Phil and John reminisce about when the business was started and look back at their first conditions. Learn about the history of Kooima Ag and some of the first parts they manufactured!
John started the parts business of Kooima Ag over 30 years ago. The business started with combine parts. John and Phil took some time to look through these parts in our warehouse.
The first part they made was the K900 Corn Knife. The K800 and K900 went in an International® corn head. They had someone punch in the holes, put on tungsten carbide, and ground the edges of the knife. There are still thousands of these being made in our factory every year.
An interesting note is that John had a milling machine in his garage and Phil would put the milled edge on the K900’s, so there were even pieces of equipment in John’s garage at the start of the business.
The building on John’s yard also held a punch press. Every time they would punch a hole Helen (John’s wife and Phil’s mom) would say she could feel the vibrations in the house. So, Kooima Ag is a home-grown business!
We are still shipping shaped corn head flutes which were popular in the 80’s on corn heads like Massey Ferguson®, Allis Chalmers®, Gleaner®, etc. John started with stamping these flutes and in the later years, started lasering them as well.
At first, they had to buy a sheet which then had to be sheared and everything was sized, but when they got the laser machine, everything was programed, and it came out so that all they had to do was bend it.
Another early product of Kooima Ag is the JD® K150138 and K150139 snapping roll. This was a very hard piece to manufacture because of the patterns on the roll. John spent a lot of time in pattern shops to ensure he could make these correctly.
The complexity and geometry in this roll made it a very big deal to pattern and make. They spent a lot of time and energy (and money) getting this built.
In the 90’s, they started to move into more tungsten carbide and induction hardening. This process has matured a lot in the past 30 years. They started to spray the tungsten carbide on the knives and flutes and then would have to heat them again to bond the tungsten to the bare metal. This process also took place in the shed on John’s yard.
Straw chopper knives were also one of the first parts manufactured. These knives have tungsten carbide and a milled edge. John had a press (that was as old as he is) and they would stamp out the straw chopper knives with an open back, inclined press that was pre-war vintage (World War II).
Thank you for considering Kooima Ag for your combine part needs. We have the parts you need in stock right here in Rock Valley, IA. Call us at 800-522-8874 or email our sales team at sales@KooimaAg.com.