Agricultural Equipment Manufacturer Kinze Expanding in Vilnius: Will Develop Technologies for the Internet of Things
The US agricultural equipment manufacturer Kinze is expanding its operations in Lithuania by establishing an electronic product development centre in Vilnius. Over the next three years, the company plans to hire 25 highly-qualified electronics professionals and programme system engineers in the new centre.
“The decision to set up one of our most important centres in Vilnius was taken very quickly. We have been manufacturing products in Lithuania for 4 years already and are pleased with the work ethics and competencies of the country’s specialists. Therefore, having obtained information from Invest Lithuania on the research potential and market competencies Lithuania can offer, and following additional verification of the possibilities during a visit, we have decided that Lithuania is the perfect location for the development of the company’s most innovative products,” says Brian McKown, Executive Director at Kinze.
The company began its operations in Lithuania in 2013, and it produces agricultural equipment in the Trakai district. In the new research and development centre in Vilnius, the company will develop electronic controllers and software for mechanical equipment to be installed in agricultural machinery and many other IOT fields which require ensuring productivity and convenience for the consumer.
These electronic products are expected to be even more widely used in the future, thanks to their resistance to – due to the specific features of agricultural activities – moisture, chemicals, intense vibration, dust and other extreme natural and climatic conditions. These technologies may also be used in railway transport and various other areas in the future.
The specialists of the new centre will be responsible for the development of mechanical and electronic components, software and user interface, testing and adaptation of the final product to the market. These systems will also be installed in the equipment Kinze already manufactures in Lithuania, therefore, the company expects this to result in increased demand for these products in the market too.
“Recently, Lithuania has attracted a number of large manufacturing investors, which is an important breakthrough in the history of investment attraction to the country. However, Lithuania should gradually move its focus towards moving up the value chain: that is, how investors can be encouraged to set up small, high added-value research and product development centres next to large plants. The IT sector has gradually transformed in this manner, and manufacturing should move in the same direction,” maintains Gediminas Koryzna, Director of the Investment
Development Department at foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania.
Kinze Manufacturing was established in 1965 by Jon Kinzenbaw and is still owned by the Kinzenbaw family. Today, the company, which started as a small agricultural machinery repair workshop, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative, durable and efficient equipment for sowing, planting and grain transportation.
Kinze Manufacturing currently employs more than 400 workers, with its only divisions located in the domestic market in the USA and Lithuania.