CNH: €150 million investment in Harvesting Center of Excellence

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The company is expanding its R&D and production capabilities at the New Holland Harvesting Center of Excellence in Zedelgem, Belgium, with its five-year investment plan.

CNH announces the latest phase in its five-year investment plan concerning its R&D and production facility in Zedelgem, Belgium. The €150 million sum is focused on further development and production of the new CR11, the next generation flagship combine harvester from our New Holland brand. This next phase will result in a completely redesigned assembly line and logistics area.

CNH is the global leader in combine harvesters. The new CR11 was awarded the only gold  innovation  medal  at  the  agricultural  industry’s  largest  global  trade  show, Agritechnica, in late 2023.

The strategic improvements foreseen include modifications to the assembly line to enhance agility and speed, the renovation and extension of the logistics area; and the introduction of the all-new CR11 range with 7,000 new parts being added to the manufacturing logistics area.

The production lines for the New Holland CX, CR and brand new CR11 combine harvesters will be merged for greater manufacturing flexibility. A new U-shape setup will integrate four testing stations within the production line to streamline the process. In addition, the introduction of a wireless automated system to guide vehicles enables different models to be assembled on the same line, at the same time.

These  improvements  will  further  enhance  the  flexibility  of  our  operations  and increase the level of high-tech manufacturing, supporting CNH’s ability to adapt to dynamic market trends and demand.

For almost 120 years, our Zedelgem Center of Excellence has been renowned for manufacturing  machines  at  the  forefront  of  innovation.  The  highly  specialized harvesting equipment sector is strategic for CNH and our New Holland brand has a leading position in this segment,” said Tom Verbaeten, Chief Supply Chain Officer at CNH. “As a former Zedelgem plant manager, I’m delighted to see the site continuing to innovate to deliver high quality products that generate tremendous value for our customers.”

In addition to CNH’s investment, the company has received support from the Flemish Government’s Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship Agency (VLAIO), which strongly advocates for innovation projects in the Flemish region.

The CR11 combine harvester is the culmination of years of component and process optimization. The CNH R&D team, together with various research partners from the Flemish innovation ecosystem, sought various forms of support. As a result, the leap in knowledge and technological challenges underwent several evaluations based on the VLAIO criteria for innovation. Thanks to the successful results, the R&D team in Zedelgem maintains its global leadership for CNH combine harvesters, and the flagship model will be manufactured in Flanders. This will have a significant impact on employment, investment and further knowledge development in our region” said Marc Andries from VLAIO during the inauguration event to present the new production line to Belgian institutional representatives and the press.

Hilde Crevits, Vice-Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, who participated in the opening ceremony said: “Innovation is a driving  force for employment and competitiveness. With this expansion and investment, CNH in Zedelgem, one of the largest employers in West Flanders, is resolutely opting for the future. It proves once again that CNH is an important partner to get more innovation to farmers“.

New Holland also held a live demonstration of its new CR11, a new benchmark in twin-rotor combines. Entirely redesigned and thanks to the most advanced automation features and advanced technologies, the CR11 offers increased levels of productivity, profitability and sustainability for large scale arable farmers.

CNH’s commitment to excellence in the specialized equipment sector demonstrates its ability to constantly innovate for the benefit of farmers worldwide.  CNH is recognized as a leader in high-tech manufacturing, thanks to a diverse and skilled workforce, cutting-edge technology and high standards of quality and safety.