Upgrades big boost to Westcoast wool testing
An anticipated hike in wool receivals has prompted a big upgrade at Westcoast Wool and Livestock’s Bibra Lake headquarters to bolster wool testing efficiency.
The company announced last week it had installed a new O’Connor Wooltech core machine at its Bibra Lake headquarters and purchased a modern forklift fleet.
It comes as Westcoast targets a 10 per cent increase in wool receivals on the back of more support from WA woolgrowers.
The existing core machine and forklifts at Bibra Lake will be transferred to Westcoast’s Katanning facility.
Westcoast director and WA wool manager Brad Faithfull said the new core line system would increase the company’s wool testing capacity.
“It’s also good to extend from our Bibra Lake operation with another core line at Katanning to beef up our testing there,” he said.
“We are looking to get wool to market in the most efficient way possible.”
Westcoast’s new core machine has the capacity to test 180 bales in two hours.
The average lot size was 61/2 bales, equating to nearly four wool sample grabs per bale.
International Wool Textile Organisation standards require a minimum 20 cores and 20 grabs per lot.
Australian Wool Testing Authority WA sampling operations manager Rob Hallion lauded Westcoast’s new purchase.
Mr Hallion said the core machine, which is equipped with auto-locking gates to ensure no operator access while it is running, boasted high safety standards.
“It’s state-of-the-art and is the most advanced piece of equipment of its type in Australia,” he said.
“Like any business these days, safety and productivity is king, so this type of investment from Westcoast shows a real commitment to their operation.
“It’s fully computerised and self-adjusts its operation to accommodate light and heavy bales.
“It also takes digital images of every bale as they travel through the sampling line.”
Transferring the existing core machine from Westcoast’s Bibra Lake centre to its Katanning facility will improve bale testing efficiency at Katanning, Mr Faithfull said.
He said the company was aiming for a 50 per cent increase in wool receivals through its Katanning site.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails