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Kiwi buyers roll on up for Wakely mills

Louth-based Wakely Engineering has loaded one of its roller mills into a container destined for the other side of the world and has orders to send two more.

The firm has been in business since the early 1980s, producing mills for a range of industries including those manufacturing agricultural feed, alcoholic beverages and food.

According to managing director Phelim Wakely some 70pc of the firm's sales come from overseas markets, including those in Britain, Denmark and Latvia.

The firm also recently cracked New Zealand, after their first customer from the southern hemisphere nation saw Wakely products at the Highland Show in Scotland.

"We exhibit at a lot of shows in the UK, including the Cereals 2012 event coming up, and this customer happened to be visiting from New Zealand," said Mr Wakely.

"He wanted a product we could supply."

The firm's readiness and ability to build a product to suit the customer's own specifications sealed the deal.

The first machine to leave for New Zealand is a commercial specification 40-tonne/hr unit, and is destined for a farm-based feed supplier in Dunearn, on the South Island.

"It's a roller-grinder which has been designed to handle different crops such as maize, barley and oats, and at the same time produce an exact particle size without dust," Mr Wakely added.

"For this customer it needs to produce a product suitable for the beef, poultry and swine markets."

Processing maize, barley and oats simultaneously is achieved by using two pairs of rollers, one mounted above the other.

"The top pair of rollers pre-crush the larger material (maize) and the bottom pair finish the process," Mr Wakely explained.

A second firm based in New Zealand is now also trading with Wakely, having spotted advertisements placed by the company in British agricultural publications.

The firm, a feed supplier located on the North Island, has placed orders for two roller mills.

Mr Wakely is delighted with the new business, having never imagined, when setting up the company, that he would export to New Zealand.

He said: "This is a significant achievement, given the range of mills currently available on the world market, and demonstrates how a small Irish manufacturer can win against global competition."

The three sales will deliver a welcome €200,000 boost for Wakely Engineering and continued employment for the Louth economy.

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