Graintech reduces travel spending and carbon emissions by 68 per cent using Microsoft mixed reality technology

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The events of the past few years have brought the importance of food security into sharp focus.

GRAINTECH designs, custom manufactures and installs equipment that helps agribusinesses grow and process seed and grain more efficiently.

“Current estimates are that the world needs to produce 70 per cent more food to keep up with population growth by 2050. With the reduction in arable land, farmers must achieve higher yields from what they sow,” says GRAINTECH CEO Nick Smith. “Our drive for innovation is to ensure our technology aids in increasing yields and seed and grain quality.”

GRAINTECH manufactures its seed and grain processing equipment portfolio at its headquarters in Ballarat, Victoria and is the exclusive agent for two European brands. Its primary customer base is in Australia and New Zealand, but it also exports to the Americas, Europe, and South Africa.

The company was experiencing a nice-to-have problem, with no shortage of orders and not enough capacity to fulfil them.

“Our order book is incredibly full, and the potential for more is substantial,” says Smith. “We’ve invested heavily in technology to make us a high-quality yet efficient manufacturer, enabling us to cater to the market opportunities that come to us. Our commitment to customers is our topmost priority.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, GRAINTECH’s senior executives and experts had to travel to customer sites, whether the company was installing a single machine, designing an entire greenfield site, or making a service call. It was expensive and created bottlenecks in GRAINTECH’s operations.

The key to a successful manufacturing business, apart from innovative technologies, is to have the right and skilled workforce. COVID made the availability of skilled people a scarce resource.

“COVID forced GRAINTECH to reassess how we did things,” Smith recalls. “We asked ourselves, do we need to invest this much in travel?

“Our annual travel spend was phenomenally high and generated a huge carbon footprint.”


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