CSBP has been named the tenth most innovative company in Australia. The business, which manufactures and distributes chemicals and fertilisers, took out the honour at the 2016 Australian Financial Review’s 50 Most Innovative Companies awards.
The awards are compiled and judged by innovation consultancy Inventium and recognise leaders in the innovation arena.
“A commitment to continual improvement has long been a part of CSBP’s DNA. In 2015 we took this commitment a step further and established dedicated innovation systems and processes designed to unearth and progress great ideas,” said Ian Hansen, CSBP Executive Director.
Two of these successes were highlighted in the awards – use of drone technology to inspect CSBP’s Ammonia/Ammonium Nitrate facilities in Kwinana and the introduction of FERTview, an online tool that enables farmers to customise their fertiliser plans to improve crop yields.
“Inspecting our Ammonia/AN facilities is necessary, but also costly and potentially hazardous with exposure to chemicals and hazardous vapours, working at heights and in extreme heat. There’s also the issue of trying to inspect areas that are confined, obstructed or dangerous,” said Mr Hansen.
“By using drones fitted with video we can safely inspect our facilities. We have also started to deploy robotic rovers (remotely operated video enhanced receivers) to inspect previously inaccessible areas. Together, these technologies are positively impacting our business.”
Using the drones has streamlined the inspections process and enabled more thorough inspections to be carried out. It has also saved CSBP around $250,000 in six months on the cost of scaffolding equipment alone.
“As WA’s largest fertiliser supplier, CSBP is well aware of the issues for our farmers and their need to boost productivity and crop yields. With this in mind, we created FERTview and released it free of charge to our customers,” Mr Hansen said.
“FERTview uses the Google Earth Engine platform and allows farmers to review and interact with data gleaned from soil samples mapped alongside satellite imagery of their farms. Farmers can then see how each part of their property is performing and can customise fertiliser plans and adapt their management practices to improve crop yields.”
In just six months, approximately 30 per cent of CSBP’s customers have adopted FERTview and are enjoying the benefits of the technology with better yields and streamlined practices.
CSBP has a commitment to harnessing the opportunities presented by innovation and has introduced a number of technologies to its operations across its chemical and fertiliser businesses. Further technologies being explored include Lidar (remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analysing the reflected light), multispectral imaging, simulations, task-tracking software and virtual and augmented reality applications.