MiniMax panel saws and Tasmanian Devils

If you were asked to regularly weigh a carnivorous animal that:

  • Was the size of a small dog
  • Could tear meat and crush bones
  • Generated 553 Newtons (124lbf) crushing power in its jaws
  • Had a nasty set of claws

Would you use a normal set of bathroom scales?

Thought not – neither do the keepers at the Healesville Sanctuary when they are weighing their Tasmanian Devils.

Healesville Sanctuary

Healesville Sanctuary  is located in the North Eastern fringes of Melbourne.   A not-for-profit organisation, the sanctuary differs from a Zoo in that its primary focus is on Australian native animals.   They specialise in breeding and recovery programs for endangered species.

A big part of this program is the tracking, monitoring and recording of the animals’ wellbeing on a consistent basis – hence the need for a weigh-in.

So how you weigh a Tasmanian devil?

With a tailor made weigh station of course. Incorporating scanning technology, the weigh station registers each devil as it enters, takes the animals weight and logs the data to the Sanctuary’s records – all without a keeper entering the enclosure.

Constructed on a recently purchased MiniMax panel saw, the mobile weigh station is custom made in the Sanctuary’s on-site carpentry and joinery workshop.

As part of the ongoing commitment to fighting wildlife extinction, the Sanctuary is also involved in breeding programs throughout the world.This involves the shipping of live animals in custom made enclosures. The safety of the animal is paramount, so they must ensure that the enclosure designs meet international standards.

As the images show, the size requirement varies from animal to animal, each box is custom made – again done in-house on the MiniMax panel saw.

Upgrading the workshop with a MiniMax panel saw

In past years the workshop used a standard table saw for this process, however the decision to upgrade to a sliding table panel saw has allowed the processing of larger sheets.

Before the MiniMax panel saw was purchased, any large panel cutting required two operators and a fair amount of back breaking work.   The MiniMax panel saw requires only one operator, with the machine taking the weight of the panel as it’s machined to size.

The implementation of the new machine meant the original table saw could be setup for handling of smaller solid timber items – a job it is very adept at handling. This gives the workshop two machines for very specific jobs – improving the product quality and times.

As with any carpentry and joinery shop, safety is forefront at Healesville. Hence the decision to go with a CE compliant machine – one of the most stringent safety standards in the world today.

Versatility is another key component in the workshop. Each day presents new challenges, with everything from enclosure repairs, packaging containers and office fit outs required and relatively short notice. A flexible machine such as the MiniMax panel saw gives the workshop this capacity.

Like this article? Why not read about the MiniMax machines in Antarctica

All wildlife images courtesy of Healesville Sanctuary.

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