Cranes for growth programme

John Deere

High throughput rates and maximum flexibility

High throughput rates and maximum flexibility: these were the goals set by John Deere for its new production and storage facility concept in Domodedovo, Russia. The facility near Moscow is able to manufacture a wide range of products. Particularly in terms of its long-term goals, John Deere can vary the layout of the installations within the facility. A major contribution is provided by Demag crane systems, which have been installed in production cells and support the personnel in all assembly operations.

  • 2 assembly lines for tractors and harvesters
  • Material flow concept with 18 free-standing steel superstructures
  • 35 suspension cranes and KBK pillar-mounted slewing jib cranes

The project

Serving customers

John Deere assembles large tractors, combine harvesters, backhoe loaders, wheel loaders, timber harvesters and forwarders in an area measuring 20,000 m². Close to Russia’s largest airport Domodedovo and next to its production facility, John Deere built its new spare parts distribution centre, which measures some 27,000 m² for approximately 140,000 spare part and accessory items. John Deere now supplies its customers direct in Russia and the surrounding markets from the new facility.

Proven material flow

The installation layout in the Russian plant was based on existing manufacturing facilities in the USA. Consequently, John Deere created two production lines with indexed assembly operations in the building.

  • Line 1:  Assembly of large tractors; carriers pass through the individual assembly stations.
  • Line 2: “Combined Line” for the completion of harvesters

All tractors and harvesters are indexed to pass through stations, which were installed along both assembly lines. The lifting equipment required for these operations was provided exclusively by suspension cranes and complementary pillar-mounted slewing jib cranes. The personnel are supported by a total of 35 cranes for the assembly of the John Deere products.

Order scope: cranes and steel superstructure

Demag Cranes & Components erected a total of 18 free-standing steel superstructures with a footprint of 9.1 x 12 m and a height of 8.45 m. The suspension cranes operate on runways which are installed on this support superstructure at an angle of 90 degrees to the direction of the material flow. The suspension cranes were specified to meet the particular requirements of the individual assembly stations. They range from 1 t EPDE single-girder suspension cranes with a rolled-section girder to EKDE cranes with box-section girders, which can lift loads weighing up to 15 t with their 7.5 t hoist units operating in tandem.

Greater flexibility: Thanks to the modular design of the manufacturing cells, they can also be moved if the production requirements change – regardless of the existing building architecture. The individual modules are pre-manufactured in the John Deere plants in America and shipped to the facility in Domodedovo in sea-worthy containers. Via loading docks, the parts are fed to the production lines and conveyed to the assembly stations under indexed control.

Line 1: Tractor assembly

At the beginning of the tractor production operation, the chassis are placed on carriers on line 1. For further completion, the vehicles pass through the various stations in which the pre-manufactured and staged modules such as drive shafts, exhaust systems, the cab and the wheel housings are fitted with the help of the suspension cranes. KBK slewing jib cranes fitted with DC 250 chain hoists are installed at three stations. They are used for positioning the tanks for assembly, for example.

Line 2: “Combined Line”

Installed on the second line are stand-alone steel superstructures equipped with suspension cranes which are operated by DST control pendants. Two identical suspension cranes operate at each of eight assembly cells along the “Combined Line”; three 1 t EPDE cranes operate at one assembly station.

All suspension cranes are equipped with two-stage optical distance monitoring systems.

For loads up to 25 t

For handling loads with higher volumes and weights, two steel superstructures were installed with cranes for total load capacities of 17.5 and 25 t, respectively. Both of these stations are located upstream of the assembly lines in the immediate vicinity of the loading docks.

The total of four cranes at these stations not only differ from the other installations in terms of their higher load capacities. Due to the large volumes to be lifted in these applications, they are controlled by radio and feature infinitely variable speeds for all lifting and lowering motions thanks to the use of frequency inverters.

Two EKDE suspension cranes with a span dimension of 7.78 m operate at the largest station in the plant, which has a capacity of 25 t. Four EKDR-Pro 10 rope hoists, which have load capacities of 5 and 7.5 t, can operate as a double tandem under synchronised control. These cranes are used to gently lift the large parts that are pre-assembled in the USA out of their packing boxes. The adjacent assembly cell, which is equipped with a 10 t and a 7.5 t crane, can also be used to carry out further work following final assembly.

Production network with global structures

Besides the proven crane technology, an important requirement for placement of the entire order package for John Deere was Demag Cranes & Components global network. Numerous reference installations in US plants and in German locations formed the basis for a decision in favour of Demag Cranes & Components. The strong concept for the planning and implementation of the overall order finally tipped the scales. An important factor was the close integration within Demag Cranes & Components global production network, which for this order also included local production capacities for the steelwork at John Deere.

A detailed service concept ensures that the crane installations are maintained to a high level of availability.
This will provide important support in production for John Deere’s growth programme in the country with the largest surface area in the world.