Why ADM Packaging Automation is upgrading its manufacturing capacity

ADM Packaging Automation

ADM Packaging Automation is upgrading its manufacturing capacity to better service a national market. BeanScene explains how the Australian company has scalable solutions to meet growing customer needs.

At the heart of Australia’s coffee scene in Melbourne, ADM Packaging Automation has established itself as an industry leader for customised and flexible packaging solutions. Its full spectrum in-house service brings design concepts to life through production, installation, operation and aftermarket maintenance services.

As Director at ADM, George Fakhry heads up the mechanical engineering research and development side of the business. His primary aim is to complement the rich and diverse expertise of Australia’s coffee roasting industry with reliable, high-quality equipment.

“Our team has been designing and building food packaging machines and accessories for almost 30 years now,” he says. “We have a range of units that are purpose-built for different packaging requirements, from coffee and baking supplies right through to confectionary and even pet food.”

After many years working out of its workshop in Preston, ADM is relocating to a new facility, 15 minutes up the road in Thomastown. According to George, this 2200-square-metre site is over four times the size of its current space, and will allow the company more breathing room to develop and manufacture automation equipment, such as the DP3 Series packaging line.

“The DP3 Series is entirely conceptualised by us and manufactured here in Australia,” he explains. “Within this portfolio, the DP31 is an expanded model on the original DP30, optimised for the coffee industry with a stage two section for opening, supporting and filling of bags. It can support 250-gram, 500-gram, one and two kilo packing requirements.”

The DP31 can weigh and dose either whole beans or ground coffee, and features a suction cap mechanism to open the bags as they are fed through the system, accurately filling and sealing at the press of a button.

George says feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive, with many reporting an increase in business activity by 50 per cent.

“We introduced this model upgrade in 2016, and since then we have put around 20 units out to Australian customers,” George says. “We supply these machines to roasters of various sizes around Australia, from sites packing two tonnes through to 25 tonnes a week – that’s around 5000 bags per day.

“Not only is our machinery Australian made, but we’re also catering specifically to a local market. There is a huge movement at the moment towards boutique operations doing small batch or contract roasting at around three to 12 tonnes at a time.”

George says the solution is extremely scalable, taking on a modular structure that can range from a single unit right through to a fully automated line. This is important, he points out, as each roasting or packing business will endeavour to meet unique goals supported by its own equipment.

“No two premises are identical,” he says. “We can organise the conveyor to follow an inline, return ‘L’ or ‘U’ system, modified to suit specified requirements. Our engineers are also experienced with integrating our machinery into existing frameworks and floorplans, creating a tailored flow of automated production.”

ADM’s DP31 is compatible with all sized and shaped bags, including paper or plastic gusseted block bottom, flat bottom, doy pouch, rippa zippa, and pull-tab packs. High powered vibration settles the product within the bag, before tightly sealing and printing the best before date on the exterior.

“A key part of our innovative approach is keeping the coffee fresh during the packaging process and throughout the shelf life,” George says. “Our unique apparatus doesn’t use vacuum feed systems because we believe that can damage the beans while they’re being processed. Instead, we use a bucket elevator that sits at the start of the machinery line, and it’s much gentler.

“What’s more, a lot of the new bags are made in the dog bone zip tab style pouches, which allows small samples of the coffee to be discharged before zipping back up again. They come out in a trapezoidal shape rather than a square, so that’s a consideration for us when setting things up. We’ve utilised dedicated components to combat these difficulties and prioritise the benefits of zip style and quad seal pouches.”

The entire process can be overseen from the Central Control System, which features a user-friendly touchscreen interface. Electrical and pneumatic schematics eliminate the need for multiple bulky control cabinets, and the hub can be positioned separately to the equipment to avoid damage during washdown procedures.

“The system can support up to 99 programs, which the operator can copy and paste into their unit with their own modifications within minutes,” George explains. “When we install a machine, our engineers will download about five recipes ready to go, and then the customer has the ability to make changes or create their own to suit different sized bags or weights.

“One thing about the coffee industry is that roasters often want to do multiple sizes on the one machine throughout the same day – especially those operating on a smaller scale. The benefit of our system is that the set-up is only five minutes, making it really easy to change over. It’s also a toolless job, bar maybe one small screwdriver.”

It’s George’s vision to provide Australian product to Australian customers, to save them having to import lower quality equipment from overseas. Many ADM customers have expressed gratitude they are not having to chase up external service technicians over the phone in different time zones.

“We do comprehensive training for the customer upon installation, and site visits following that, should anything need attention,” George says. “I’m very eager to answer any questions they might have and make sure they get the best value and efficiency out of their machine in the long run.”

For more information, visit admpa.com.au

This article appears in the August 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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