Geraldton-based manufacturer Raycol Engineering is not backwards in pushing forwards into international markets.
While Raycol founder Colin Whyatt said 30 per cent of the company’s stainless steel products were sold into South Australia, an undisclosed portion is exported to South Africa to supply Equaliser, which sends its air seeders into the local market or returns to WA, or is exported to Europe, the US or Canada.
Mr Whyatt said using high tech laser cutters Raycol was able to “produce stainless steel meter housings for a range of air seeding machines” that were suited to the WA conditions, but also proved their worth in international markets.
Equaliser Australia operations manager Bert Badenhorst said the business imports Raycol “divider heads on the air seeders”, which are built for the Australian market as well as for the southern part of South Africa.
“When we started shipping machines to the West Australian farmers, they asked us to fit their equipment with the Raycol divider heads as they worked well and were well-known in the area,” Mr Badenhorst said.
“We then started using them for our local seeders as well as they were well made and easy to clean out.”
He said the company orders about 2500 of the Raycol divider heads from Australia annually.
“They then come to South Africa and most of them get shipped back to Australia fitted to our machines,” Mr Badenhorst said.
“There is a percentage that stays in South Africa in the southern part of the country where we grow winter crops.”
Badenhorst said most of the air seeders were sold into the Australian market, followed by Europe, Canada and the United States.
“None of our equipment goes to Africa in any scale — maybe one unit a year,” he said.
Mr Wyhatt said Raycol established a North American base in Canada in about 2010 to reach that market easier but after five years of ongoing staffing and supply issues they sold that section of the business off to the local manager.
“We gave it a shot but it didn’t work out in the end,” Mr Whyatt said.
He said they kept in touch with the owners from time to time and the business is still operational with the same focus.
Mr Wyhatt said the company dealt with “all ag machinery dealers in South Australia” and also attends the State’s Field Days events, as well as local events at Mingenew, Wagin and Newdegate, to ensure ongoing customer relations and community support.
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