Graintech and SMC Corporation have it in the bag


The Australian manufacturer Graintech designs, manufactures and installs custom processing equipment to prominent brands around the globe. They offer a wide product range which includes batch coaters, fluid bed dryers, mixers, conveying technology and most recently, baghouses.   

Graintech’s manufacturing facility, engineering design hub, in-house equipment and testing facilities are in Ballarat, Melbourne with an additional office located in Toowoomba, Queensland and soon to be Canterbury, New Zealand. 

Over the past few years, Graintech have grown considerably, something that managing director Nick Smith attributes to their innovative offering.

“We are a true turnkey manufacturer – able to manage multiple projects with quick delivery and hands-on support. We also have a secure supply chain in place and most of our manufacturing is done locally,” Smith said.  

“We are a technology company. Our attitude is that we listen to customer needs and match our business to these requirements.” 

In the bag  

Dust collection and suppression via filtration systems is a key priority for Graintech’s customers, as Smith explains.

“It was the only component that we didn’t have control over at that stage,” he said. “In the past, we were reliant on other companies to supply filtration systems that would often let us down in terms of quality and lead time. Based on this, we decided to alter our solution to bring this in-house where we had more control and could truly call ourselves ‘turnkey solution’ providers.”  

Then the baghouse by Graintech was born. 

When Graintech decided to bring their bag houses in-house, they looked to a trusted automation supplier that could support them with quality components.

“SMC had been supplying us through a distributor for quite some time,” Smith said. “We had already built strong relationships with the brand and were aware of the quality of their products, dedicated support, and international footprint. We decided to align with them during this exciting development to ensure customer confidence and quality. We now work directly with SMC as a result of their engineering capacity and great service.”  

Ryan Worthington, area sales manager for SMC Victoria explained that at the time, SMC was running a sales drive on the new JSXFA series dust collector valves, and were searching for an application where it could be best applied. 

“Graintech became a great partner for this project and helped us to explore further technical capabilities and product testing on the range, in partnership with our international colleagues,” Worthington said. 


Project challenges 

With a lead time of just 12 weeks from start to finish, the project had the team collaborating and communicating constantly to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

“Our engineering department helped to develop the kits (three standard kits to choose from to suit the three bag house products) set up for standard machines,” Worthington said. 

“The kits replace the ordering of 20 single components. This means that Graintech’s purchasing department only needed to process one part number per kit. It includes a control box with control cards stored inside, dust collection valves and a pilot valve manifold to operate it.”

According to Smith, Graintech developed a flatpack that it sells as a kit.

“There is also a mechano type kit that can be sent to site, costing less in freight, and ensuring quick delivery and installation. We offer the option for clients to set it up themselves should they want to, or alternatively we are able to do it for them,” he said. 

Despite any potential delays due to COVID-19 restrictions, Smith said that SMC handled their supply chain with ease and offered availability of products throughout the period.  

“Customers love it,” Smith said. “It has become a strong seller and could go beyond our own projects into a completely new dust suppression line. There are so many opportunities to explore here.” 

“We are very proud to collaborate with SMC – they are a key supplier to us, and we are excited for what’s to come.

“Our relationship is ‘people focused’ and our company’s values closely align. We share the view that ‘people buy from people,’” Worthington concluded.  

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