Hydro Extruded Solutions: The Aluminum Approach in Ag Machinery

Jonas Bjuhr

Jonas Bjuhr, Director Product Development

The need to constantly find the best materials for mobile machinery is felt more and more as cost-efficiency, durability, low maintenance costs and safety are becoming ever bigger topics in ag machinery and related sectors. This year’s Systems & Components forum at Agritechnica will highlight the latest developments in lightweight materials.

Aluminum is one of the most popular lightweight materials used in mobile machinery. As one aspect, only 5 percent of the energy required to produce primary aluminum is needed to re-melt aluminum for new uses, with no loss in the quality of the metal. This makes sense both environmentally and economically.

Hydro Extruded Solutions, one of the main suppliers of aluminum for mobile machinery and related sectors, is partaking in the Systems & Components roundtable “Lightweight materials for agricultural applications”. With more than 50 years of applied and scientific expertise in aluminum, Hydro Extruded Solutions also brings its innovations to the agricultural market. Jonas Bjuhr, Director Product Development, was able to provide some extra insight to their products and philosophy.

Mr. Bjuhr, why is Hydro Extruded Solutions participating in the Systems & Components forum? What do you hope to achieve through your participation?

Hydro Extruded Solutions stands for innovative solutions in aluminum. Technical know-how and decades of experience characterize our daily activities. We would like to share this knowledge with an agricultural audience through the Systems & Components forum. We want to teach about aluminum, extrusion, surface treatment, fabrication, about the efficient use of aluminum and its potential applications in agriculture. We offer everything from education in aluminum to design, manufacturing, fabrication, surface treatment and finishing.

Advantages for applications may be weight reduction, reduction of emissions, improvement of safety, less corrosion of moving parts and reduction of overall costs, just to name a few. We hope for a great discussion on further light and sustainable solutions for the agricultural industry.

This year’s theme of Systems & Components is “Connectivity – Stay with us, stay connected!” How does your research reflect this theme?

Hydro Extruded Solutions has more than 100 locations and is present in around 40 countries worldwide. Most of the locations are manufacturing plants who work hand in hand with our customers to develop designs and then manufacture and deliver extruded aluminum components. The one-company culture allows us to share the material and technical expertise we have globally.

Hydro Extruded Solutions has a huge internal research and development resource. It stimulates and takes an active part in business development and technical development of products and processes throughout the group.

When our customers are in the early stages of the product development process, we always encourage them to consult our technically trained personnel as soon as possible. They can guide them on the section designs that best suit their application and provide advice on matters such as thickness, stresses and surface finish. We offer advanced computer simulations to discover the best design option, which reduces costs and lead times in the development process. 

We believe that by combining our profound understanding of the material and its properties with our advanced technology and R&D capabilities, we can propose unique solutions to agricultural customers.

 What are the market trends? What does the market require?

Hydro Extruded Solutions’s offers automotive applications such as roof rails and trim or crash boxes; transportation applications such as bodywork in subway cars, trailer parts, and rolling stock body structures; complex building and construction solutions; and precision tubing applications for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry. Many of these industries are linked to agricultural solutions and we are sure that aluminum is the right material for providing lighter solutions in agriculture.

For example, aluminum parts for combine harvester sieving help to reduce weight and emissions and also helped our customer fulfill legal road weight requirements. Another use for aluminum is to substitute steel in cabin frames to substantially reduce weight while also improving safety with the help of smart aluminum designs. Heavy moving parts like draw-in rollers in a forage harvester are an example where we could also reduce weight without compromising resistance. In the end, we could also reduce costs by reducing the number of parts being assembled.

What are your products that reflect these trends?

We are fortunate to offer a flexible and lightweight material – aluminum. Aluminum is a highly versatile, highly formable material, suitable for a multitude of applications. That’s why more and more engineers are turning their attention to this metal. New requirements for efficiency and sustainability in the global agricultural market has led to increased complexity. On the one hand, ag machinery tends to be developed large-scale to be more productive and cost efficient, while on the other hand environmental and legal road regulations are becoming increasingly strict.

Hydro Extruded Solutions offers light single source aluminum solutions, ranging from extrusion to fabrication to assembly. Our surface treatment methods further strengthen the advantages of aluminum and add functional finishes to be able to cope with harsh environments.

Base is always an extruded profile made from aluminum which can be shaped in almost any way desired. This provides unique construction and design possibilities, which is a good foundation for creating products which contribute to sustainable development in agricultural technology.

Agritechnica 2017 will be held from November 12-18 at Hanover’s Exhibition Grounds. Agritechnica 2015, the world’s leading tradeshow for agricultural machinery, saw more than 452,000 visitors and 2,892 exhibitors from around the world. More than 100,000 professional visitors and 700 exhibitors attended Systems & Components in 2015.

All information for visitors and exhibitors is available online at http://www.agritechnica.com.

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