K-State Students Help John Deere Fine-Tune Design

Engineers assist Deere's development of special pin joints.

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Kansas State University has assisted John Deere with the development of its Nevergrease Pin Joints.

John Deere identified a need to extend pin joint life, make pin joint life consistent and eliminate pin joint greasing, all while working in varying operating conditions and applications.

Deere came to K-State's Advanced Manufacturing Institute for assistance, and the institute developed a test fixture that replicated the pin joint wear customers experienced in a variety of applications.

"These applications differed not only in loads and motions, but in varying levels of contamination, such as working in sand," says Larry Bergquist, senior engineer, advanced research and development, John Deere Construction and Forestry Division.

"This project helped Deere eliminate the guess work in determining when a machine needs the pin joints greased," says Taylor Jones, chief engineer at the Advanced Manufacturing Institute. "Customers benefit from less maintenance, extended product life and reduced downtime."

NeverGrease is currently available on three Deere loaders and the company's confidence in the product is underlined by providing a three-year or 10,000 hour guarantee on the pin joints.

"AMI has proven that they provide excellent value for John Deere with their unique, cost effective approach for providing analysis, testing and evaluation services," says Doug Meyer, director of construction equipment engineering for John Deere. "Our relationship continues to grow and become stronger with each new design verification project."

Current K-State students who have assisted with the project through the Advanced Manufacturing Institute's intern program include: Jared Koch, senior in mechanical engineering, Axtell; Mark Miller, senior in mechanical engineering, and Ed Plett, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, both of Manhattan; Randy Golding, senior in mechanical engineering, Nickerson; Matt Campbell, graduate student in mechanical engineering, Overland Park; and Tyge Hess, senior in mechanical engineering, Scott City.

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