Innovation over the generations: The evolution of the Kubota
Celebrations were in order as team members from leading pipeline infrastructure company, Interflow, eagerly gathered around three generations of the Kubota – a world class piece of machinery that the organisation’s Engineering team has enhanced over the last 30 years.
Interflow’s Sydney Workshop team was recently treated to a special moment, when three versions of the Kubota were all lined up together. This was an incredible opportunity for the team to reflect on the company’s vibrant history and thirst for innovation.
Transforming the Kubota
The Kubota is an integral piece of machinery that facilitates the installation of Interflow’s spiral wound solution, Expanda, on-site.
Since the 1990’s, there have been four revisions of the Kubota. Through each revision, Interflow’s Engineering team made improvements to the machine’s capability, ease of use, performance, and safety.
The company’s Mechanical Engineer, Nghia Nguyen, explains why adopting a ‘continual improvement’ mindset is so important.
“It’s about putting our people first – giving them the tools they need to complete the job safety, effectively and efficiently.”
Nghia also explained how certain opportunities for improvements to the Kubota were identified and implemented.
“We looked at how our crews were using the machinery on-site,” he said.
“By understanding what their requirements were and the types of conditions they were working in, we were able to gain a better understanding of how we could streamline the process through enhanced tools and machinery.”
Over the years, Interflow’s Engineering team has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting crews on the front line with innovative and purpose-built machinery.
“There has been a lot of trial and error involved in the development of the Kubota… but that’s what makes Interflow so great,” Nghia said.
“We’re not afraid to try new things and invest in research and development. That’s how innovations are created.”
Throughout its 84-year journey, Interflow, has gained an enviable track record for developing innovative solutions to solve its customers’ problems. This outside-the-box approach has resulted in the creation of industry-leading technologies used in pipeline infrastructure and the evolution of the Kubota is a prime example of this in action.