The engines for the tractors are manufactured at the John-Deere production plant in Saran near Orléans in France. However, the tractor manufacturer produces the driver's cabs in Bruchsal – not far from the SEW‑EURODRIVE headquarters. Due to the synchronized cab and tractor production processes at John Deere, the cabs arrive shortly before assembly. The lead time is just two days.
When the cabs come out of storage in Mannheim, there are still some small work steps to be completed in pre-assembly. From there, they are taken to a rotary table, on which the cabs are aligned for attachment to the lift frame of the electrified monorail system. To do so, anchors move under the cab at the rear like forklift arms.
Even though the cabs all have different designs depending on the type and size of the future tractor, this intra-plant process is always identical at John Deere. Based on the principle of self-clamping, the cab is then secured in place by its own weight during transportation. Once prepared in this way, the cabs wait until they are retrieved. The tractor to which they will later be assigned is already determined in the material flow.
One after the other, the transport carriages in the electrified monorail system convey the driver's cabs towards the joining process. Because the joining process takes longer than three minutes in the "marriage" (connection of the cab with the powertrain of the tractor), joining takes place on two parallel lines to enable the three-minute cycle in the material flow to be maintained. A switch allocates the incoming cabs to the left and right. Double the cycle time is thus available for this process step in the John Deere factory.
How well and how quickly the material flow works depends both on the coordination of in-plant processes as well as on tailor-made drive and automation technology in the conveyor system.
One of the important features of the fully modernized electrified monorail system: Thanks to the modular MAXOLUTION® system solution EMS safety with its compact decentralized structure, the new cab conveyor system fits perfectly into tight spaces.
Once at the assembly site, the driver's cab is first automatically lowered to a preliminary height at which nobody can be injured. Only then does the John Deere operator take over with a hand-held terminal, moving the cab manually into the correct joining position above the drive train and then lowering the lift frame of the electrified monorail system further to the joining level.