Plant to improve quality
AUSTRALIAN FIRST: Member for Lowan Emma Kealy officially opens Wimpak Export Company’s new processing plant on Thursday, with Wimpak plant manager Damian Milne, chairman Geoff Rethus and general manager Jo Cameron.
WIMPAK Export Company has unveiled new state-of-the-art technology that will allow the business to almost double its grain cleaning capacity. The Minyip company officially opened its new processing plant on Thursday. The plant was designed and manufactured specifically for the company’s pulse grain cleaning operation. Plant manager Damian Milne said the technology would save the company at least five hours a Week. ‘‘It is a modern cleaning system,’’ he said. ‘‘Before we had to turn on a heap of switches to get it going – now we just push the start button. ‘‘A screen tells us what is happening throughout the plant – it is really simple. ‘‘It will save heaps of time.’’ United States-based business Lewis M Carter Manufacturing designed the plant, which is the Only one of its type in Australia for processing pulse grain. Mr Milne said the plant would Increase the company’s capacity by 85 per cent. He said it took about six weeks to install. ‘‘We had to clean out the entire shed – there was about 20 years’ worth of dust in there,’’ he said.
‘‘We basically had to start again from scratch.’’ Mr Milne said the new system was safer to use. ‘‘It now uses an air system instead of conveyor belts. It is much safer and can be cleaned easier,’’ he said. ‘‘The open construction of the cleaner also allows the processing of grain to be clearly monitored and the ease of changing between varieties and seed types will significantly reduce downtime. ‘‘It is basically like a Meccano set, where we can replace parts when they need it without having to replace the whole thing.’’ Mr Milne said Wimpak could now produce better quality seeds and clean grain faster. Wimpak general manager Jo Cameron said the plant would offer a more efficient service to growers. ‘‘We had a tough season last year, so it might be a slow year to start off with,’’ she said. ‘‘Farmers are resilient though and going forward, fingers crossed we get a good year. ‘‘If we do get a good year, we are now well placed to cope with the capacity.’’ Member for Lowan Emma Kealy officially opened the processing plant. Ms Cameron said Wimpak had the ability to clean grain that fell outside the Australian Pulse Standards, which allowed growers to obtain premium prices for their cleaned product. ”
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