Innovation, experience key to firm’s success

Innovation, experience key to firm’s success
Reporoa Engineering has redesigned its whole gate range to keep pace with the changing needs of farmers.

Originator of the HIGH LIFT® backing gate, Reporoa Engineering, has recently rebranded to REPOROA HERDFLOW® Backing Gates and now produces backing gates for sheep and goat milking operations as well.
“We have now produced the most rectangular yard backing gates of any company in New Zealand, more than 700 of them,” says company director Daniel Gorton. It is this vast experience and a focus on constant innovation that has seen the company become a market leader, he says.
“We are always trying to improve our product and listen to customer feedback so we can deliver what they want and need to make their farming operation run smoother.”
Because backing gates are such an integral part of every dairy farming operation it is important they function well at all times, he says.
This is another advantage REPOROA HERDFLOW® brings its clients.
Most key components are made in New Zealand, which means that REPOROA HERDFLOW® can maintain a good control on quality and also have parts readily available when customers need them.
Coupled with this the company offers an extensive dealer network spread across the entire country to supply these parts and help maintain the gates.
In recent years there have been some big changes at REPOROA HERDFLOW® to improve product and service. The most significant change is that the whole gate range has been redesigned to keep up with the changing needs of farmers.
One important adjustment has been to the crowd gate drive system to deal with the problems of derailment and slippage.
Aiming to solve this frustrating problem for farmers the company has re-developed its patented pinch drive system for the REPOROA HERDFLOW® CROWD GATE®, which runs on an I-beam with a drive wheel on the side.
“With the new design we were able to increase the pressure we can put on the drive wheel units and at the same time decrease the strain we place on the drive axle assembly,” explains Daniel.
“Because of this we have reduced opportunities for slippage and have greatly increased the strength of the entire drive system while still guaranteeing the gates ability to not be able to be derailed. The HIGH LIFT® gate also runs on an I-beam to prevent derailing but it still drives on the top which also still works really well as it is a lighter gate.”
Another innovation, which protects animal health and makes the job easier for farmers, is that the gates both include breach sensing technology so if the gate begins to push up against the cows it automatically stops.
“This stops staff bulldozing the cows with the gate. This is worth its weight in gold as we need to look after our stock as they are a very valuable asset,” says Daniel.
Pulse forward technology allows farmers to programme in automated stops at set distances as the gate travels forward.
“Both of these gates really automate the whole cow management and loading operation into both herringbone and rotary sheds. Cows are encouraged to move easily from yard to shed, resulting in minimal operator involvement and consequently less stress on animals and operators. It helps farmers to minimise labour requirements and maximises the other advantages of labour saving innovations such as automatic cup removers,” explains Daniel.
Another new innovation REPOROA HERDFLOW® has come up with is that the gates are now 99% bolted and clamped together so can be assembled very quickly – often in between milkings.
The clamping design has also greatly increased the gates over all strength so the gates have very minimal chance of getting stress cracks over time. This is particularly evident in some of the older gates where the pipe rails were all welded together on site, says Daniel.
Using the REPOROA HERDFLOW® gate technology the company has also developed the REPOROA HERDFLOW TOP GATE®.
Daniel says that this electrified curtain can be used in front of other solid backing gates in both round and rectangular yards to collect small groups of cows to take up to the shed for milking.
The company also offers a range of add-on labour saving features so farmers can customise the system to suit their particular farm including the popular DUNGBUSTER® Automatic Yard Cleaning System.
The goal of REPOROA HERDFLOW® is to provide engineering that focuses on the needs of the dairy farmer, with particular emphasis on reducing animal stress to increase milk yield, ensuring ease of use and increasing efficiency in the yard.
REPOROA HERDFLOW® products are supplied internationally with local agents located throughout New Zealand to complete installations and maintenance.
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