HMPS have come a far way since the invention of the first bag-in-box system in the 1980s.

The evolution of this proudly Australian machine building powerhouse was further accelerated by the acquisition of two companies in just two years. “We’re growing our end-to-end production line offering,” explains Mark Emmett, owner and CEO of HMPS Group and Propac Industrial.

The acquisition of two reputable companies – Vertical Form Fill Seal machine producers, Propac Industrial and manufacturer of stretch wrapping machines, equipment and systems, Integrated Machinery, have helped expand HMPS’ offering.

The evolution of the company is underpinned by its passion for problem solving and adapting to meet customers’ ever-changing needs. “As our customers grow so do their requirements. We are here to meet these requirements – all along the packaging line,” says Emmett.

To further entrench its service capabilities, HMPS has also expanded its footprint through these acquisitions, as Emmett explains: “In addition to our Adelaide head office, we now also have manufacturing and service capabilities in Melbourne and Sydney with a technical office in Brisbane.”

Growth in a Time of Uncertainty

HMPS saw the COVID-19 pandemic as a time for opportunity, and their bold strategy paid off. “We decided to take a risk during the pandemic. Supply chain challenges meant more companies were looking to local suppliers. Most of our clients operate in essential services with the supply of food, personal items and pharmaceuticals. These customers experienced an unprecedented demand as items flew off the shelves. We saw this as a good time to invest to be able to step into the gap and deliver through our local manufacturing capabilities,” Emmett explains.

“Our revenue is up by 30% across the different companies despite the uncertainty and travel restrictions that we experienced. We used this as a time for problem solving and renewal.”

Industry Trends

Mark Emmett is passionate about growing (and promoting) local manufacturing. “We want our customers to become less dependent on imported machinery,” he said. “It’s part of our vision to create a sustainable ecosystem right here on our local shores.” While intense competition between local and international machine builders continues, Emmett notes that an increasing number of manufacturers now have an appetite for local automation. “I believe Australian machine building can and will compete with the rest of the world and we are already seeing keen interest from the likes of the US.”

Furthermore, Emmett believes that customers are looking to streamline. “They’re looking for a turnkey solution – not just a bagger or case packer but everything for a full production line. The customer wants one supplier and a project engineer who can handle everything from design, sourcing, implementation to final delivery, and not forgetting after-service.”

“We have expanded our service offering and are now able to help with packaging design too,” he adds. “Working with packaging material suppliers gives our customers the best result, which is cost effective, improves the look of their cartons and ultimately their final package design.” The company is also looking into sustainable packaging materials and engineering their machines to handle different types of recyclable and biodegradable packaging materials.

Empowering the Next Generation of Machine Builders

Passionate about empowering the next generation of machine builders, Emmett adds that the HMPS expansion and acquisition strategy will further enhance the team’s roles and responsibilities. The idea is to further their skills and providing a fulfilling work environment with more opportunities. “Our team currently comprises around 110 team members across the four branches. We have a host of young engineers, fitters and turners, designers and business development employees,” says Emmett. “Therefore, the bigger we are, the more opportunities there are for staff. We want them to continuously learn and grow.”