This machine is a 'jet' says farm engineering business

Precision cutter helps farm engineering business jet ahead

Machinery
MASTER'S APPRENTICE: Cody Burgess with Spring Ridge Engineering's new Jekran X-MW series Waterjet precision cutter.

MASTER'S APPRENTICE: Cody Burgess with Spring Ridge Engineering's new Jekran X-MW series Waterjet precision cutter.

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An engineering business on the NSW Liverpool Plains has invested in a machine that reproduces high-quality parts for farm machinery.

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A farm engineering company on the Liverpool Plains of north west NSW has done some successful engineering to its own business.

Spring Ridge Engineering was started by Chris Holland around 40 years ago manufacturing and supplying planting machines.

The rich Liverpool Plains is one of NSW's most productive agricultural regions producing a range of irrigated and dryland crops including wheat, corn, sorghum and cotton along with beef, lamb and wool.

Machinery plays a major role with critical tasks often needing to be done in narrow time windows which means farmers can't afford costly downtime caused by breakdowns.

Mr Holland's son Andrew said the recent switch to machines with more advanced and sophisticated technology provided an opportunity for Spring Ridge Engineering (named after the town of the same name).

"The transition to more automation has meant that Spring Ridge Engineering has moved from manufacturing machines to supplying parts and accessories and fabrication of specialised components and engineering services," he said.

"Harvest time is extremely busy and nobody can afford to wait longer than necessary to get a machine back in operation.

"The need for specialised fabricated parts has kept Spring Ridge Engineering very busy.

"The business needed a solution to quickly manufacture components, specialised implements and to reproduce high precision parts.

"A plasma cutter or oxy acetylene may be fast, however it is difficult to get the fine quality finish straight off the machine needed for many precision components," he said.

"We found the right solution in a Jekran X-MW series Waterjet which we installed in our factory towards the end of last year.

"Having the Jekran Waterjet gives us the flexibility we need to produce high-precision components.

"This versatile machine is capable of cutting virtually any material including steel up to 100mm thick.

"The fine finish on machined parts means the part can be taken right off the cutting table without any secondary finishing. While this cutting method may not be the fastest, it certainly gives the best precision," Mr Holland said.

"The cold process means there is no molten-edge distortion. When we need to fabricate or replicate a critical part it is now just a matter of copying an existing component or creating a new piece by drawing up the task in a SolidWorks program and feed this into the machine's controller.

"This cutter has enabled us to be creative in helping us deliver the fast turnaround and high-quality solutions that our customers demand.

"The machine is easy to program and can be operated by an apprentice so our technical support team can spend more time in the field to help producers with their machinery issues," Mr Holland said.

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