Agriculture, Silos

American automation in Australia

Caillum Coleman recently visited several major feed mills in the United States. He shares his findings with ABHR.

Caillum Coleman recently visited several major feed mills in the United States. He shares his findings with ABHR.

The united states is one of the world’s largest producers of grain fed beef, for both domestic and export use.

According to the 2022 MLA State of the Industry Report Australia is the 4th largest beef exported in the world behind Brazil, India, and the US.

However, the difference in scale between the Australia and the US is sizeable. Caillum Coleman, a sales representative for Satake Australia, said America’s larger population creates a higher demand for beef domestically.

He saw the difference in person when he recently visited New Orleans.

“It’s one such another level – the sheer number of cattle on feed is almost unbelievable,” he told ABHR.

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“At that scale, simplicity becomes very important. If you have a big operation, you need the wheels turning correctly, all day, every day.”

One of Satake’s suppliers, R&R, invited the company to visit them in the US following the BeefEx conference in Brisbane. The two businesses have worked together for years, with Satake Australia acting as a local agent for the American feed mill manufacturer.

Coleman said automation was one of the key technical developments that was helping the massive beef industry stay competitive.

“R&R has an automation package that is included with its machinery. It’s unreal how important this data is for mills – without it you’re making decisions days after it’s already too late. By automating and monitoring their system, they can make decisions on the fly,” he said.

“We’ve also been promoting the automation side of things in Australia. The industry is interested to see how the technology will work, and we’re working alongside customers to help encourage uptake.

“The R&R team were showing Australian clients the live feed data remotely at BeefEx on their phones.
They could show people exactly what was going on in mills on the other side of the world.”

Satake aims to help Australian businesses champion the technology and expects it to become a common feature on feed mills in the future. The company’s team is gradually introducing what is possible to clients, talking them through the process and addressing any concerns they have.

The company has been operating in Australia since 1992, when the company purchased the British company Robinson Milling Systems. The company’s head office is in Western Sydney, while its major manufacturing facility is in Allora, Queensland.

With two workshops, Satake can build machinery specific to the Australian market and quickly fabricate spare parts. It works alongside local original equipment manufacturers for motors, gearboxes, and belts to ensure each project meets expectations.

Coleman said the company has had good feedback from the industry.

“We’ve got clients that we’ve worked with for a while, as well as a lot of new clients. Everyone talks to each other in the industry, so word of mouth is the best way to promote what we’re doing,” he said.

“People have said they’re happy with our products and the service we provide. With the market and economy starting to cool and with worker availability low, automation is going to become more important than ever.

“Satake Australia will continue providing good quality systems that work. Reliability is what everyone is looking for, so we’ll keep designing systems that work well.” 

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