “extremely strong.”

“We really have one of the largest backlogs we’ve ever had, and these are orders from around the globe,” he says. “We definitely need to increase our capacity here to be more responsive to the marketplace.”

“We’ve been very fortunate in Jackson to have AGCO expanding over the last several years,” says Sue Pirsig, Jackson Economic Development Corp. coordinator. “We’re extremely pleased that they continue to invest in the community.”

“We’re happy to work with AGCO, and the big thing is that they’re happy with us, and they’re willing to advance their technology and stay with us in Jackson,” adds Jackson Mayor Wayne Walter. “They’re going to be adding a few more jobs, which is always good.”