At the heart of Australia’s ‘food bowl,’  Shepparton is home to some of the country’s highest yielding fruit orchards. The nutrient-rich soil of the Goulburn River, along with the area’s climate, offer ideal growing conditions for peaches, cherries, pears, grapes, and apples. According to Stephan Panczel, Melbourne Area Manager at Advanced Industrial Products (AIP), irrigation and fluid transfer play a major role in keeping the food production industry ticking. 

“After working with AIP for about fourteen years, I have seen how crucial a robust irrigation system can be for Australian fruit growers,” he says. “Matching together the right pump, hose, pipe, and fittings will ensure that the area gets adequate water supply, via an assembly that is designed to last.”

Recently, Stephan has been working alongside a local irrigation and pump supply business to service the region’s broader agricultural market. Offering product, installation and repairs, the customer has benefitted from AIP’s diverse catalogue and collaborative approach to ensuring the best outcome for end-users.

“They source a wide range of equipment from AIP, which is then supplied to several agricultural segments, including the many fruit orchards across Greater Shepparton,” Stephan explains. “Over a productive and longstanding relationship, we have developed an understanding of the business’ needs, and work closely with them to ensure they not only get the best product, but service as well.”

Stocking trusted brands like Powaflex and Wellman, AIP leverages an expert understanding of hose and pump applications to offer durable and flexible solutions. For orchards, this includes PVC suction and delivery hoses, along with a range of fittings such as valves, nozzles, and reels. The team can also put together rubber hose assemblies, which go directly onto the user without any further modifications required.

In addition to direct transfer of water to the fruit trees, hosing equipment is widely used in washdown procedures for vehicles and machinery. Whether it’s a truck, bin loader, spraying boom or harvester, large equipment can become covered in dust and mud while in field service. This requires heavy duty pressure hosing and the correct fittings for pump or air pressure unit, which AIP supplies. 

Additionally, Stephan’s local customer is involved in the installation and servicing of more substantial pipe infrastructure. On these types of applications, a burst or damaged pipe can be catastrophic, eventuating in compromised product or costly downtime.

“Many businesses that rely on irrigation networks like to keep emergency solutions on hand, which is why we supply this customer with the best quality repair clamps,” he says. “They are about 300mm long, stainless steel with internal rubber lining. If a pipe bursts, it prevents the need to dig up an entire line, simply sealing the section that has been damaged.”

Stephan reflects on the importance of working alongside local business and the food production industry, which accounts for a large portion of the country’s job market and export economy. As rural areas continue recovering from the impacts of Covid-19, he says that fostering close relationships is key to AIP’s ethos of reliability and growth. 

“Almost every customer within this area is a small to medium operation, and so we aim to be a one-stop-shop for these types of industrial products,” he resolves. “As part of the Motion Australia group, we have been able to successfully navigate delays on imported product, working with local operations to keep Shepparton on its feet.”