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Grunty enough for the Outback Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WORD is spreading in Australia about the performance and reliability of the THS Milkpump system, and one satisfied customer that keeps coming back for more is Byford Equipment.

Based in Moama on the Victoria-New South Wales border, the company builds farm pick-up and road transport tankers including B-Double tankers, bulk storage silos for milk, wine and chemicals; on-farm milk storage vats; high and low pressure cavity plate and wine fermenters; and associated equipment. Byford milk collection tankers roll off the factory floor fitted with THS hydraulic solutions, including the grunty THS Milkpump, adapted from the NZH Milkpump in 2003 to suit Australian conditions. Storing and moving liquids, in particular milk, are challenging tasks, but the company’s 35-year reputation in this specialised field is sterling. 

Owner, Gary Byford says one reason for this is the company’s policy of carefully choosing its business associates: “We want to be the leader in the fabrication of stainless steel equipment for our target industries, and the industry benchmark for quality, productivity, and service. “This includes offering our clients the best possible engineering, design and service advice, which in turn often means introducing innovations in product design and production methods. “THS has been a valuable partner the past five years...the two companies are a good fit and support the same values of excellent customer service and back-up care for our products,” he says. The milk pump used in Australia differs slightly from its Kiwi cousin. In the 1980s NZH and pump specialists Nuphlo created the NZH Milkpump, a 4” centrifugal stainless steel milk pumping system designed around the Hydrocar PTO. Within a short time the New Zealand dairy industry standardised on the 4” NZH Milkpump. The dairy industry in Australia is not standardised to the same degree.

Collection vats have various outlet sizes, are sometimes situated a considerable distance from where the vehicle stops to collect the milk, and tend to be built closer to ground level than their Kiwi counterparts. Consequently tankers often transfer the milk via long lengths of hose and gain little from gravity feeding. This can cause problems drawing the milk to the pump and evacuating air from the system and in addition often put extra pressure on the slower lobe style pumps traditionally used in the milk tanker industry.

To address these issues, THS introduced a twin pump system. A secondary prime pump draws milk up and primes the 4” pu mp, which then takes over. Predetermined flow and speed parameters control both pumps. When the flow rate drops below a specific parameter, the 4” pump stops and the prime pump empties the vat and hose. The latest version THS Milkpump pumps up to 2000 litres per minute and is integrated with the tanker’s electronic metering system. Paul says the pump is grunty, durable, and built to suit the conditions: “Our tankers go on rough terrain and the pumps handle it well. “The pumps have few parts that can wear out and need replacement – once you’ve paid the cost of set-up, it’s just maintenance. We also get no comebacks from busy operators - always good news. “When THS introduced the pump to us in 2003, we started using it right away - there was nothing like it at the time and we could see it would work,” he says. Each installation has to be tailored to suit the operator’s prime mover requirements and the farm sites where it will work.

Gary says THS’ “one-stop-shop” is another bonus in the well-oiled partnership. “THS come to our premises and install and commission all the hydraulics on the prime movers, the same for servicing and maintenance - a full-round professional service.” Byford Equipment dates to 1975, when owners Gary and Irene Byford from Strathmerton began repairing milk tankers for Kraft Foods to generate extra income for their full-time dairy farm business. Today, the company has 90 employees and recently moved to a new 9500m2 factory with in-floor heating situated on a 6.03-hectare site on the Cobb Highway, Moama. The company recently started building tippers, further growing its association with THS through the use of a number of THS tipper-related products

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