A decision made to move to local manufacturing during multiple supply chain disruptions in recent years is paying off for the customers of Australasian water and wastewater treatment specialist, CST Wastewater Solutions.

The company has seen its judgement vindicated by its municipal and industrial clients seamlessly maintaining essential installations and service during supply interruptions, which started with the covid years and are continuing now as international tensions and incidents disrupt vital supply routes.

CST Wastewater Solutions made the move to fully manufacture its rotary drum screen and screw screen/compactors in Australia to enhance quality assurance, environmental outcomes, and certainty of supply to its customers in Australasia.

CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director, Michael Bambridge, said that it was the right choice in many ways, because not only is Australasian engineering recognised as top world class, but it also enabled CST to build-in high durability and low maintenance features that respond to the extremes of uniquely Australasian conditions.

“And an important additional advantage of the move away from cheap imports to local manufacture of superior product, is the boost local spending gives to Australia’s jobs and skills base.

“Everyone benefits from local manufacturing. The customer gets a better product and greater certainty of supply, while local suppliers – including, tooling, cutting and component makers – get the benefit of the local spend. Plus, more local families get the advantage of more and better jobs,” said Mr Bambridge, who has partnered with an Australian quality stainless steel fabrication specialist to build strength and low-maintenance resilience into local product, which is widely used in both Australia and New Zealand.

Durability and low-maintenance features include some of the finest pre-screening available (down to 200 micron), full stainless steel construction and unique design for local conditions. These include widely varying flow rates and inflow content, while recognising the need to cater to municipal and industrial companies that cannot afford the luxury of large in-house engineering and maintenance teams. CST’s robustly engineered horizontal in-channel rotary drum screening technology has already been proven in some of the notoriously variable conditions of Australia.

“Good local service is vital to complement good equipment – and that is a compelling advantage of local manufacture. Imported equipment is always at the mercy of supply chain delays and cost.

“Such equipment could be useless the first time it broke down, until it is repaired.. Then, both municipal and industrial organisations face the risk of non-compliance of licence conditions and downstream blocking, flooding, production interruptions and environmental and groundwater hazards.”

Local manufacturing advantages

Integral to the new, locally manufactured rotary drum screens and auger extractors is industry-best screening, which provides 50 per cent finer apertures for greater waste solids extraction and recovery.

In many industrial plants, these screens allow the important product recovery of fat and proteinaceous material, which is all worth money to companies seeking to maximise their use of resources.

“This provides an environmental benefit too, because it keeps particles that could be hazardous to environmentally sensitive areas out of groundwater,” Mr Bambridge said.

“It is important to remember that a lot of food and beverage companies – as well as municipal organisations – just don’t have the engineering staff on the payroll to provide the standards of maintenance that a manufacturer can put on-site for them.

“So if disruptions cause breakdowns and leaks into the environment, these organisations can be looking at environmental spills and groundwater damage that can incur statutory, reputational and financial damage.

“If this happens, saving small sums on cheaper and more damage-prone technology, with lesser service backup, can suddenly look like a terribly bad decision.”

Engineering staff shortages apply to many municipal water treatment authorities, particularly smaller ones and many operating with pronounced grit removal issues in the 80 per cent of Australian urban centres close to the coast.

Such testing environments – in which the screens and compactors may be used as a front-line defence of water treatment systems – include some of the toughest environments, such as industrial municipal plants subject to widely varying flows and waste content, as well as meat, dairy, poultry, fishery, and livestock plants.

CST has been progressively moving towards Australian manufacturing since Covid wrought havoc on supply chains, and it has now achieved full Australian design and manufacture of the following ranges:

  • Internally fed Rotary Drums – Model RDs
  • In-Channel Horizontal Rotary Drum – Model FS
  • Screw Screens and associated equipment – Model SF

Featured image: One of CST’s rotary screen drums. Image credit: CST Wastewater Solutions. 

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