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We’re the largest manufacturers of tractors by volume, across the world. So when it comes to issues with our tractors, we mean business. One such issue recently came to our notice, and here’s how we bid adieu to the hurdles, only to Rise again
‘Brake Noise’ and the Oil Crisis
‘Brake Noise’: One problem that was coming in from all directions. We wanted to kick-start a new era of global tractors from India; and we were stuck at ‘brake noise’. Our dealers and customers kept coming back with the same problem and we knew it was a challenge we had to overcome; but how?
The starting point became research. What was it that actually caused the ‘Brake Noise’? Our R&D team jumped in immediately, and we soon had an answer. The problem lay in in the oil.
You see, tractors use one kind of oil: UTTO (Universal Tractor Transmission Oil); the same oil has to perform certain conflicting roles as well, such as act as a lubricant in transmission and generate friction in brake, so on and so forth, and the particular oil we were using couldn’t solve it all, specially the ‘Brake Noise’ issue.
Our team came up with a solution. We decided to go for a new oil, and see how it works. Experiments began in full force, we had a new oil and post the filtration process we soon figured that the brake noise problem had gone from our lives for good.
But a bigger challenge awaited us. A challenge called NAS.
For those wondering what that is, well NAS is a number that denotes how clean the oil is. It can range from 000 to 12, and for tractors the number is 9. What makes it a very important element is that it determines the durability of both the hydraulic system and the power steering.
Our new problem was that while the old oil was NAS 9 but caused the ‘brake noise’ issue, the new oil despite resolving one problem had created a new one as it was NAS 12.
What does one do? We were again in a fix. Soon plants started demanding a roll back to the older oil. We had two issues and two separate solutions, where we needed one. Experiments began again, we checked various treatments and methods but to no avail. No solution was at sight.
The Eureka Moment
It was one of such days. While experiments were growing in number so was the frustration level of the team. We had gathered for another brainstorm, and people were by now tired of trying to crack new ideas. That’s when someone said “ha problem aapala rakta atavnar asa disata (It seems like solving this problem is going take our blood, sweat & tears)”. Interestingly, this triggered a conversation around the various functions of blood for the human body and its similarity with the function of oil in a tractor.
A new round of experimentation and research began and we could draw parallels between the tests of White Blood Cells with a Haemocytometer and NAS checks. An experiment was designed mimicking the check of White Blood Cells. It revealed that if we used this technique along with a chemically strong diluent, our problems might just be solved.
The Last Mile
With a new system and diluent in place, we were about to undertake the field test. We decided to implement the system in one of our selected plants. We tested it there for a week and as we waited, fingers crossed, the new method consistently kept delivering satisfying results. Finally, after so many experiments and trials we had done what we once thought was impossible.
The process has already been implemented in our Rudrapur and Zaheerabad plants, and soon would be added in others. And guess what, we are also the world’s only tractor company to have used this procedure.
All’s well that ends in Rise!
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