NZ agritech co wins international design award


Hamilton agritech company  Simcro, won a  Silver IDEA award in the medical and scientific category of the 2011 Industrial Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) awards for its Optiline sheep drencher.

Simcro chief executive Will Rouse said the award vindicated the strong research and development focus that Simcro has developed in the last five years.

“Specialising in customised animal health delivery systems to the pharmaceutical industry has become a very successful business model,” he said.

A Media release from the company explains how the drencher was developed:

In 2006, Novartis Animal Health, Switzerland, challenged Simcro and several of their global competitors to supply a revolutionary new sheep drenching system to launch a new drench, ZOLVIX. Simcro rose to the challenge with the development of the Optilinesheep drench gun.

The company challenged the design of the traditional pistol-grip style drench gun, which had not changed from its basic form in 30 years.

The inherent design flaw of the pistol-grip gun is that the drench nozzle points away from the operator, requiring them to rotate their hand through 180 degrees to administer the drench into the sheep’s mouth. 

The resulting incompatible bio-mechanics create significant operator fatigue and discomfort, and with sustained use, injury to the wrist, forearm and back.

The Optiline drench gun overcomes these problems by having the drench nozzle protruding from the base of the operator’s hand, allowing for a natural presentation of the drench gun with precise control, thus greatly minimising stress to the operator and animal.

New Zealand is generally well regarded for the quality of its agricultural production and methods but agritech inventions, like this, and the inventors, often don’t get the prominence they deserve.

Simcro’s website is here.

Apropos of this, a recent  Listener profiled another inventor, John Hartstone, who invented a meter for measuring milk production which is credited with increasing production all over the world.

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