Stuart Payne - GP Graders

"Since the release of our AirJet® range of machinery, sales have grown significantly"

The Australian Government have been extremely supportive to keep the Australian economy alive and moving forward. The Federal Government this week announced a massive $130 billion jobs support package which was extremely well received and essentially pays employers to maintain staff in full employment for the next six months.

GP Graders, based in Melbourne, Australia, is open and in full production, meeting orders for the 2020 season. "The Australian Federal Government is unlikely to impose measures which would see any slowdown of the manufacturing sector. We are all healthy, all at work and undertaking overtime to get the jobs out the door,” says Stuart Payne, Director of GP Graders.

“If this COVID-19 virus has taught us anything, it’s that it’s time to automate and take labour out of the equation. If a machine does a better job than a person, then buy the machine, it’s simple.” 

GP Graders’ sales enquiries for its AirJet® Vision range of grading software and machinery have seen an upturn and in the past week, according to Payne they taken orders for sorting and packing machinery for apples, mangoes, cherry tomatoes, blueberries and cherries.

“With the success of the AirJet Vision® technology, 2020 was on track to be a very good year but with this upturn in sales, it now appears it will be the best year yet for the company.”

The AirJet® range of vision grading machinery sorts and categorises fruit using its vision grading cameras and software for small fresh produce such as blueberries, cherries, cherry and grape tomatoes and loose grapes. The sorting criteria includes colour, softness, external defects, size and shape.

GP Graders have direct offices and manufacturing facilities in Melbourne, Australia and Curico, Chile direct offices and warehouse facilities in Wenatchee, Washington State, USA and  representative agents throughout Europe.

"Since the release of our AirJet® range of machinery sales have grown significantly particularly for our blueberry grading machinery. We also manufacture machinery for larger fruits such as apples, citrus, tomatoes, stone fruits and mangoes."

"There is a recognition amongst our customers that purchasing automated machinery is not only the solution to this Covid-19 crisis but reducing staff overall has become imperative to reduce costs. Globally it has become increasingly difficult to source staff in rural areas and wages continue to increase. GP Graders’ AirJet® Vision software is now able to sort better than people. It is not an alternative to people, it actually does a better job than the human eye – people cannot see softness or necessarily bruising, whereas the AirJet® Vision software can and it’s perfectly consistent and more reliable."

Payne said that some European manufactures have made small inroads into certain sectors of the Australian industry but it is not overly significant.

"The main complaint is their inability to service the market and the high prices they seek for low quality machinery. We expect this interest to fall substantially as the Australian dollar has depreciated significantly making foreign machinery very expensive.

"GP Graders’ AirJet® Vision software has proven itself to be world leading over the past couple of years with higher definition cameras and more superior software able to detect and eliminate more than humans from the sorting process."

According to Payne it’s business as usual at the company, although quite a lot busier than normal.

"Far from laying off staff we are adding to our workforce to meet current production demand. We have never had a stronger pipeline of sales particularly after the release of our new AirJet Vision software this southern hemisphere cherry and blueberry season.The new software requires 1/3 of the staff our old electronics required so it’s a huge leap forward in technological capability."

For more information:
Stuart Payne
GP Graders
T:  +61 3 9585 9444

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