PACIFIC Seeds today launched a $2.4-million, custom-built processing plant at its main production centre at Toowoomba in southern Queensland.
The new facility combines Australian and global technologies to increase seed processing capacity by 30 per cent and significantly improve seed cleaning and treatment across a wide range of crops.
UPL Limited chief executive officer Jai Shroff said the plant would provide significant benefits to customers, the company and growers.
“At UPL we are committed to fighting the impact of climate change on agriculture. We increasingly feel that investing in technology to fight the impact of climate change is important. Australia is probably the best example where if we do not bring technology to improve farmer resilience the world is going to be very, very different,” he said.
Pacific Seeds managing director Barry Croker said the new plant’s capacity to process seed products faster and more effectively was a major step forward.
“The seasons are becoming more erratic. It is important for us to continue to invest in our business, not only in delivering new products but also to be able to meet demand in timely fashion,” he said.
Mr Croker said the plant design featured many cutting-edge technologies, including an optical sorter.
“The machine is unique in the way it operates in that you select the seed you want to keep rather than selecting the seed you want to remove from the sample. It gives us a lot more precision in how we clean our samples and the quality of our end products,” he said.
“An important part of the plant is the Z elevators. Changing to the Z elevator is a much smoother, slower transport of seed which results in less damage, is easier to clean and provides efficiencies.”
The principle equipment designers and suppliers for the project were German-based firm, Petkus Technologies, and GrainTech Engineering. Other contributors included QA Electrical, Pulford Air and Gas and a number of local subcontractors.
The facility’s Petkus M 12S seed cleaner, which has multiple settings and quality control levels, can be used for a wide array of seed varieties.
There is also a Petkus Roeber OptoSelector 901 colour sorter which has advanced software to process individual kernel images and incorporates size and shape recognition technology.
The upgraded plant design includes team member-friendly features such as increased access points to machinery, replacement of all bucket elevators with pendulum elevators, updated ladder and walkway positioning, localised plant equipment and improved emergency technology.
Pacific Seeds is a brand of Advanta Seeds – a UPL company.
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