This year’s Swedish Steel Prize goes to the manufacturer Deere & Company (John Deere) headquartered in Moline, Illinois, USA. By using high strength steels, the company has developed combines that harvest crops more efficiently while meeting stringent engine emissions requirements.
The aim of the Swedish Steel Prize is to inspire and disseminate knowledge about high strength steels and the possibilities to develop lighter, stronger and more sustainable products.
“With the help of high strength steels and a carefully conceived design, Deere & Company has developed a lighter machine with greater harvesting efficiency and increased load capacity. It is a worthy winner of the Swedish Steel Prize,” says KG Ramström, jury chairman and Executive Vice President and Head of Group Marketing & Market Development, SSAB.
Deere & Company’s design helps farmers harvest their crops more efficiently, increasing their productivity by as much as 40 percent. The weight of targeted steel parts in the harvester has been reduced by 50 percent. The new design has helped to reduce the amount of welding by almost 70 percent. Production processes that were created to enable the use of high-strength steel have generated major advantages throughout the entire production chain.
“We’re extremely pleased to be the winners of Swedish Steel Prize 2011. John Deere will donate the prize money to FIRST, an organization aimed at encouraging an interest in innovation and technology among children and young people. FIRST programs show innovators of the future how creativity combined with science and technology can resolve real engineering problems,” says Corwin Puryk, senior engineer at Deere & Company.
“Innovation is one of John Deere’s four core values and we wish to inspire and help the next generation of innovators to grow. One day, perhaps some youngster who attended a FIRST program will contribute to a company winning the Swedish Steel Prize,” says design engineer Kent Brown.
Other nominated companies were awarded a second prize in the Swedish Steel Prize 2011. These companies are HT Engineering Ltd (New Zealand), Rotary-Ax (Brazil) and Sweco Structure (Sweden).
SSAB established the Swedish Steel Prize in 1999.