COUNTRIES across the globe are now using a device manufactured in Wagga to clear deadly landmines.
"The flip screen will pick up basically anything, it scoops and separates,” Flip Screen founder and inventor Sam Turnbull said.
"It's used mostly for heavy industry, separating stuff like scrap metal,” he said.
The tough units can handle everything from dirt to engine blocks and as Mr Turnbull found out – land mines.
"I got a call and found out the Israelis were using the flip screen for land mine clearance,” he said.
“I spoke to someone from the Israeli military and he said a mine went off in one.”
Mr Turnbull said the Israelis were expected to order more flip screens in the near future.
“The US military have a few, they recently cleared a field of 1000 mines, 50 detonated in the flip screen,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The anti-personnel mines aren't a problem, the shrapnel just bounces around inside the high-tensile steel.
“When they hit an anti-tank mine, it blew the guts out of the unit, I reckon the mesh is probably still in orbit, the bucket was all twisted, but they just undid 16 bolts, dropped the centre out and replaced it and the flip screen was right to go again.
“This is a mine that's supposed to take out a $50 million tank.”
While the flip screen was not designed with land mine removal in mind, Mr Turnbull was pleased and proud it had found a new use.
“Land mines are such a horrible thing,” he said.
Mr Turnbull designed his own system to make the flip-screen work, it easily fits to any loader or bobcat and is used in 37 different countries.
“At first it was to take care of recycling waste on building sites and demolitions, you've got dirt mixed with concrete and scrap metal, it just all goes in the flip screen and it kind of sifts it,” he said.
Flip Screen employs 26 people, with a manufacturing base in Wagga, they have opened an office in Dallas to crack the North American market.
“I had a demolition business in Sydney and saw guys bringing in these big waste machines and I thought It would be better to do it with a bobcat,” he said.
“Then when I came to Wagga I had a bunch of fertiliser to clean up and thought I'd build the machine to do the job.”