Pages of History: Harvester Manufacturing Period of KrAZ

09 August, 2016

Kremenchug Automobile Plant, the only full cycle manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks in Ukraine boasts rich 70 years history. The plant changed its profile three times during this time. 60 years ago, in 1956 our company was transformed into Kremenchug Harvester Plant. As early as in the first year the government set a target to manufacture 8 000 corn harvesters КУ-2А. These were simple pull-type agricultural machines used for mechanized harvesting of corn. According to decree of CC of CPSU a number of workshops and shop areas had to be converted, a new cold forging shop had to be built, an assembly line and painting and drying facility had to be put into operation. Production jigs and tooling such as dies, fixtures, cutting and measuring tools had to be made.

All the engineering documents for the harvester were transferred form “Rosselmash” that assisted plant technicians to grasp the needed production technologies.

As early as in summer the plant started to produce harvester parts for trial assembly. Noteworthy is that each unit was first taken to pieces and then reassembled: in such a way workers learned to understand interaction between parts and gained necessary skills.  First 10 corn harvesters КУ-2А were assembled by Kremenchug plant in July of 1956, the main assembly line was put into operation in late August.

Ку-2А corn harvesters were hugely popular with collective farms for a long period of time  because at the initiative of General Secretary of CC of CPSU Nikita  Khrushchev much land was sown with corn, yield of which was much higher that of traditional cereal crops. Except harvesters, the company used to produce beet pilers, beet thinners and other agricultural machinery. In October of 1958 Kremenchug Harvester Plant was transformed into the automobile plant and totally new production processes were required.

The importance of harvester manufacturing period in the history of KrAZ is that for a very short period of time the whole plant was converted and machine production was mastered. It played an important role in switch to production of vehicles.

Information

For the period of its existence Kremenchug Harvester Plant produced 14061 corn harvesters КУ-2А, 5285 beet loaders, 50 beet pilers,  874 road rollers, 4150 beet thinners, 329 corn cleaners, 24612 tractor wheels. 

 
 
 
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