STORY

From prototype to serial production – hand in hand in hand in hand ...

Serial production started at the new Kubota Farm Machinery S.A.S. tractor factory in northern France in autumn 2015. At SOLVARO, however, we had been working on the Kubota M7001 for much longer. Working closely with Kubota and other partners, we developed a range of components for the bonnet as well as an exhaust cover. It was a great success for the team, with the involvement of several specialists at the same time.

Turning the prototype into a series product was a joint effort

When the Japanese tractor and heavy equipment manufacturers decided to enter the European market with a production facility in France, it was important for them to involve suppliers in a variety of trades and to do so as early as possible, at the development stage. After all, such suppliers are familiar with the market and its requirements and indeed also with the challenges of developing a tractor. And of course, modern engineering and quality workmanship must be coupled with attractive design, so it is vital to have the right kind of bonnet as a visual focus that characterises the tractor. This is where SOLVARO came in. Deep drawn parts in the ventilation grilles have added a striking look to the tractor, while also supporting robustness and the airflow through the grilles.

Lower development costs thanks to extraordinary engineering

In our development, we successfully combated the cost of deep drawing tools. If every single prototype and further development required a new tool, this would rapidly increase costs and waste a lot of valuable time. However, there are a number of alternative methods, allowing prototypes to be manufactured without any expensive tools. Several prototypes and joint developments led to the creation of six Hv 2-2.5 perforated deep drawn sheet metal parts, 1.0 mm in thickness, which are then integrated into the bonnet. We also supply three parts with Rv 5-7 perforation, 1.5 mm thick, for the exhaust. To make this happen, our developers and production professionals even succeeded in creating a special bending tool, so that deep drawing is no longer necessary. To ensure that the grille can permanently withstand dirt, stone impacts, and weather conditions, it has been EDP- and powder-coated. All parts are delivered with special contours, ready for assembly, either by ourselves or in collaboration with other partners. The exhaust cover is supplied with an edge. 

The solution at a glance 

  • Ventilation grille made from 1.0 mm sheet steel
  • Hv 2–2.5 perforated and deep drawn
  • 64 % air permeability  
  • Exhaust cover made from 1.5 mm sheet steel
  • Rv 5-7, approx. 46–3 % air permeability 
  • All parts are EDP- and powder-coated  
  • Ready for assembly with contours, exhaust cover with edge 

Ventilation grille and exhaust cover for the Kubota M7001 provide adequate cooling air and protect against debris and dirt.

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