Australian farmers operate in a highly competitive domestic and international market, which results in continuous pressure to reduce operating costs. Understanding this pressure, one Australian company has made it its mission to help farmers achieve more efficiency with their equipment.
Adds Up Engineering, a Bundaberg-based company specialising in the custom design, manufacture and repair of farming equipment, has been introducing innovative fertigation units, harvesters, in-shed equipment, spraying units and ground preparation equipment since 1998.
Tony Denton, the company’s founder and the creative mind behind most of the engineering designs, says his business was built on the commitment to support the Australian agricultural industry.
“The agricultural industry in Australia is very viable, but it’s also very high-cost. For our farmers to compete on a global level, they need to be very efficient with everything they do. They need equipment that are more efficient than in anywhere else in the world,” says Tony.
“All of our innovations have come about because our customers have asked us to help them be more competitive. Whenever we design something new for a customer, we make it in such a way that we can then mass-produce it for the market,” he adds.
Over the past 23 years since being established by Tony as a one-man business, Adds Up Engineering has built a reputation for itself as an innovative designer of farming equipment. Some of the company’s products, like its sweet potato diggers, have even received orders from outside of Australia, beating competition from much bigger global companies in Europe and U.S.A.
One of Adds Up Engineering’s most popular products is a self-contained fertigation unit known as Add-G-Tator. This mechanical agitator mixes and dissolves fertilisers and chemicals, with the capability to inject fertiliser through irrigation lines. Tony says in designing this unit, he adapted a variable frequency drive motor to the pump to give the equipment a higher injection rates than smaller
“With the fertigation unit, we wanted to use a certain pump size that wasn’t originally made to be driven electrically. So, we had to be creative and make design adjustments to adapt an electric motor drive to the pump. The unit has been very popular for its high injection rate and we regularly received repeat orders from customers who have been satisfied with the performance.”
Over the years, Adds Up Engineering has also built a strong relationship with its industrial parts suppliers, including the BSC branch in Bundaberg, which supplies Adds Up Engineering with a wide range of industrial products and services. Tony says the relationship with BSC has been very valuable for him.
“I’ve known BSC for more than 40 years, even before I started my own company. Over the years, I’ve built relationships with everyone in the team. They really understand my business and our business’ requirements, and they provide us with the services that we need.”
Another reason Tony says he appreciates the relationship with BSC, is that it provides him with a channel to remain alert to the latest products on the market.
“I like to be creative with my designs, so I’m not limited to using components only from the agricultural industry. I might, for example, use a bearing used in the mining industry in an agricultural machine,” says Tony. “Whenever BSC’s sales representatives visit us, they bring some new products for me to look at. I keep that in mind and then maybe some months later, I may find an application for a product I had learned about. So, the product knowledge from BSC representatives definitely adds value to us and our customers.”
An example, Tony says, was the Rexnord FalkTM Wrapflex® Elastomer Coupling, which was initially introduced to him through BSC Bundaberg. The coupling now forms a key component in Adds Up Engineering’s Add-G-Tator fertigation unit and helps connect the VFD motor to the pump.
James McFarlane, BSC Bundaberg Sales Representative, says the Rexnord coupling is easy to install and replace, which leads to reduced downtime.
“When it comes to simplicity and cost-effectiveness over the life of your coupling, it just doesn’t get any easier than Wrapflex® couplings from Rexnord,” says James. “The Polyurethane element used in this coupling has excellent wear and chemical resistance, and an operating temperature of -40°C to 95°C. The coupling is also available with optional stainless steel hubs and optional carbon steel covers for highly corrosive environments.”
Apart from the Rexnord couplings, BSC Bundaberg also supplies a wide range of other products including bearings, gearboxes and electric motors to Adds Up Engineering. James says the branch has a long history of supporting the local agricultural equipment industry.
“Our job is to ensure that our customers have access to the products that they need, when they need them. This means we keep all of their required products in stock and when urgent needs arise, we coordinate with our suppliers to source the required products in the shortest time possible. All of our team at Bundaberg is very senior, with most having worked at the branch for more than 10 years. As such, we know our customer requirements very well and we strive to help them grow their business.”
And growth is what Tony has in mind. Having already achieved great success with Adds Up Engineering, he’s now looking to increase sales across Australia and internationally.
“When I started my business, for the first 18 months, I worked alone in a small workshop. Now, we have already outgrown that workshop twice and we are looking to expand even further. More importantly, we get a lot of repeat orders from our customers, which to me is one of the best recommendations that I can get for my work,” says Tony.
“The people at BSC Bundaberg really understand my business. They certainly have stepped up to the mark of the service that we need.”
A simple way to increase productivity
Ever think that keeping your production lines running more profitably could be as simple as replacing a light bulb or opening a can with a pop-top?
Rexnord Falk Wrapflex couplings’ quick, easy installation and replacement set new standards for reduced downtime. Because motors or drives don’t need to be moved, the “replace in place” elements even eliminate the need for time-consuming realignment, further reducing downtime.
Available in 12 sizes in close-coupled and spacer designs, Wrapflex couplings accommodate up to 186 mm (71⁄4”) shafts and torque loads up to 15,028 Nm (133,000 lb.in.).
For simplicity and cost-effectiveness over the life of your coupling, it just doesn’t get any easier than Wrapflex couplings from Rexnord.