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    Introduction

    Tata Steel enabled Lemken to boost the service life of its Juwel plough mouldboards by 150%, thanks to a customised hard steel.

    Detailed Information

    Summary

    Summary

    • Farmers save time and money

      Lemken’s customers now know they can rely on the latest equipment to create productive harvests and the right soil cultivation quality.

    • 150% longer lasting

      Using DuraMaxx plough bodies made from Tata Steel’s tool steel, Lemken’s Juwel plough now has a 150% longer service life of the wearing parts.

    • Innovative use of existing material in new application

      Working at the Tata Steel R&D facility in Sheffield, UK, the technical team proposed a narrow strip tool steel product for the plough body – its first ever use in agricultural equipment.

    • Tough products for modern applications

      Lemken wanted to develop a longer life mouldboard.

    Using Tata Steel materials enabled Lemken to differentiate itself, provide enhanced service to its customers and define a new solution that supports modern farming techniques.

    John Abey - Account Manager, Narrow Strip, Tata Steel


    Lemken wanted to innovate its ploughs to meet the challenges of modern farming. It approached Tata Steel with the challenge of developing a plough body with a longer service life. It required a new type of steel that was hard, tough, and resistant to wear and tear. Tata Steel’s technical team proposed a special tool product.


    Using this steel in its plough bodies, Lemken found that the plough’s service life increased by more than 150%. Because of the new design, it can also offer customers an 80% reduction in its set-up time. This has enabled the company to truly differentiate its ploughs from competitors and develop a unique position in the market.

    Challenge

    Challenge

    Lemken understand that farmers need the right agricultural machinery to achieve productive harvests. All of the company’s activities are focused on creating profits for its  customers, while taking a responsible attitude to resources. 

     

    With the expansion of maize cultivation in recent years, and the ongoing battle against grass weeds, the plough has been growing in importance again. Ploughing aerates the soil by loosening it, as well as mixing the soil and bringing many other benefits;

     

    • Ploughing also incorporates crop residues, solid manures, limestone and commercial fertilisers, reducing nitrogen losses, accelerating mineralization, increasing short-term nitrogen availability, and establishes the right soil cultivation quality.
    • Erases the wheel tracks and ruts made by harvesting equipment.
    • Kills many perennial weeds and pushes back the growth of other weeds until the following spring.
    • Accelerates soil warming and water evaporation in spring because there are fewer residues on the soil surface.
    • Enables farmers to use a lighter seeder.
    • Controls pests and increases the number of soil-eating earthworms.

     

    Lemken approached Tata Steel with the challenge of developing a plough body with a longer service life, to save farmers time and money. Until then, the steel it had been using to make its  mounted reversible ploughs was a B44 boron carbon product. However, the production process using B44 required drill holes, press cuts and seam welding, which reduced the strength and durability of the plough. The challenge was to identify a new type of steel that was hard, tough enough to withstand high impacts, and resistant to wear and tear.

    Solution

    Solution

    The technical team at Tata Steel’s R&D facility in Sheffield, UK explored a number of options, including stainless steels, before proposing the product.

     

    This narrow strip product normally utilised in tools that are used for forming: punches, dies and files, and is tough enough to cut through boron and mild steel. Oil hardened and wear resistant, it is a high carbon / vanadium / tungsten product offering 57-62 Rockwell Hardness (HRC) – the equivalent of 577 Brinell Hardness (BHN) after quenching (undertaken by the customer). 

     

    A small trial sample of the product was sent  to Lemken. When this was successful, a single coil was supplied - unlike many other steel mills, Tata Steel is able to source small two-tonne slabs which can be rolled to the dimensions required by the customer.

     

    Lemken undertook laboratory trials to check the hardness and impact resistance of the product compared to the existing material. It then conducted field tests of the new plough bodies with tractors in an agricultural setting, with the whole trial and testing process completed in around a year. At the end of this process, it found that using the product in its DuraMaxx plough body increased service life by 150%.

     

    Benefits of the Tata Steel solution

    Unlike before, the tool steel in the plough body is not weakened by drill holes or press cuts. The wearing parts are also no longer load-bearing, which means they can be mounted without tension, extending service life. They can also be worn much thinner without the risk of snapping, because of the soil forces on them.

     

    Results

    Lemken is now able to offer a more than 150% increase in service life of the product, as well as an 80% reduction in its set-up time. This has allowed Lemken’s Juwel mounted reversible ploughs and DuraMaxx plough bodies to stand out from competitors.

     

    Tata Steel currently supplies 1200 tonnes of narrow strip products to Lemken, 40% of which is tool steel. The Tata Steel mill at Sheffield is a narrow strip mill – offering noticeably tighter gauge tolerances than a wide strip mill. A narrow strip mill can roll stiffer, stronger grades of steel, including tool steel, and supply steel with a lower crown. Tata Steel was able to supply the product in the 450mm width that Lemken needed and in thicknesses of up to 10mm.

     

    Tata Steel’s products are delivered via road and ferry from Sheffield, UK to Lemken’s factory in Alpen, Germany. Lemken heat treat the tool steel, laser cut it and press quench it. The product then goes through a tempering operation and a robotic linisher before being painted in distinctive ‘Lemken blue’.

