Bradken has taken out the Rod Rockwood Award for Agriculture/Engineering Design at the 40th annual Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ASSCT) conference held in Mackay.
The winning submission focused on our BK49 Auto Coupler as an example of innovation, safety and excellence in the design of sugar industry equipment.
Executive General Manager for Bradken’s Mobile Plant business, Brad Ward said the need to improve industry safety was a primary driver behind the design of the coupler.
“The BK49 Auto Coupler represents a significant step forward in sugar transport industry safety practices offering a reduced risk of jack-knifing through increased strength and stability under braking and buffing operations and improved articulation for seamless curve negotiation,” Brad said.
“Over the past 50 years the Australian sugar cane industry has seen the introduction of larger and heavier cane wagons, more powerful locomotives and longer rakes which has led to operational challenges for cane wagon couplings.
“The BK49 Auto Coupler has been designed to specifically overcome these issues and in doing so provide improved product performance for our customers.”
Brad said the award was a great achievement – a mark of recognition for Bradken’s vast experience in the sugar market and contribution to the ongoing development of the industry.
“Bradken has been a proud part of the Australian sugar industry for more than 10 years. We are thrilled to have been recognised by the ASSCT for the innovation the BK 49 Auto Coupler has delivered to the market.”
The design of the BK49 Auto Coupler is the culmination of close to 10 years’ work by Bradken’s Mobile Plant business primarily out of our Innisfail facility in Far North Queensland.
“Innisfail is the centre of operations for our sugar industry products and our team there know the industry, our customers and their needs inside out,” Brad said.
“From late 2009 when the team first began to survey the market, to today, they have worked to evolve the design to the point that our customers are now confidently using the BK49 Auto Coupler to operate their longer rakes and larger wagons.”
Bradken BK49 Auto Couplers have been in service since 2014. As at June 2018 there are over 2000 BK49 Auto Couplers in service fitted to 6, 10 or 15 ton cane bins.
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