A global water saving product

Felton Industries

Glen Innes company Felton Industries’ innovative retrofitted shower head technology, the Oxijet, is used in homes from Canterbury to the Czech Republic, and Southland to Sri Lanka.
Felton Industries’ GM Roger Marty and engineering manager Michael Joynt

Now, a new industrial-sized version of the company’s water-saving device called the AgOxijet is poised to transform the way New Zealand’s huge number of dairy farm sheds are washed down, and help both farmers and the environment.

The AgOxijet’s enormous potential has already been recognised, with a prototype winning ‘Best Design (Concept and Experimental Product)’ at the 2014 NZ Best Design Awards.

The breakthrough product could reduce the water consumed in dairy shed washes by up to 40 per cent – a massive benefit for farmers, who are increasingly under legislative and consumer pressure to lessen their environmental impact from both water volume used, and the resulting effluent run-off.

And Felton Industries says the gains can be achieved without compromising stringent wash quality, or adding to the time farmers take to complete their twice-daily task.

The company has designed and manufactured domestic shower mixers and showerheads since 1968, and has exported to Australia, the Pacific Islands, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Spain, the Czech Republic and the US.

General manager Roger Marty says the company has looked to find other commercial uses for its water-saving technology, and the farming sector is a logical target.

He says AgOxijet’s development would not have been possible without ATEED research and development specialist Paul Robinson’s help to apply for and gain more than $51,000 co-funding from government agency Callaghan Innovation in 2013.

“Paul was passionate about turning our idea into reality, and he and the team at Callaghan Innovation could thankfully see the AgOxijet’s potential. They have been hugely supportive along the way,” says Roger.

Felton Industries worked with industry body Dairy NZ and government entity AgResearch to develop field trial protocols to test the AgOxijet on dairy farms which during the trials typically used up to 12,000 litres of water a day, just on yard washing.

Felton tool

The Callaghan Innovation grant helped pay for months of work by manufacturing and R&D experts to refine the design.

Roger says the finish line is in sight: “We are now designing tooling which will be used to manufacture the AgOxijet commercially, and plan to launch the final unit into the market by May 2015.”

The initial target market for the AgOxijet is New Zealand’s dairy farm sector, but Roger says the company’s eyes are firmly focused on international markets.

“Logically, that would be Australia first, but there are significant other markets with major dairy industries such as Argentina and Chile, and Eastern European countries including Poland.”

 

 

View this to see the AgOxijet in action: