Thanks to its remarkable DuraVent technology, Graepel, a supplier of parts made of formed sheet metal, currently has a high standing with agricultural machinery. Massey Ferguson has recently been presented with the Tractor of the Year 2021 (TOTY) awards. Yet, this agricultural giant didn't immediately opt for Graepel!
"MF" is currently investing heavily in its plant in Beauvais, France, and is hoping to achieve an annual output of 20,000 tractors. Its new top-of-the-range MF-8S model boasts pure premium technology designed to offer maximum reliability and productivity. And this is no coincidence: This American company, whose tractor development and production division is essentially located in France, has optimized its current flagship down to the last detail.
A particular focus was the powertrain, a 6-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 7.4 liters and 285 hp peak power. In order to achieve optimal efficiency and the lowest possible emissions, the designers quite literally started from scratch: After all, the air intake grille in the hood influences the engine performance significantly.
Embossment plus surface
"The goal is to ensure maximum airflow with minimum openings", explained Jan Fehlinger, Graepel's sales manager for agricultural and construction machinery. This is actually a contradiction in terms.
On the one hand, the engine needs large amounts of fresh air to meet the strict stage V exhaust emissions standard and to keep fuel consumption low. To this end cooling is also relevant. At the same time, the component needs to protect against stone chips, insects and crop, i.e. be finely structured. Finally, stability with as little material as possible is required to reduce its weight. Graepel is already familiar with such complex specifications from the sports car division, where looks also play a major role. In short: It is squaring the circle.
That's why Graepel developed its new DuraVent grille technology. Compared to other commercially available alternatives, it allows 7 percent more air to pass through, reduces pressure losses by 13 percent and withstands salt spray corrosion testing for more than 1,000 hours. These figures were recorded by experts at Dresden University of Technology. And they certainly caught Massey Ferguson's attention. Initially there was a sense of disbelief with regards to the long service life of the component. However, Massey Fergusons own extensive tests, including the salt torture, confirmed the data. The order was then promptly placed. The supplier has stated that this makes the MF-8S one of the best tractors currently on the world market in terms of corrosion resistance. It is important to note in this context that other manufacturers also claim this level of corrosion protection, but only with solid and not perforated sheets.
Performance values confirmed by the Dresden University of Technology
The technology behind this development is based on a rather special punching and painting process developed by Graepel. For the latter, the manufacturer has even set up its own facility for surface technology. At the end of 2020 series production of MF components got underway at the rate of "several thousand units" per year. Given their hexagonal structure with a free cross-section of over 70 percent (a peak value!), these motor grilles are a technical and visual highlight.
With a history dating back more than 130 years, Graepel is one of the most experienced providers in the industry. Right from the word go, the company has specialized exclusively in sheet metal components like hardly any other supplier. For the most part these are individually designed and manufactured by around 700 employees in four plants. Since all the relevant work steps are carried out in-house, including tooling and prototyping, an exceptional degree of development reliability and adherence to deadlines is guaranteed.
Which is why Graepel is doubly pleased: The decision by European agricultural journalists from 26 countries to award the Massey Ferguson 8S.265 as "Tractor of the Year 2021". Find out more online at Graepel.de and Masseyferguson.com