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The process of designing and building the drive housing was a complicated one made easier by teamwork.


ery, Deere was looking to break into a new market segment with a four- track tractor. T is wasn’t an insignifi cant project. “T e four-track capability is


something that’s growing in popularity on the market, and Deere decided it was high time we got in the market,” Murfey said. “Being able to spread out the load across four large track foot- prints rather than tires or two tracks is a big improvement in the fi eld. T e biggest advantage I think it off ers is the ability to turn a tight corner with- out pushing up a large berm of dirt that you get with a two-track tractor.” To deliver what was needed, Deere needed to design and implement a large casting. T e casting was designed to fi t


Deere’s new green sand molding line at its Waterloo, Iowa, casting facility. “Even though we worked very


closely with engineering to size the part, they had certain vehicle requirements to meet. So the part ended up being larger than we’d ever anticipated,” Childers said. “It is very challenging to keep the fl asks clean enough and very challenging to mold the part. Yet we’ve been very success- ful in doing this.” To complicate things, the line was


being installed while the casting was being designed and engineered. “We actually had to give this thing


a haircut in two out of three directions to get it to fi t in our new bigger mold line, which was already too small for this part as we initially designed it,” Murfey said. “We took an inch off the arms and three inches off the top to be able to fi t it in the fl ask.” T e casting ended up being a


slightly shallower mold than what had been anticipated, which created a situ- ation where the engineering team had to modify the component about 75% of the way through the design process. “We made it up in the cover design


so it didn’t adversely impact us and didn’t set the program back. It was just a little bit of a struggle,” Childers said. Early durability tractor builds used air-set molding in the metalcasting


The cast drive housing helped John Deere jump into a new market segment—four-track tractors.


Jul/Aug 2016 | METAL CASTING DESIGN & PURCHASING | 29


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