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Celebrating Australian Made — silo specialist moves into new era

Manufacturing News

Jindera, NSW-based grain silo maker SilOz goes back to the 1970s and is almost a year into its current ownership.

As a maker of products based on Australian steel, its history reflects some of the shifts in the local steel sector over the decades.

“It used to be a part of the Smorgon Group, which was diversified or sold off or disbanded and a part of that went to BlueScope and a part of that went to OneSteel, which turned into Arrium,” explains SilOz General Manager Krystal Storey, who has worked in steel for over 15 years.

“And so it had a flow-on effect there.”

The Jindera site has been running since 1984, after operations were relocated from Newcastle.

The business was rebranded from Cyclone Silos in July 2023, when ownership of the plant, equipment and engineering shifted from Liberty Primary Steel’s Infrabuild to Joel and Peter Murphy, Directors of Optimum Grain Silos & Augers. 

Silos reach customers via agridealers — including Optimum, The Silo Construction Company, and Gwydir — serving different regions. 

“We specialise in flat-bottomed silos, and they’ve got capacity of grain storage of up to 4,000 tonnes,” explains Storey of SilOz’s focus. 

“We have spiral stairs, which to our knowledge is the only spiral staircase that meets the Australian standards… That’s a really good selling point for us. 

“And at the moment we’re currently redesigning all the elevated or hopper-types silos, with an emphasis on the ease of manufacturing through the facility and also the ease of installation onsite to make sure that it’s cost competitive with imported equipment.”

Expertise in Australian conditions and standards is emphasised by the company, for example in fumigation and withstanding environmental extremes. 

Proper sealing is important for best practices in pest control, ensuring a client’s stored grain is protected against weevils and other undesirables. Silos are also certified to withstand a one in 200-year wind event.

The economic environment has shifted in favour of local silo manufacturers (with a collection of little companies pursuing their own niches) in the last few years, believes Storey.

Supply chains have improved a little since the beginning of the Covid era, but it can still be up to six months’ lead time for imports. The low dollar also favours Australian products.

For SilOz, it is on track to consume about 1,500 tonnes of steel, 90 to 95 per cent of it from the two main Australian manufacturers, in its first 12 months. This will represent about 130,000 to 150,000 tonnes of reliably stored Australian grain.

“Our customers are producers of high-quality Australian grain and we like to think that we’re a good fit for producing high-quality Australian made equipment and high-quality Australian made steel,” adds Storey. 

“It’s important for SilOz as a core value to continue to contribute to Australian manufacturing. We want to ensure we maintain manufacturing in Australia and contribute in our own little way that we can. And that includes being a proud member of Australian Made.”

Picture: credit SilOz

This story is part of Celebrating Australian Made, an annual series sponsored by Australian Made and profiling its licensees. For more information on becoming a licensee, visit this link.


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