AGCO Equipment Features Tough-As-Nails Paint
New AGCO paint and finishing technologies are state-of-the-art for farm equipment.
By Tharran E. Gaines
Bill Seto, owner of Suwannee Equipment in Live Oak, Fla., will be one of the first to admit that abundant sunshine might be good for Florida tourism, but it’s hard on paint.
Equipment, he says, “starts fading the minute you park it outside. Of course, you also have the issue of salt air over along the coast.”
Allowing for rust and corrosion, paint damage not only has an effect on appearance, but on performance and equipment value too. Now, to combat that damage, AGCO has built a new $40 million, 200,000-square-foot paint facility at its plant in Hesston, Kan.
The new E-coat and powder paint system is the first of its kind for the farm equipment manufacturing industry, and will improve performance and longevity for the full offering of equipment manufactured at Hesston, including large square and round balers, small square balers, combines, grain headers, pull-type and self-propelled mower conditioners, windrowers and planters.
How It Works
Nearly 75% of components go through the 17-step E-coat process by passing through 15 different dip tanks—each holding 35,000 gallons of liquid—to remove all rust, scale and laser oxides.
The remaining 25% of parts—including gearboxes and drives, components that cannot withstand heat and parts that are best painted after they are assembled—are painted using a liquid coating system.
The E-coat primer is applied using a high-voltage and high-amperage charge for 180 seconds, ensuring thorough coverage.
After curing in one of ten 375°F ovens, parts receive a powder topcoat, then another final oven cure.
The process takes approximately 41/2 hours and results in a finish with increased resistance to corrosion, ultraviolet light and weathering.
The new system is efficient and more environmentally friendly than older paint processes, reducing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) by approximately 75% and recovering nearly all the paint that doesn’t transfer to the component.