Hardi factory tour shows how local manufacturing can be viable

Hardi holds the line with local manufacturing and model assembly at their purpose build plant and warehouses in Cavan SA

Hardi Australia’s Cavan SA manufacturing plant and warehouse keeps costs down and employees locals

When Hardi revealed GEOSELECT for the first time in Australia to a bevy of bleary eyed journalists, they were also given the chance to look through Hardi Australia’s 10ha (25-acre) HQ in Cavan SA only 11km from Adelaide CBD.

This is where Hardi assembles its models sold into the Australian market, along with a modern steel fabrication and paint-line. And it’s all backed up with a spare parts warehouse where the 15,000 stock-lines sold into our local market can be replaced.

From the spare parts warehouse, up to 1600 item lines are despatched each week to the manufacturing division as well as external customers seeking parts.

All testing of machines sold take place at the rear of the spare parts warehouse to ensure everything is working as it should prior to despatch to dealers and farmers.

Hardi took the throng of journalists through their fabrication factory where components such as trailed sprayer chassis and steek booms are manufactured.

The ability Hardi has to manufacture in Australia is a big benefit as it avoids any import duty and will benefit as part of the silent movement by growers to buy locally made.

To back up the local made claim, Hardi Australia buys from local suppliers whenever possible.

The finishing component of the fabrication factory is impressive with a shot-blasting chamber to prepare steel prior to powder-coating, while a second much larger manual booth takes care of frames and boom sections.

All powder-coating takes place here through three processes of application, a primer is up first then quickly followed by a first oven bake, once cooled a second coat is applied and placed into the oven for a final time.

This finish ties in with the durability required for our local farming conditions and doing this process within the Hardi factory complex leaves little concern for paint damage that can be caused by long distance shipping.

The factory tour ended in the big assembly building where two lines of trailer models operate. The Commander models take up the right-hand side of the building while the Navigator and Range models run the length of the left-hand side of the building.

Overhead cranes keep the workflow at a steady pace using a manufacturing cell structure that allows the workforce to be moved safely from station to station.

If you have ordered a machine and are wondering where it is, there is a live screen showing all models in production and it shows just what, if any delays have been identified for each machine.

The left side of the building is also assigned to assemble of self-propelled sprayers.

At the time of the tour, a Rubicon was just being unpacked from a container out of the Hardi plant in France. Local assembly workers were preparing for the task of getting this jigsaw puzzle back into a formidable spray giant.

With more government support, manufacturing farm equipment could easily be resurrected to the grand status it has held throughout our pioneering farming history.

Up until now, local manufacturing has been forced to limp along under its own steam, with no real funding to take products to the world market, instead the world market comes here and buys us out.

People in government with the power to instigate change through export grants have found it easy to ignore local farm equipment manufacturers up until now, and it seems they are never called out for their lack of support.