Manufacturer | Montana Indústria de Máquinas
Design | MFC/Design Inverso
Description | Propelled crop sprayer
Year of manufacture | 2001
Awards | IDEA/Brazil 2008 – Gold, IDEA/USA 2008 – Bronze
Predominant material | Fiberglass, metal sections and sheets
Manufacturing Process | Fiberglass molding, processes of cutting, folding and solders in metal profiles and sheets
A company seeking solutions
A built area of 17.000 m², with capacity to daily produce 40 units of different product models, all orchestrated by a workforce of 406 employees. This is Montana, a machinery industry in the municipality of São José dos Pinhais (Paraná), in the metropolitan area of the state capital, Curitiba.
The company aims to develop solutions for agriculture. In this sense, its action focuses on manufacturing not only farm equipment, but technological innovations that make a difference in the customer`s daily life.
For this, Montana has highly skilled staff who are continuously trained, distributed into three branches (and the headquarters): Fraiburgo (Santa Catarina), Rondonópolis (Mato Grosso) and Cacilda (Santa Fé – Argentina). These units were created based on the company`s strategy to be as close as possible to its consumers, in order to swiftly solve specific problems.
The industry`s portfolio currently has six lines of equipment: sprayer – self-propelled, sprayer – drag, sprayer – coupled, sprayer – turbine, sprayer – cannon, and cotton harvester. These products are sold throughout Brazil by 200 retail outlets, which operate as brand representatives.
With the purpose of facilitating the acquisition of its machines, the company also has the Consórcio Nacional Montana, through which customers can purchase in installments, with free choice periods, without interest.
In addition to operating on the domestic market, Montana exports to countries like Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa and Chile.
A turning point product
Although the history of Montana in Brazilian agribusiness started in 1996, 2001 holds a key milestone in its history: the launch of self-propelled sprayer Parruda. At the time, it was unparalleled equipment in the national scene.
On this account, the product worked as a turning point both for the Brazilian farmer as for Montana, who then became a leader in the domestic market.
The success achieved by Parruda led it to expand to three other machines: two smaller sprayers, dubbed Parrudinhas, and Parruda Canavieira, exclusively for the culture of sugar cane.
The design as a starting point
Since its beginning, Montana had the design as an ally in its innovation goals. To reach Parruda`s current configuration, the industry relied on the work of two offices. The projects developed by them were managed by the Paraná Design Center, entity that acted as a facilitator in the business/office relationship.
MFC, from Curitiba (Paraná), developed a first version of Parruda, which was launched in 2000 at Agrishow, traditional agricultural fair held in Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo). In this event, eight units of the new sprayer were sold, a quantity that represented the production capacity of the industry for the seven following months. Other 25 units were sold in 2001; in 2002, 49; in 2003, 250; in 2004, 323.
The positive return encouraged Montana to sign another partnership with the Paraná Design Center in 2005, for the development of a new generation of Parruda. The contract was celebrated within Criação Paraná, program which was intended to present the design in practice to Brazilian business owners. This time around, the Inverse Design office, from Joinville (Santa Catarina), was responsible for the product design.
According to Gilberto Zancopé, Montana’s CEO, the joint work with the Paraná Design Center allowed using the direct link between the institution and the designers market. “This made it easier from the professional’s choice to run the proposal through the final design of the product, through the stages of planning, presentation and delivery of the prototype,” says Zancopé. “This assistance has avoided many mistakes and potential disagreements with the design office, which has a different pace compared to the industry,” he adds.
Pioneering in a favorable scenario
Parruda was born from a gap identified by Montana: at the time there was no propelled agricultural sprayer that was totally appropriate to the conditions of climate, culture and topography of Brazilian crops. In that moment, there were three companies in the country that positioned themselves as competitors, two of them subsidiaries of multinationals.
It was a favorable period to expand the domestic market for self-propelled sprayers, a technology that was little exploited by manufacturers of agricultural machinery till then. Facing this scenario, Montana devised a machine to pull itself, i.e., a machine with engine, cabin and controllers that would make coupling a tractor unnecessary. The implementation of that idea required upgrades and investments in automation by the industry.
Besides the independence of the machine, the project established the goal to combine comfort and safety in the activity of pesticides spraying.
This goal should be achieved from the facilitated entry of the operator, by means of stairs and handrail; a cabin without blind spots; a proper lighting system; agility in cleaning, fuelling and checking reservoir levels.
Product development began with the preparation of a briefing by Montana professionals, under the supervision of the Paraná Design Center. Based on data collected by the company and information obtained from the target audience of the new machine, this document presented the requirements that should be met by the MFC office.
Among them were the design as a value-adding factor; emphasis on robustness, efficiency and convenience; ease of operation and high technical quality. The very choice of the product name – Parruda – was determined in order to highlight these key features: strength and performance.
With the brief in hand, the MFC team conducted a study of alternatives, which proposed guiding concepts options of the project to the client. Montana decided to merge two of them – Aerolook and Offroad. Both work with aggressive design, heavy lines, in order to convey concepts of strength and aerodynamics.
One difficulty of the project was its short schedule, with only three months booked for the development process. Due to that, it was not possible to perform earlier studies of volume and subsequent changes were made to the prototype itself. However, the final result was greatly efficient machine, balancing technology, style and comfort.
Tank for 3000 liters of pesticide; 135CV MWM turbo engine; hydrostatic steering wheel; clean water tank; 25-meters freestanding bar, with full hydraulic drive; electronic spraying command; radio; retractable steering wheel; seat with adjustable hydraulic suspension; closed cabin, equipped with air conditioning, to ensure safety against contamination – thus was born the first version of Parruda
Based on this experience, the design project of the second sprayer generation, headlined by Design Inverso office, incorporated several new features. Among them, door opening system with better ergonomic solution; increased sense of internal space in the cabin; viability of spaces to accommodate tools, CD player, thermos and other items.
“These solutions excel for their simplicity and rationality and are clearly the result of joint work between the team of external design and the company’s engineering, which is essential for the success of a project,” explains Design Inverso’s director, Mark Sebben.
Recognition and expansion
The credibility achieved by Parruda in the market enabled Montana to achieve a great feat: in 10 years, the company increased its turnover from R$ 10 million to R$ 100 million.
The equipment generated not only financial returns. In 2008, the sprayer won the IDEA/ Brazil Gold and IDEA/USA Bronze awards in the category of industrial and commercial products.
“Besides highlighting the quality of the winning projects, IDEA takes the Brazilian design to the world of economics and business at the international level. This further expands the possibilities for marketing Parruda” explains the director of Design Inverso.
The Parruda case stands as proof that investing in design from the earliest stages of development of a product is a great deal. The efficient project development management of this equipment was responsible for projecting Montana’s brand both domestically and internationally. Thus, the history of the company merges with the history of the product, in a successful track record and great prospects for expansion.