SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There is a bright spot developing at a time when farmers are dipping into cash reserves to meet operational demands, commodity pricing is low and the ag economy still is dragging through a downturn.
The after-market tractor parts industry is trending upward, especially at CNH Industrial Reman, where 250 employees are working at several Springfield locations to remanufacture engines and 3,400 or so parts for tractors, irrigation systems and other ag equipment for Case, International Harvester and other brands.
Remanufacturing is a process where the parts are systematically disassembled, cleaned and inspected for wear and degradation, and any substandard or degraded components are replaced, featured upgrades can be incorporated and the product is reassembled.
The goal at CNH is simple to state: “Better than new.”
But the process of getting there often is a surprise for the 400 dealers and farmers who tour their facilities each year.
CNH has adapted its remanufacturing standards with 21st-century technology through the use of state-of-the-art techniques, strict salvage guidelines, advanced manufacturing systems and quality control.
“A lot of our job is educating. So many people don’t understand how much quality control, technology and training go into our operations here,” explained Jamie Sullivan, CNH marketing manager.
On the dealer side, there’s an attractive cost incentive, warranties and credit tracking system for returned parts — called core.
“Core is a necessary evil. It’s evil because dealers don’t want to take the time to deal with it,” said Cody Allen.
He’s one of the program developers for CNH’s computer interface with dealerships to make the return process seamless.
This computer software allows a dealer’s parts department to send in a customer’s part for remanufacturing and track it from the convenience of their own parts and accounting departments through the receiving, inspection, rebuilding, credit and shipping steps.
“We’ve been using CNH Reman for several years now. We try to use them if there’s an offering available,” said Curt Diemer, corporate after-sales director for Sievers Equipment Co., a six-location dealership in central Illinois and Missouri.
CNH invites its customers to tour its Springfield facilities to see firsthand how the parts they send in for remanufacturing are reworked. Diemer was surprised with what he saw.
“It’s not like a dark factory at all,” he said. “It’s state of the art with clean rooms and all kinds of specialized equipment. It looks like a good place to work, and when it’s a good place, employees do better at their job and that means a higher-quality product.”