Switching between seed, fertiliser and urea without contaminating one with the other is the ultimate goal when using a grouper bin – and Clear Ridge Fabrication (CRF) have found a way to make it possible.
The company’s SUPA Bin is a multipurpose unit that can be utilised in many farming operations including sowing, spreading, filling sheep feeders, filling silo bag machines at harvest time and carting bulk grain. With an unloading rate of up to four tonnes per minute, CRF’s SUPA Bin is an efficient grain transfer option for bulk storage.
Brothers Kaidan and Dallas Boyd, both qualified welders, began developing their SUPA Bin design after they leased their family farm nearly three years ago.
Traditionally, the Boyd family cropped 3441 hectares of wheat, barley, and canola north of West Wyalong in New South Wales. When the drought took hold, the family made the decision to lease out their farm and the two brothers combined their talents as qualified welders to launch CRF.
“On the farm, we always dreamed of a bin like this. We had created the design in our heads so when we leased out the farm, we jumped straight into manufacturing,” says Kaidan.
To manufacture and mount the SUPA Bins, the CRF team puts in many hours of welding. Kaidan says each unit roughly needs 80 to 100 metres of welding, with the team delivering as many as 30 units per year.
In search on quality welding equipment, they needed to look no further than the local BSC branch in Wagga Wagga.
“Welding is a major part of what we do. Achieving clean welds is critical to both the quality and the aesthetical design of our products,” says Kaidan.
In collaboration with Welding Industries of Australia (WIA), the BSC branch delivered four WIA Weldmatic 270 single-phase welders to CRF, which the team has been successfully using to manufacture their products.
According to Kaidan, WIA was a brand of choice for CRF from past experience.
“When Dallas and I were apprentices, we worked with a few different welding machines, but the best welders in the shed were always WIA. Knowing that, we contacted Mitch Chaffer, Sales Representative at BSC Wagga, looking for our WIA welder machines.”
Willem Corbett, WIA’s Development Engineer for Equipment, says the WIA Weldmatic 270 is often used for light fabrications in rural and semi-rural
areas where three phase power is not very common.
“The Weldmatic 270 machine runs on a single phase 240V power supply.
If operated below 200 Amps (amperes), then the machine can comfortably run from a 15A single phase 240V supply. If full 270 Amp performance is required, then a larger supply – typically 32 Amp – is required. This single-phase convenience will suit many light fabrication businesses,” says Willem.
Kaidan says he is pleased with the service they receive from BSC.
“Everything is just easy with BSC.BSC Wagga Wagga supplies us with everything from bearings to consumable products for our workshop. The transaction is always very smooth and problem free,” he says.
Within just three years, the SUPA Bin has reached farmers in almost every state in Australia. The CRF team has also expanded to include three new tradesmen in addition to Kaidan and Dallas. Kaidan says CRF has already filled out its order slots until January next year, with orders still flowing in.
Kaidan says customers had been looking for a bin to take the place of multiple trucks and cut down on fill-up time of an air seeder.
The SUPA Bin design has addressed both issues with the added bonus
of eliminating tipping trucks in the paddock, resulting in a safer operation.
“When you use tipping trucks on wet paddocks, you run the risk of the equipment turning over or getting stuck in the land. We saw a gap in the market for non-tipping trailers that would eliminate those safety risks. SUPA Bins can be mounted on any existing equipment such as skel trailers or any other equipment as per CFA customers’ requirements,” says Kaiden.
“Moreover, a lot of growers use their existing augers on the side of the air seeder, which poses risk of cross contamination if the augers are not cleaned properly. We have introduced the SUPA Tube to replace belts where augers were traditionally used. The SUPA Tube ensures there’s no contamination between the seed and the fertiliser,” he adds.
As the CRF business grows, Kaidan says the company is set to move to a bigger workshop to increase production rates, as well as to develop new products for its customer base. The team is also looking to purchase more WIA welder machines.
“We are happy with the performance of our four existing WIA welding machines. The next step for us is to buy a three-phase welding machine from WIA. When we are ready, we will get in touch with Mitch Chaffer from BSC to work out the best product for our workshop,” he says.
To choose the best welding machine for your workshop, you need a clear understanding of the anticipated current and duty cycles. If your workshop is limited to single phase supply, you need to take into account the machine temperature rise and the power supply capability.
To better understand the duty cycle, consider the below example:
The WIA Weldmatic 270 duty cycle is rated as:
• 270 A, 27.5 V, 20% duty cycle on 25Amp supply
• 200 A, 24 V, 22% duty cycle on 15Amp supply
Duty cycle is interpreted as the % weld time over 10 minutes.
So, a duty cycle of 20% means two minutes of weld at 270 amps, followed by eight minutes of no weld. If the output current is less,
then the duty cycle can increase.