GLOBAL MADE LOCAL
Denmark’s Hardi may not sound like an Australian sprayer maker, but its Hardi Australia subsidiary has a substantial manufacturing facility in Adelaide. In fact, the majority of Hardi sprayers sold in Australia and New Zealand are built locally. The company’s local production consumes more than 7200 kg of welding wire and 8.4 tonnes of ‘Hardi Red’ powder a year.
Hardi International established Hardi Australia in 2002 and today the local business occupies more than 10,000m2 of production, testing, logistics and support space on a 10 hectare site that also has space for testing new machines.
Fluid systems are tested separately in a facility that can fit all Hardi sprayers, including the giant 9000-litre Rubicon self-propelled sprayer and its 48.5m boom. With a full water recovery system, Hardi is able to run spray tests for 24 hours and longer.
Hardi’s Australian Product Development Centre (APDC) is a conduit for the latest sprayer technologies and innovations. One of Hardi Australia’s big advantages is the global company’s specialised expertise. Hardi Europe has an ongoing R&D commitment, and the APDC can rapidly bring the benefits of that research to Australian farmers.
At the same time, Australian innovations are fed back into the network to benefit producers overseas. The Hardi Rubicon is a perfect example. It was developed locally to meet the unique needs of Australian broadacre farmers, but now it is Hardi’s largest self-propelled sprayer and is offered worldwide.
Building on the Australian template, Hardi’s global network contributed class-leading engine, boom, fluid control and guidance technologies to the Rubicon. Its 6500- and 9000-litre stainless steel tanks are manufactured by a South Australian supplier, which also manufactures 6200-litre tanks for the Hardi Saritor 62 Active self-propelled machine as well.
It is one of more than 130 Australian OEM suppliers that benefit from Hardi Australia’s manufacturing operation, along with more than 100 local employees. Hardi Australia’s production commitment has also helped develop local expertise. Making sprayers here means Hardi can configure machines to meet the specific needs of its customers. It also carries an inventory of more than 20,000 different backup parts.
While Hardi’s national network of dealers and service technicians are generally a farmer’s main source of information, and Hardi Australia also has specialist technicians for all of its sprayers.
Hardi technicians are also experts in aluminium boom configuration, which requires lots of local knowledge. Hardi Australia began importing Pommier aluminium booms years before anyone else and worked hard to adjust their performance for local farmers.
The process involved a lot of testing and significant deviation from the settings recommended by Pommier engineers in Europe.
Now, Hardi Australia uses its unrivalled know-how to manufacture aluminium booms in Australia from imported Pommier extrusions, under the Hardi Paragon brand.
The booms are integrated with Hardi’s advanced AutoHeight and AutoTerrain sprayer centres at the factory, to provide the best possible height control and a smooth, accurate boom ride. Operators often marvel at the way Hardi Australia’s booms ‘float’ across melon holes, lumps and slope changes.
Hardi enhances its local boom expertise with leading international technology, such as the H-Select nozzle control, which is offered exclusively with the largest Rubicon aluminium booms. H-Select uses compressed air switching to control different combinations of up to four different nozzles at each nozzle body.
It can provide constant fluid pressure, application rate and droplet size across the Rubicon’s entire speed range. Droplet size can even be adjusted on the move from an in-cab run screen, for better coverage and drift control.
Hardi installs and tests H-Select both at the Adelaide factory and again on delivery. Mixing international technology with tailored production is called ‘global made local’, and it underpins every aspect of Hardi production and customer service