PACKAGING robots from Australia fitted with cameras to allow remote troubleshooting are helping to streamline South East Asia’s surging food and beverage industry.
HMPS is based in Adelaide, South Australia, and is one of the largest automation manufacturers in the country.
It designs and develops bespoke machines to fill specific industry needs, including packaging, organising, weighing and x-raying materials to ensure there are no foreign substances.
HMPS machines are being been used in a number of countries in South East Asia including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. It also has machines operating across Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
The company won the Export Achievement Award at the 2015 Auspack Awards for their unique dual-function machine they supplied Nestlé in South Africa. The device processes sachets of food into boxes and trays simultaneously.
Design, prototype, final build and testing all happen at the local HMPS factory near Adelaide Airport.
HMPS Business Development Manager Linh Bui said its base location in Adelaide made it ideally placed to service South East Asia because of time-zone similarities and geographical proximity.
He said the region’s rising middle-class growth and the expansion of its food and beverage industries had created demand for effective packaging systems.
“We provide a whole gamut of turnkey products for packaging food and drinks,” he said.
“We provide remote monitoring options for our products where we include a modem and camera on the machine.
“As soon as we get a phone call we can review footage and identify what the problem is and where it occurred and work with the customer to resolve it quite quickly.”
HMPS has more than 300 machines in the field and has grown by almost 30 per cent in the past three years.
It is in the process of developing other niche products including machines with Internet of Things (IoT) technology to further improve its remote servicing.
The company is trialling the technology in Australia and plans to roll it out to its international clients if it proves successful.
“We are developing a way in which the customer and us would be able to monitor performance and put in preventative procedures during production,” Bui (right) said.
“For example, if you’re looking after multiple sites, you would be able to monitor the situations on your mobile or tablet while you are traveling, and make sure the machines in the factories are working how they should.”
HMPS will showcase its machines in Thailand in June, at ProPak Asia 2017.
ProPak is Asia’s largest processing and packaging event and this year’s show will feature more than 1200 exhibitors from more than 20 countries.
This article first appeared in The Lead.