Deere & Company will invest approximately $100 million to modernize its captive foundry in Waterloo, IA. John Deere Foundry is a gray and ductile iron operation producing large drivetrain components (including engine blocks) for John Deere agriculture and construction equipment.
Richard Czarnecki, global director of Deere’s Large Tractor Product Line, said, "We evaluated several options for our foundry operations. This investment allows us to better serve our customers with high-quality, innovative castings. The investment helps John Deere meet customer requirements for more sophisticated designs of large tractors and helps to ensure the company maintains manufacturing flexibility and responsiveness to market demands."
Without detailing the projects, Deere indicated the plans include new process technologies that will allow the foundry to produce more advanced casting designs and improving workflow.
The investment program was at the same time that the Iowa Dept. of Economic Development approved tax incentives aimed at retaining jobs at the Waterloo Foundry jobs.
In 1999, Deere completed an extensive reconstruction of the melting operations at the foundry. In 2000, it launched a $125-million redevelopment plan that streamlined the foundry and tractor operations at Waterloo, and in 2008 it outlined plans to increase manufacturing capacity there.
"The enhancement of our foundry operations follows recent investments in the Waterloo Works to improve manufacturing capacity and flexibility. This integrated approach at John Deere in the design and manufacturing of large row crop and four-wheeled-drive tractors is a competitive advantage," stated David C. Everitt, president, of Deere’s Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division for North America, Asia, Australia, Sub-Saharan and South Africa, and Global Tractor and Turf Products.