    Gallery

    Gallery

    Summary

    • Farmers save time and money

      Lemken’s customers now know they can rely on the latest equipment to create productive harvests and the right soil cultivation quality.

    • 150% longer lasting

      Using DuraMaxx plough bodies made from Tata Steel’s tool steel, Lemken’s Juwel plough now has a 150% longer service life of the wearing parts.

    • Innovative use of existing material in new application

      Working at the Tata Steel R&D facility in Sheffield, UK, the technical team proposed a narrow strip tool steel product for the plough body – its first ever use in agricultural equipment.

    • Tough products for modern applications

      Lemken wanted to develop a longer life mouldboard.

    Using Tata Steel materials enabled Lemken to differentiate itself, provide enhanced service to its customers and define a new solution that supports modern farming techniques.

    John Abey - Account Manager, Narrow Strip, Tata Steel


    Lemken wanted to innovate its ploughs to meet the challenges of modern farming. It approached Tata Steel with the challenge of developing a plough body with a longer service life. It required a new type of steel that was hard, tough, and resistant to wear and tear. Tata Steel’s technical team proposed a special tool product.


    Using this steel in its plough bodies, Lemken found that the plough’s service life increased by more than 150%. Because of the new design, it can also offer customers an 80% reduction in its set-up time. This has enabled the company to truly differentiate its ploughs from competitors and develop a unique position in the market.

    Challenge

    Lemken understand that farmers need the right agricultural machinery to achieve productive harvests. All of the company’s activities are focused on creating profits for its  customers, while taking a responsible attitude to resources. 

     

    With the expansion of maize cultivation in recent years, and the ongoing battle against grass weeds, the plough has been growing in importance again. Ploughing aerates the soil by loosening it, as well as mixing the soil and bringing many other benefits;

     

    • Ploughing also incorporates crop residues, solid manures, limestone and commercial fertilisers, reducing nitrogen losses, accelerating mineralization, increasing short-term nitrogen availability, and establishes the right soil cultivation quality.
    • Erases the wheel tracks and ruts made by harvesting equipment.
    • Kills many perennial weeds and pushes back the growth of other weeds until the following spring.
    • Accelerates soil warming and water evaporation in spring because there are fewer residues on the soil surface.
    • Enables farmers to use a lighter seeder.
    • Controls pests and increases the number of soil-eating earthworms.

     

    Lemken approached Tata Steel with the challenge of developing a plough body with a longer service life, to save farmers time and money. Until then, the steel it had been using to make its  mounted reversible ploughs was a B44 boron carbon product. However, the production process using B44 required drill holes, press cuts and seam welding, which reduced the strength and durability of the plough. The challenge was to identify a new type of steel that was hard, tough enough to withstand high impacts, and resistant to wear and tear.

    Solution

    The technical team at Tata Steel’s R&D facility in Sheffield, UK explored a number of options, including stainless steels, before proposing the product.

     

    This narrow strip product normally utilised in tools that are used for forming: punches, dies and files, and is tough enough to cut through boron and mild steel. Oil hardened and wear resistant, it is a high carbon / vanadium / tungsten product offering 57-62 Rockwell Hardness (HRC) – the equivalent of 577 Brinell Hardness (BHN) after quenching (undertaken by the customer). 

     

    A small trial sample of the product was sent  to Lemken. When this was successful, a single coil was supplied - unlike many other steel mills, Tata Steel is able to source small two-tonne slabs which can be rolled to the dimensions required by the customer.

     

    Lemken undertook laboratory trials to check the hardness and impact resistance of the product compared to the existing material. It then conducted field tests of the new plough bodies with tractors in an agricultural setting, with the whole trial and testing process completed in around a year. At the end of this process, it found that using the product in its DuraMaxx plough body increased service life by 150%.

     

    Benefits of the Tata Steel solution

    Unlike before, the tool steel in the plough body is not weakened by drill holes or press cuts. The wearing parts are also no longer load-bearing, which means they can be mounted without tension, extending service life. They can also be worn much thinner without the risk of snapping, because of the soil forces on them.

     

    Results

    Lemken is now able to offer a more than 150% increase in service life of the product, as well as an 80% reduction in its set-up time. This has allowed Lemken’s Juwel mounted reversible ploughs and DuraMaxx plough bodies to stand out from competitors.

     

    Tata Steel currently supplies 1200 tonnes of narrow strip products to Lemken, 40% of which is tool steel. The Tata Steel mill at Sheffield is a narrow strip mill – offering noticeably tighter gauge tolerances than a wide strip mill. A narrow strip mill can roll stiffer, stronger grades of steel, including tool steel, and supply steel with a lower crown. Tata Steel was able to supply the product in the 450mm width that Lemken needed and in thicknesses of up to 10mm.

     

    Tata Steel’s products are delivered via road and ferry from Sheffield, UK to Lemken’s factory in Alpen, Germany. Lemken heat treat the tool steel, laser cut it and press quench it. The product then goes through a tempering operation and a robotic linisher before being painted in distinctive ‘Lemken blue’.

    Gallery

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