Ahead through high-tech sheet metal: Unique engine hoods for new John Deere excavators

The sheet metal specialist and supplier Graepel from Löningen, Germany, supports the machine manufacturer John Deere in the redesign of its new excavator series. The engine hoods are proof of that.

The American agricultural machinery giant is heavily involved in the construction sector. Recent design improvements on the new “350 P-Tier” and “380 P-Tier” excavators—both top-of-the-range models in the medium segment up to 38 tons operating weight—have resulted in seven percent fuel savings.

The newly designed hood plays a major role in this improvement. The supplier Graepel had a big part in this. The company was responsible for the final design and manufacture of the new engine hoods, which also function as maintenance access and intake for the cooling and combustion air.

A key factor is the hexagonal embossing with a diameter of 2.3 mm at a material thickness of 1.5 mm, Graepel reported. This combination is so technically challenging that it has not been offered by any other supplier to date. The integrated design means that the structurally high-strength but “airy” doors consist of only a few sheet metal plates and welds, which also increases corrosion resistance. Seven different types of hoods are supplied. Production is carried out in a joint venture between the Graepel factories in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, and the company’s headquarters in Löningen, Germany. The partnership has been tried and tested: The partners also produce parts for other construction machines of the brand with the leaping deer in its logo, as well as for the company’s agricultural machinery division.

Like Deere, Graepel is a major player in the industry. Both companies were founded in the 1800s. To date, the supplier specializes exclusively in sheet metal components, primarily for the automotive and construction industries: This is a market segment that is in high demand, as requirements in light-weight construction and environmental protection are increasing. More on this can be found online at www.Graepel.de.

Photo: John Deere, originally a manufacturer of agricultural machinery, is now doing well with excavators and other construction equipment. This also applies to the supplier Graepel from Löningen, Germany, which manufactures for both markets (Photo: Graepel)

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