Proudly Australian machine builders, HMPS Group (HMPS), began in 1980 and have since evolved into specialists in the design and manufacture of automated processing and packaging solutions. Over the years, the company has solved complex packaging challenges and their most recent success story was no exception.
In an Australian first, HMPS designed and developed a sleever and cartoner in one footprint for Real Dairy.
Real Dairy is a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated company, employing more than 250 people across Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. The company produces their own speciality cheese products and supplies these to retailers across the country.
How it works
Adam Read, sales manager at HMPS Group explains that this first-of-a-kind machine offers a small footprint, enhanced efficiencies, and long-term cost savings. “This system – the HMPS5000 – can handle pre-glued sleeves in 2, 3 and 4 cell trays at up to 180 tray/minute for the 2 cell trays. With minimal change over it can also operate as an end load cartoner erecting, loading and hotmelt sealing primary cartons.”
HMPS supplied two complete units for this project, allowing Real Dairy to handle up to 360 trays/minute. “Our team developed and commissioned this machine within a 32-week period. Combining two machines into one is extremely complex but rewarding – particularly for the end-user.”
Speaking to the process, he explains that products are transferred onto HMPS’s specially designed merge system from preceding processes, where two lines of product are merged into one line for loading into the HMPS 5000 sleever/cartoner. “Generally, these tasks would be handled by two different style machines, and in this case, we had to figure out how to fit four machines into two machines.”
Upon entry into the machine, the product (cheese and cracker packs) is transported through the machine along the main index conveyor where a sleeve is then applied to the product. “The finished product is then fed through the inkjet printer where a defined code is applied. It is then transferred to a position (at the machine main frame) where the outfeed conveyor will accept it,” Read said.
The machine includes an added capability as Read explains: “It’s also required to end load a preformed carton to layer pack the product. After merging, the product is routed to a separate area of the machine where it is collated into its final layer form for presentation to the carton.”
The carton is erected onto the main index conveyor, and traverses along the machine to a point where the product is end loaded. The product then moves to the next station where glue is applied, and the flaps are closed. The completed final product is the moved along and past the inkjet printer where the defined coding is applied. The product is then conveyed to the machines main frame ready for the customers conveyor is ready to accept it.
Answering to the call for real-time monitoring and support, HMPS also provided HMPSConnect to Real Dairy. “This software enables the customer to monitor the throughput, productivity and effectiveness in real-time.”
Spiro Michas, CEO of Real Dairy adds that the HMPS5000 is a major improvement in how things are done. “At Real Dairy don’t do things ‘as it has always been done,’ we want to be at the forefront of new technology so it’s critical that we partner with other leaders in industry – like HMPS.”
We have seen a significant redeployment of labour thanks to the throughput and efficiencies of the HMPS5000. The quality systems in place also result in less wastage and a safer operating environment,” Michas said.
He comments that as in most facilities, space is often a consideration. “In this case HMPS had to design a machine with a relatively small footprint to work within our existing floor layout. They came up with a solution that was not only fit for purpose but also flexible enough to adapt to future packaging demands.”
Michas highlights another innovative feature – the LED doors on the machine. “These offer clear communication on the floor and highlight where the machine needs attention.”
To conclude, he says that the greatest highlight of this project was “supporting local.”
“We had international companies review the and quote as part of the tender process, but HMPS still won the job based on innovation and their track record. I am happy that we could keep this project on our shores as I really believe that we should be supporting local as much as possible.”
Visit HMPS at Foodtech Queensland to find out how the company can assist with your bespoke automation designs – stand C15 – from 7-9 July 2022 at Gold Coast Convention Centre.