John Deere Wins Swedish Steel Prize 2011

Moving ahead of the competition with a record number of applications from 25 different countries, world-leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery Deere & Company takes the coveted honor of  this year’s international Steel Prize winner. Instituted in 1999, the award is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize” of the steel industry.

The annual prize, founded by SSAB’s parent company in Sweden 12 years ago, consists of a statuette and an award worth more than $15,000 (SEK 100 000) for the winner. As part of the Steel Prize selection process, a special jury chooses a winner with any product in which high-strength structural steel, wear plate or tool steel that has contributed to an innovative design, and gives clear benefits. This may relate, for example, to new design features, lighter products, simplified production, longer life time, improved performance and beneficial environmental effects.

In the case of Deere & Company, considerable harvesting productivity was improved and new environmental requirements fulfilled for crop and grain with their product: the Harvester machine. Deere’s applications are improved 600-series corn head and flex draper platforms for S-series combine harvesters. They enable higher harvesting efficiency while meeting stringent engine emission requirements. The company’s goal for these harvesting applications was to find a material that would reduce mass and retain strength.

High strength steel, like that manufactured by SSAB, addressed both needs for Deere. With the use of high strength steel, the weight of this powerful machine was reduced, its header width increased, the new draper more flexible, as well as it follows uneven grounds. Therefore, it improves yield better than conventional solutions for optimum crop gathering and feeding performance. The end result allows Deere customers to be more productive and efficient.

In support of its mission to enhance its ability to service customers and operations around the world with niche steel grades and products, SSAB hosted the Steel Prize awards gala Thursday, November 17 in Stockholm, Sweden at 9 p.m. CET. As part of the occasion, the awards ceremony culminated with a two-day event in Sweden that included executives from SSAB with hundreds of international representatives from manufacturing and the steel industry participating in site visits and seminars.

(Top photo) Senior Engineer Corwin Puryk joins fellow Design Engineer Kent Brown on stage to celebrate Deere & Company being named winners of Swedish Steel Prize 2011, as SSAB’s CEO Martin Lindqvist and Steel Prize Moderator David Phillips look on.

(Bottom photo) John Deere’s Design Engineer Kent Brown and Senior Engineer Corwin Puryk pose together at the Swedish Steel Prize 2011 award ceremony following the company’s announced win on November 17.

Link here for a PDF version of this press release.