It’s a great credit to Australia that, in spite of the horrific unemployment issues that we face, the economy has grown for the last two quarters at over 3%. Much of the heavy lifting has been done by farmers and the mining industry, the backbone of our economy.
The real growth however, will come from the re-energising of the infrastructure and building industries and the rebirthing of Australian manufacturing.
Governments can’t achieve this, only the confidence of the population can get the job done! The recovery is being lead by a phenomenal year in agricultural production, hitting for the first time in history, over $65 Billion. What’s more, it looks like, with the rain at the right time, they will be able to do that again this year.
What’s the danger? To quote a farmer I once knew, “Everyday of rain brings us one day closer to drought”. Of course, the converse works as well, which is why farmers can battle through droughts without just giving the game away.
Miners are having a good time too. The price of gold may not be at an all time high but it is still pretty darn good. Iron ore prices are up there and the big boys, Twiggy Forest, Gina Rhinehart and BHP and RIO are having record shipments and not just to China.
Exploration drill rigs are working overtime around the country as we look for new deposits of the core export minerals that drive the economy.
INFRASTRUCTURE FOCUS … REGIONAL AUSTRALIA
Nothing will pick us up more than the drive to create infrastructure that will support the growing country population. Yes, during the worst days of the virus, people found they could work from home and didn’t need to be in a big city. Country towns are flourishing, sub divisions in regional centres growing as you read this story.
The one thing our Local, State and even Federal Government hasn’t understood is for a growing population in the inland, we must have WATER SECURITY! That means a massive dam investment, and loads of work for key industries like concrete, earthmoving and civil engineering.
Inland communities can only thrive if they have the benefit of water security. Many of us remember the days when dozens of towns like Tenterfield and even Murrurundi were trucking water in daily at a huge cost. We won’t even talk about the need for farmers to find water from anywhere they could get it just to keep stock alive.
Yes, we’re unashamedly behind the plan to drought proof the country even if it costs $50 billion or $100 billion. It will provide enormous benefits to our earthmoving industry, in terms of opportunity and growth.
WHAT ABOUT THE GEAR?
One of the interesting side effects of the Corona crisis has been the re-awakening of patriotism and a desire to “buy Australian”. Third world products might be okay for DIYers but professionals are realising that “Big Box” stores and “El Cheapo” tools shops buying from third world countries where the price is everything, not quality, have their real limitations.
We hear the “buy the right product the first time even if you pay a little more” mantra everywhere. Customers are realising that buying enhanced value products means reliability, quality and most importantly, accountability.
Try to get a sensible answer out of someone from a third world country over a quality failure and pounds to peanuts you’ll get another one of the same genre free, just to shut you up. It doesn’t solve the problem, it perpetuates it.
AUSSIE MANUFACTURERS TO THE RESCUE
We’re seeing consistent rise of Australian machinery designers and manufacturers coming to the challenge of creating a new “Made in Australia” movement. Australian Pump Industries, although only 25 years old, has taken that period to work tirelessly to bring the best quality products to the market with subsequent success, not just in Australia, but around the globe.
The company’s focus is self priming centrifugal pumps, petrol, diesel and now electric drive, pressure cleaners and a range of trash pumps that are not equalled by any company in the world.
Starting with co-ordination with major overseas manufacturers, these co-operative ventures resulted in products that can be built in Australia, using the best technology and design!
“We taught them a few things about the Australian market”, said Aussie Pump’s Chief Engineer, John Hales. “They thought European design or even third world lightweight products would stand the test of time.0 That might work for retirees who have plenty of time to spare but for professionals, either tradies or earthmovers, time is money and every breakdown or delay is expensive”, he said.
Australian Pumps’ response to this mentality was to design pressure cleaners that would stand up to initially, the hard yakka of the hire and rental industry. Aided and abetted by key figures in the industry, designed pressure cleaners that were built like tanks but had the ergonomics making them OH&S friendly and able to perform tasks faster, matched with the right accessories.
“We found huge time savings in pressure cleaning of earthmoving machinery, just by the simple addition of a turbo lance to the machine’s kit. We then went on to integrated hose reels that weren’t plastic, but rather heavy duty steel and now even stainless steel, with up to 50 metres of high pressure hose”, said Hales.
Those machines properly equipped, have become standard gear now for major earthmovers wanting to get cleaning tasks of machinery and trucks done with the minimum amount of labour. The hose reel gives you room to operate away from the mother ship and move around the motor grader, excavator or tip truck. The turbo will chop the mud and even baked on schist from the track gear of an excavator or dozer, saving huge amounts of time and effort.
Hales’ team works with earthmovers, building contractors and tradesmen to understand what really goes on in the field. Understanding the application and the difficulties encountered on site, provide them with an ability to design problems out of the equipment before they even begin.
