WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — John Deere has completed renovations on its foundry in Waterloo, a $150 million project that took several years and will allow the company to produce larger castings for it larger tractors.
Renovations on the foundry, built more than 40 years ago, were announced in 2010, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported (http://bit.ly/1bVFgwW). It includes a new high-tech mold line and an integrated cooling system.
"We believe having a foundry provides us a competitive edge," said Josh Wittenburg, manager of foundry operations in Waterloo.
Wittenburg also applauded John Deere's employees. He said the company is committed to retaining a skilled workforce.
"A lot of people can build a foundry, but you can't replicate the people," he said. "The investment here is about the people providing that distinctive advantage for us."
The latest renovations are part of more than $1 billion in investments over the past decade to the Waterloo operations, including updates to product development and capacity.
"Over the past six years we've significantly increased the capacity of our tractor business," said Thad Nevitt, factory manager of the Deere Waterloo Works. "There was a lot of work completed in 2013 related to these projects as we installed many of the final pieces. Several hundred equipment moves and installations were completed in 2013 alone."
Nevitt said the company will continue to produce and ship new engines and models for its tractor product lines in 2014.
The operations in Waterloo employ 6,000 people. It's John Deere's largest manufacturing complex in the world and is also where the company's large row-crop tractors are made.
Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com