HMPS wins project ahead of international competitors

While this particular project might come as a surprise to you, HMPS is the natural fit for any packaging problem. As South Australia’s finest machine building company, HMPS has established a reputation for designing and engineering world-class solutions uniquely matched to every customer requirement.

With a history stemming more than 70 years, Electrolux Cooking Products Plant in Dudley Park is one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of appliances. Producing free-standing and built-in ovens and stoves under the Electrolux, Westinghouse and Chef brands, their plant in Dudley Park employs around 450 South Australians.

Being part of a large multinational listed company on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, and consistently ranked as the world’s second largest appliance maker by units sold, Electrolux had their pick of OEM’s. The company had offers to pick from any machine builder in the world. Electrolux awarded the contract to HMPS, benefitting local companies and the local Australian economy. HMPS won the contract against a range of international competitors.

According to Christian Martin, Manufacturing Engineer for Electrolux Home Products, HMPS was selected based on their technical expertise and significant experience in the packaging industry. These attributes together with their ability to develop flexible solutions made HMPS the idea supplier for the job.

“The proposed solution and initial consultation gave us a great level of confidence in the HMPS solution. This was proven when the team was able to accommodate special requests and resolve issues during the commissioning. The execution of the project was to a high standard and we believe we have a best in class solution generated for us right here in Adelaide by a local supplier” comments Christian.

HMPS conceptualised and designed the EPS Packaging Automation Cell. The maintenance team required more uptime, improved efficiencies and less labour coupled with a degree of stringent specifications, safety and quality requirements. In fact, this solution needed to run for 17-hours per day and 230 days per year.

Glen Foreman, Sales Manager for South Australia and Applications Engineer on the project says that contrary to popular belief, this project is similar to what HMPS is normally involved in. “Essentially, we engineer and develop solutions to pick and pack stuff. In this case, what we needed to pick and pack just happens to weigh quite a lot more, and it happens to be an oven rather than the foodstuff coming out the oven which we normally pack”.

The EPS Packaging Automation Cell specifics 

“This new automation cell is designed to run at an overall OEE of 90% based on 1800 assemblies in 476 minutes; this gives a cycle time of just under 16 seconds per unit,” says Glen.

By selecting six ABB robots for the job, HMPS achieved the desired speed and the bonus is that no operator interaction is required for two hours at a time. Of particular interest in this application is the Just in Time Manufacturing (JIT) and cycle time management. “The cell is able to package six variants through one robot to three magazine conveyors systems. The intelligence built into the system means that as soon as the product bar code is detected, the correct packaging and sorting is activated by the system. The auto change is driven by production. This gives Electrolux the flexibility they need to run their production.”

According to Glen, the biggest challenge on this project was the layout.
“Six parts magazine conveyors serviced by two robots needed to be laid out. With the high stacks involved, reach was an issue which had to be constantly considered” he says.

“The managing of the slats was another challenge if you take into consideration that we were dealing with six pallets of 40 slats each which needed to be placed into a particular configuration based on the product line.”

In the end, HMPS was pleased to be the chosen as the automation partner to Electrolux. “This project is being installed and we hope that this is the beginning of two SA companies collaborating well into the future” concludes Glen.