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Weight savings was a big goal, so we were able to manage where we put the weight in the part, focusing on just adding iron where we needed it and taking it out where we could.” —PETE MURFEY, JOHN DEERE


corporate a self-contained lubrication system for the axle within the housing to avoid any external routing oil lines. T e oil was designed to route through the housing via a patented system. Each tractor has four of these cast-


ings—one in the left front, right rear, right front and left rear. Casting it, opposed to other pro-


cesses, was an obvious fi t. “You could make a stamped and


welded part look nice but there’s only so much you can do with a cut and fold piece of steel,” said Pete Murfey, senior engineer. “Weight savings was a big goal, so we were able to manage where we put the weight in the part, focusing on just adding iron where we


needed it and taking it out where we could. T e casting gave us the ability to put all the features exactly where we wanted them.” T e component was eventually cast in ductile iron via the green sand pro- cess, but getting there took teamwork.


Starting From Sketch In September 2010, Lubben


went to work on a simple piece of paper, sketching concepts that were


startlingly similar to what eventually was produced. One of the goals of the casting


was for it to be relatively low mass. It also was intended to minimize the number of leak paths and share common geometry with Deere’s wheel tractors. Before the work could bear fruit,


teamwork was needed. A lot of teamwork. “It was from, literally, a sketch


on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper when we started collaborating,” said Anthony Childers, foundry pattern development engineer, John Deere. “That’s about the right time to get a foundry involved. We’re very proud of that collaboration.” That collaboration was an impor-


tant one for John Deere. One of the market leaders in farming machin-


28 | METAL CASTING DESIGN & PURCHASING | Jul/Aug 2016 The drive train is housed by the casting engineered and designed by John Deere, which helps allow the 9RX 4-Track offer less soil compac-


tion, a better turning radius and no skidding.


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