MechChem Africa

Australia-based HMPS is now exporting its automated food filling and packaging machinery to South African companies. MechChem Africa looks at some successes.

HMPS Carton orientationHMPS, an Australian company which specialises in the design, development and manufacturing of high quality machinery for packaging processes, set up office in South Australia a result of the key wine industry in that region. The company was responsible for designing and developing the first ‘Bag in Box’ machinery back in the ‘80s and has since grown to offer case packers (including RSC), palletisers, carton erectors and sealers, pick and place applications and specialised robotic solutions.

“With South Africa and Australia having similar industries, especially the fruit growers and the wine and food industries, there are many similarities to be drawn,” says Mark Emmett, managing director of HMPS, which has recently installed machinery at various manufacturers in South Africa.

HMPS was recently awarded the contract for the installation of its HMPS1000 RSC ‘Bag in Box’ (BIB) Case Packer and System Integration solution at an international food and beverage company. The large dairy producer required the machine to erect, load and seal cartons of cream cheese.

HMPS had to work to specific customer requirements and the HMPS machine had to be integrated with two other machines from separate suppliers – a Vertical Form Filled Seal (VFFS) machine and a pumping dosing unit containing a lance, which would fill the cheese into the bag.

Emmett explains that the intricacy of this machine is in the way the bag is filled. “This particular machine places the bag into the box and then fills it once in the carton, and not the other way round.”

Due to the shape of the carton, which is not a standard size, it was difficult to place a filled bag into the box. “With processed cheese there should be no air bubbles in it, and the bag needs to be filled fully with high temperature cheese in a way which will allow it to set in the correct size and shape during transit. Once filled, it is difficult to fit a bag of processed cheese into a carton as the cheese immediately starts to set and takes on the shape of the bag, and not the carton,” adds Emmett.

The lance used in this process had the advantage that it could start filling the bag from the bottom, and move up as it started filling meaning no air bubbles and no splashing. The speed of the pump could also be varied. The result is a completely square block of cheese without air bubbles easy to cut into the required blocks.

HMPS designs and builds in accordance with the OH&S requirements of the country it is servicing, so international customers can be assured that the machinery will meet the local standards requirements.

Emmett says that even smaller manufacturers have the opportunity to automate processes to increase productivity and provide a safer and more hygienic working environment.

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Title: Editor
Name: Peter Middleton
Email: mechchemafrica@crown.co.za or peterm@crown.co.za
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Title: Editor
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Title: Advertising Manager
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Email: brendak@crown.co.za
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