“I particularly value Protacon’s comprehensive service provided from a single source”
Cooperation between Valtra Oy Ab and Protacon has continued since 2001. Starting with small-scale tractor testing applications, collaboration expanded remarkably in 2003 when Protacon delivered a final test system for series production tractors to Valtra’s Suolahti factory.
“It has been possible to flexibly modify the test system, which is important, since our tractors are individually tailored according to customers’ preferences. The system gives tractor-specific tests automatically for a test run”, explains business analyst Juha Tuikkanen from Valtra.
The complete delivery included, among other things, an automation interface for testing and data collection, as well as automation and electrification design.
“Recently, our cooperation has been focused on embedded systems programming, on developing its digitalisation. In this way, we have been able to integrate various systems and increase operational efficiency.”
Report data can be utilised more extensively than before
Today, the systems delivered by Protacon are integrated in Valtra’s MES system and they are positioned in both painting and filling device controls on the assembly line and comprehensive final testing before the tractor’s delivery to the customer.
“Now, we can get more extensive and accurate report data from the quality control systems, which allows transparency in the various stages of the entire production process. All data is stored in the system where it can be analysed at different production stages and utilised according to development needs.
Minimising human errors
For example, systems delivered by Protacon are used to control tractors’ fluid fill-up on the assembly line, braking system and air conditioning equipment tests, tractor software uploading and, most recently, robot painting.
“With Protacon’s systems, the fill-up of tractors’ fluid systems is carried out automatically. Attention is also paid to quality during the procedure ensuring that the right amount of specified fluids is supplied to the right machine – hydraulic oils, cooling fluids, motor oils, etc. The systems define correct and accurate fill volumes according to the optional equipment of tractors.”
The final test run system checks and verifies that tractors meet the quality and test requirements before the delivery to customers.
“All this has improved operational efficiency and eliminated human errors. If for some reason a fill-up or installation is not successful, information will be sent to Valtra’s MES system in order to get things in order before the trial. Before this, the tractor is not allowed to proceed further in the process.”
Numerous areas of knowhow under one roof
“In our cooperation with Protacon, the fact that I value perhaps the most is that their expertise has been well in accordance with our requirements regarding the development of production systems. They offer comprehensive service from a single source, which is a great thing. Protacon offers competence and service in all of the areas of automation, such as software, instrumentation, electrification system, hydraulic and information network design.”
“We have continuously developed our cooperation with Protacon from the outset, and since 2011 it has further expanded via several projects. In my view, introduction of agile development methods during the past years has worked well. Project follow-up on a weekly basis has also seemed effective and the same applies to the support and maintenance service. From our point of view, action has been clear and it has been possible to ensure in advance that systems function in the most stable manner possible.”
Protacon offers competence and service in all of the areas of automation, such as software, instrumentation, electrification system, hydraulic and information network design. — All this has improved operational efficiency and eliminated human errors.
Juha Tuikkanen, Business Analyst,
Valtra Oy Ab