Supply chain begins with the equipment that enables product fulfilment. JMP Engineering shares how NORD Drivesystems’ solution enables them to service one of the world’s largest food and snack corporations..
A New Zealand company, JMP Engineering has been designing and manufacturing palletising and conveyor systems since it started out in 1972. It has four factories in NZ, and has installations around the Globe.
A large American multinational food, snack and beverage corporation, trusts JMP Engineering to leverage its productivity targets. The company manages its product line supply across branches in North American, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and many more. Chris Augustin, Technical Manager at JMP Engineering, says in North America alone, they operate 550 JMP Palletising systems.
“We supply most of their plants with palletising solutions and reasonably large volumes of materials handling for conveying. This is through a one-design machine, as well as utilising our custom-designed palletising solutions,” he says.
Chris credits NORD Drivesystems, one of the major leaders in drive technology worldwide – for both mechanical and electronic solutions which help JMP provide exceptional systems on a global scale.
Two years ago, JMP reached out to NORD Drivesystems, to further innovate and establish the company as a market leader in Robotic Palletising Systems. Following successful samples, significant projects have been underway.
Chris says the manufacturing and engineering company switched its standard over due to the advanced technology of NORD Drivesystems. “We’ve switched our variable frequency drives over to their units and in that process, we changed from cabinet mounted drives to field mounted drives. The motor gearboxes are more efficient and arriving pre-packaged, it dramatically decreases our installation time so we can continue to get the job done,” he says.
Previously, drives were located in a central cabinet and every single motor drive would have an individual cable. “We were making quite a lot of connections to every motor, with a large amount of cabling. We stopped to think how we could minimise this and NORD Drivesystems was the perfect choice,” Chris says.
He says the ability to data change motors off the one cable using NORD Drivesystems allows a new level of applying integrated control. “To change the philosophy of what we do, we went from direct online motors to now running almost everything via VSD, which gives us functionality improvement in a cost-effective investment,” Chris says.
“By making this change, we’ve seen some enormously large efficiency changes in both the set-up times and our workshop on-site.”
Chris says the company has a basic line of VSD that they can use for conveyors, but also the same drive can be enhanced for positioning, brake control and more – under one application package. “We can offer clients a competitive advantage in down-time because an issue can be solved in two minutes rather than shutting down the whole production line for hours. In manufacturing, time is money – so watching clients’ eyes light up when they see our applications in process is really rewarding.”
FIT FOR PURPOSE
“I think our biggest advantage with our products relationship is the notion that a supplier has taken the time to find out the benefits of the market they’re trying to sell in, hence our long-term partnership with Leading Multi national companies, supplying them with flexible and unbeatable solutions,” Chris says.
He believes NORD Drivesystems fits into the company’s values. “We have delivered day-to-day operational gains which have benefited customers from better product stability using our VSD system,” Chris says. But he also highlights NORD Drivesystems collaboration with JMP Engineering’s trolley systems as a major benefit to the company’s partnership.
Chris says prior to integrating NORD Drivesystems, they used an older system. “Now we use absolute encoders and they are all built in and integrate with the VSD and the positioning controller. The solution is so much smoother and faster now,” he says.
“We are able to go from a product offering that could do 60 pallets an hour, to now 110 pallets an hour – for the same floor space and equipment usage! This was all done just by updating the controls.”
JMP’s palletising solutions are always fit-for-purpose. Chris says some palletising systems are running 120 cartons a minute and some are running 10-20 cartons a minute. “This is why it is essential to have a flexible product. It enables us to choose one design and put it in many applications,” he says.
Taking their trolley drives as an example, Chris says JMP Engineering only needs to purchase one loader, VSD, gearbox combination and they run that on one trolley that goes up to two-and-a-half tonnes. “It helps the spare parts, the design and flexibility built into the drive system that takes all the hassle and work out for our designers to be able to handle certain perimeters,” he says.
Ultimately, Chris says utilising NORD Drivesystems products part of its operation is a no-brainer investment. “We chose a highly bespoke solution and our customer gets a bonus out of that.”
“Instead of having 50 conveyors with over 14 different motors just two years ago and we needed very customised ratios to manage the parts. Now, in the same installation, we only have 4 or 5 product part numbers and have the flexibility of the drives and covers the wide-range of applications we require for our clients.”