This ground-breaking family business has received a boost working with DEUTZ.
Air Research Compressors has built compressor boosters for the drilling industry since the mid-1990s and has now used DEUTZ engines to power several models.
The Wagga Wagga business produces a range of sizes and outputs for evolving industry needs.
Director Chris Phillips explains that boosters help mineral exploration drillers increase depth capacity and enable faster penetration rates to 300-metres and beyond.
“At every metre, the drill team take a soil sample, right down to the target depth; it’s then analysed by a geologist,” he says.
“The drilling rig has an air-powered hammer. As they drill deeper, more air pressure than is available from the drilling rig’s on-board compressor is needed, and that’s where our Air Research Booster comes into play.
“It allows the driller to boost the pressure of the compressor up to three times more, allowing the hammer to penetrate deeper and get past large amounts of subterranean water.”
Chris’s late father Ken was an exploration drilling expert and started the business in Adelaide after people wanted to buy the highly efficient booster he developed.
Chris remembers visiting mine sites with his dad when he was five. He worked with Ken when he was young, then moved into real estate. When Ken died in 2013, Chris took over and now employs eight people for various tasks.
The business has countless machines operating in Australia and beyond, and Chris continually works to improve their efficiency, safety, environmental credentials and global appeal.
He recently used a DEUTZ TCD 9 engine to develop a booster that complies with Tier 5 European emission standards and is suitable for US and Canadian markets.
Chris also used a DEUTZ 1015 series six-cylinder engine to tailor a booster for a Kalgoorlie-based exploration drilling company.
He chose DEUTZ for its German-made precision and compact configuration, which allowed for easier transport. The after sales service also impressed.
Building solid relationships
After a successful start, Chris is looking forward to a fruitful partnership with DEUTZ, BD Manager – Engines Ross Harman and technical service expert Jens Raschke.
He says Jens is a technical whiz and Ross always gets the job done without fanfare. “He’s got such a calming voice,” Chris says.
With wife Sarah and children Jack, 12, Harry, 11, George, 6, and Ella, 4, Chris is based in Wagga, but they also spend time in South Australia.
He plays tennis with Jack, and the family enjoys waterskiing and fishing. One day Chris hopes his children will learn the skills to work in the business like he did with Ken.
“I always wanted to be a part of his business,” he says. “I love the machines dad designed and built and am very proud to be making new ones to add to his impressive line-up.”