Vernon Tool – Lincoln Electric


Air Tractor achieves high flying productivity with VERNON Tool™

Air Tractor, Inc. of Olney, Texas produces the world’s most extensive product line of aircraft for agricultural spraying, seeding, fertilizing or firefighting.


Improve the efficiency of manufacturing the over 120 tube sections that comprise a fuselage frame.


MasterTube™ Cutting Machine (MTC) from VERNON Tool™, a Lincoln Electric Company.


  • Fuselage frame tubes are cut and profiled in half the time.
  • End profile is more accurate and requires less fine trimming.

On any day in Olney, Texas, you are bound to see a dusty cowboy walking through town or in sharp contrast; you will more than likely also see a brightly coloured, state-of-art firefighting plane soaring through the sky. Olney is a rural, relaxed town on the outskirts of Wichita Falls with a few surprises up its sleeve. The local landing strip seems to be a hotspot of activity for this unique, small town.

Recently renovated, this WWII-era airport has three long runways and serves as home to Air Tractor, Inc. A 100% employee owned company, Air Tractor is the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural spraying and firefighting aircraft. Producing more than 2,400 aircraft since 1974, this motivated team of employees is quality driven and productivity conscious.

With more than 50 years associated with the design and manufacture of agricultural and aerial firefighting planes, the Air Tractor team continually proves they know their customers and they know their business. Being a global supplier and a results driven company, Air Tractor strives to improve productivity by repeatedly looking for new efficiencies in their manufacturing operation.

The Air Tractor plane design is an all tubular fuselage frame, with more than 120 different tube sections in each frame. Finding a method to produce tubes with profiled ends efficiently was a bottleneck the team needed to overcome. After several years of searching, the Air Tractor team determined that there were few affordable ways to profile small diameter tubes in an automated, effective manner.

MC09-104  11/09 © Lincoln Global, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.



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