AUSSIE TRASH PUMPS … BUILT RIGHT HERE IN OZ
Australian Pumps’ trash pump line-up now extends all the way from small 2” Honda powered pumps all the way through to big 6” guzzlers. The big 6” trash pumps will move up to 6,000 lpm and are powered by 80 hp air cooled Deutz diesel engines. Now built in Aussie’s 2 ½ acre Castle Hill, Sydney facility, they’re becoming more popular than ever and replacing dry prime pumps because of their simplicity, ease of operation and super reliability.
“We build these machines like tanks! A whopping big cast iron body, a large open flow non clog impeller, a check valve and an oil lubricated tungsten titanium carbide seal does the job. A seriously wear resistant volute results in a pump that will handle a 3” solid with ease. Loads of inbuilt features that are based on customer feedback include huge front opening port that enables complete access to the impeller chamber, allowing clean-out and even servicing without dismantling the pump. These are huge advantages for the user!” Said Hales.
AUSSIE COMES CLEAN
The company went on to perfect their range of engine drive pressure cleaners, right up to 500 bar (7,300 psi) rating. These big machines are used in formwork cleaning and on mine sites. Hales cautions that as such, the machines having a capacity in excess of 5,600 bar/litres, are Class B under the Australian Safety Standards and therefore require operator certification.
“The biggest we can go with Class A machines that don’t require operator certification are our big 4,000 and 5,000 psi diesels. These machines come in full stainless steel frames and are used by major contractors for a wide range of applications from mines to shipyards, construction sites to quarries”, said Hales.
WORKSHOP WASHDOWN … COLD OR HOT WASH?
Nobody wants to bring a filthy piece of machinery into a pristine workshop. That’s where the wash bay has become an absolutely essential component of every well organised service station. Australian Pump have designed and built a wide range of electric drive three phase pressure cleaners, in Class A configuration, all the way through to 5,000 psi. They require no operator certification ,and are ideal for workshops where big plant has to be serviced from railway rolling stock to crawler dozers and motor scrapers.
The machines feature heavy duty four pole slow speed motors, driving slow speed “Big Berty” Bertolini pumps. The “Big Berty’ pumps are regarded as being the finest in the world and feature a wide range of components designed for long life and trouble free operation.
The whole unit is mounted in heavy duty stainless steel frames, ergonomically designed after the same style as Aussie’s famous and registered Scud design. With four big flat free tyres and a stainless steel hose reel mounted on top, these big machines can take on any challenge and even be hard mounted if required.
They are the sisters of a range of heavy duty hot water machines that can produce steam and up to 4,000 psipressure for use where deep grease needs to be flushed away fast and melted at the same time. Only steam can do that! The big steam cleaners are designed by Australian Pump but built in Northern Italy by one of the world’s leading manufacturers.
“We plan to move production to Australia later this year as we build up the volumes” ,said Hales. “We’ll only do this if we can maintain the pricing to the market but will not strip out any of the great features that are built into this equipment”, he said.
The hot water machines feature a wide range of what are considered to be essentials for safety and performance. The steamers feature a flexible coupling between motor and pump for smoother, cooler drive. A low water cut out warning light control prevents damage to the machine and a low fuel sensor warning light is standard. All machines feature timed total stop, an automatic shut down device that will turn the machine off within a matter of a couple of minutes of the machine being left unattended with the gun shut off.
A safety thermostat also protects the pump, while a Microleak detection warning light alerts the operator if there is a leak anywhere in the system. Best of all for the operators, the machines come with an 18 litre diesel fuel tank enabling them to operate long periods with the temperature adjusted to around 100 degrees C. They will produce temperatures up to 130 degrees but Hales warns this means the machine will use a lot more fuel and not achieve a lot more in results.
“The balance between temperature and pressure and flow has to be carefully adjusted” said Hales. “There’s also a major saving in fuel costs by reducing the temperature to one that gets the job done fast but, doesn’t create a smoke screen!”, he said.
The machines all come with stainless steel covers and unlike the standard European machines, has a steel chassis with bumper bar and four heavy duty wheels with flat free tyres.
“We spent 20 years designing these machines based on every negative experience you can possibly imagine”, said Hales. “Now we really think we’ve got the best design, the best machine and the best value for money”, he said.
AUSSIES BACK IN BUSINESS
It’s great to see local companies like Australian Pump Industries really putting an effort into bringing design and manufacturing back into force. Australian Pump exports it’s products all around the world, often with our mechanical and civil engineers being the company’s best international ambassadors.
“We see a general disillusion with third world products, especially amongst professionals who have to have the best efficiency to get the job done fast. Aussie built, Aussie tough and Aussie quality all mean reliability and accountability to the user”, said Hales.
For further information or more detailed application stories, dealing with dust suppression, high pressure cleaning and the dewatering applications encountered every time it rains, contact Australian Pump Industries Earthmovers Cluband pick up a wide range of information that will be not only inspiring but can be enormously helpful.
“We publish stories that talk about applications and our customers have solved problems using the right gear, at the right time and in the right way. Here at Aussie Pumps, we’re an open book!” said Hales.