Metz / Samswegen, August 2015. In May of this year, the Usines CLAAS France baler plant produced its 300,000th machine – a ROLLANT 454 UNIWRAP round baler. It was given a special paint job to mark this production milestone and will be on show throughout Europe until the end of the year at exhibitions and product demonstrations.
Usines CLAAS France in Metz was founded and built by Reinhold Claas in 1958. Today, the factory can design and manufacture up to 5,000 CLAAS balers every year. The very first CLAAS patent, for the single knotter, also came from the Metz plant and forms the centrepiece of every single CLAAS square baler.
With the two ROLLANT and VARIANT model series, the product range from Metz includes both fixed-chamber and variable round balers as well as the QUADRANT large-square baler range. In total, the 400 plus employees at the CLAAS plant in Metz make 21 different baler models, which are used in more than 100 countries and 25 different crop types worldwide. In addition to wheat, barley and rape, CLAAS balers are used, for example, to process cotton in South Africa, peanut crops for cattle feed in America, rice in Korea, flax in eastern Europe and northern France, hemp in Germany and grasses like miscanthus and reed canary grass throughout Europe. The extreme variety of customer requirements and operating conditions make this huge number of different models necessary and CLAAS manufactures these flexibly and reliably using a mixed production system in Metz.
Some of the technical innovations from Usines CLAAS France include the tried-and-tested interactive rotor and packer tine clutch, the Power-Feeding-System for increasing throughput as well as the FINE CUT option for producing short straw using 51 knives. CLAAS has also played a pioneering role in the area of ICT (Implement Controls Tractor) with the QUADRANT 3400, which is currently the most powerful CLAAS square baler.
The 300,000th baler, a ROLLANT 454 UNIWRAP, is characterised by its enormous throughput potential, the PRO cutting floor which is designed to prevent blockages as well as its integrated high-performance wrapper. This machine was designed for heavy-duty use by farm contractors and has developed a good reputation in this market segment in recent years.