Packaging robots built at the Adelaide Airport precinct are helping to streamline South East Asia’s surging food and beverage industry.

HMPS designs and builds the bespoke robotic systems to fill specific industry needs, including packaging, organising, weighing and x-raying materials to ensure there are no foreign substances. The company has become one of the largest automation manufacturers in the country.

HMPS’ machines, which are fitted with cameras to allow remote troubleshooting, are being 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 the unique dual-function machine it 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 near Adelaide Airport made it ideally placed to service South-East Asia because of time-zone similarities and geographical proximity compared with European and American competitors. He said Asia’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 over 50 employees and more than 300 machines in the field. The company has grown by almost 30% 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 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.”