In September 1998 a group of South Africans visited France as the guests of the South African company Vetsak and the French company New Holland.

2 Distribution of machines
According to Philippe Bohn of New Holland approximately 8000 machines are distributed throughout the wine producing countries of the world. Braud serves the following markets, with the approximate number of machines (self propelled and pull type) indicated alongside:

  • France 6 700 units
  • Germany 732 units
  • United States 95 units
  • Italy 183 units
  • Australia 8 units
  • South Africa 182 units
  • Spain 62 units
  • Chile 36 units
  • Israel 15 units
  • Argentina 8 units
  • New Zealand 3 units
  • Switzerland 14 units
  • Total 8 038 units

Various wine cellars, vineyards and other sights were visited.

1 Braud plant
The highlight of the tour was undoubtedly the group’s visit to the Braud plant at Coex, France.

The Braud plant is situated on a factory site of 25 hectares comprising a surface of approximately 245 000 m. The plant comprises modern technology, is highly automatised and employs only 207 employees. The production plant comprises a surface of approximately 26 000 m and provides work to 120 of the 207 employees. A working week consists of 38 hours flexitime. The production plant is divided into three divisions; a section for cutting, mould pressing and machinework (35 employees), a welding section (40 employees) and a surface covering and fitting section (45 employees). Production Plant Production Plant Vinyards Production Plant

In the plant more than 3 000 tons of raw steel are processed annually, while more than 20 tons of welding bars and 15 tons of paint are used. The manufacturing time of one machine is approximately 300 hours with a daily output of between 2 and 5 machines.

A self-driven Braud harvester comprises the following components:

Spare parts purchased 2 000 components
Spare parts manufactured 1 000 components
Nuts, bolts, etc. 6 800 components
Total 9 800 components

3 Historic milestones

The companies Braud and Vetsak (which respectively manufacture and import Braud machines to South Africa) have reached various historic milestones. The highlights are: 1870 Braud, a manufacturer of threshing machines, is founded in St Mars La Jaille, France.

  • 1895 New Holland Machine Company is founded in Pennsylvania, USA.
  • 1947 Sperry Corporation takes over New Holland Machine Company and forms Sperry New Holland.
  • 1947 Hesson, manufacturer of hay and silage harvesters, is founded in Kansas, USA.
  • 1964 Sperry New Holland obtains the controlling share in Claeys, the biggest manufacturer of self-driven grain combines in Europe.
  • 1950 The Free State and Transvaal Central Purchasing Co-operative (Vetsak) is founded on 5 June with main activities being inter alia the purchase and marketing of fencing material.
  • 1975 Braud introduces its first self-driven grape harvester, the 1020 model.
  • 1982 Vetsak imports the first Braud harvesters to South Africa.
  • 1986 Ford Motor Company takes over Sperry New Holland and forms Ford New Holland.
  • 1988 Hesson and Braud combine forces as Hesson-Braud, based in Coex, France.
  • 1988 Hesson-Braud joins the FiatGeotech group.
  • 1991 FiatGeotech purchases the Ford New Holland company and is known as N H Geotech.
  • 1993 N H Geotech undergoes a name change and becomes known as New Holland, the name under which the company is trading today.

A personal word of thanks to the companies Braud and Vetsak for the wonderful opportunity to visit another wine country, and to Neil Anderson and Hans van der Berg of Vetsak for the work behind the scenes, to Sakkie Nel of Vetsak for the prior arrangements, his patience and “endurance” during the tour and lastly to Philippe Bohn of New Holland Braud for the arrangements in France.

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