Blog : And what kind of machines we make!

How Machines Are Made

Machine manufacturing involves the transformation of raw materials from primary industry (such as mining, agriculture, or forestry) into finished goods.

In much the same way as cars are manufactured, you need a great design, a supply chain of raw materials and specialised parts, people who know what they're doing and the facilities to make it happen.

As one of Australia's larger machinery manufacturers, we use careful processes to maximise efficiency and minimise waste—otherwise known as 'lean' manufacturing.

We're what's known as an 'engineer to order' business (as opposed to a 'make to stock', 'make to order' or 'make to assemble').

Our systems and processes are specific to 'engineer to order' and are designed to deliver complex bespoke designs in tight lead times. 

Once we get an order to build a machine, the flow of the project through our business typically looks like this:

  1. Project Management

  2. Mechanical Engineering Design

  3. Control & Electrical Engineering Design

  4. Procurement (Purchasing and Parts Manufacturing)

  5. Mechanical Assembly (Fabrication & Fitting)

  6. Control & Electrical Assembly (Installing all the electrical devices and connections)

  7. Commissioning & Testing (Run the system with the actual products)

  8. Factory Acceptance Trials (Ensuring the customer is happy before it leaves our factory)

  9. Stripping and Shipping

  10. Site Installation (Which may involve integration with other equipment)

  11. Site Commissioning & Testing (Getting it up and running)

  12. Site Acceptance Trials (Final sign-off from the happy customer)

It's usually a fairly linear order of events. For urgent projects—such as Project Med-Con—some stages are run in parallel, however, it's much harder to streamline the manufacturing process when working this way.

Foodmach typically manufactures packaging machines.

Packaging is necessary to protect the products we buy every day and is now done mainly through the use of packaging automation.

Machinery plays an increasingly important role to:

  • Reduce packaging costs and save storage costs for loose products by using compression packaging

  • Ensure product hygiene by eliminating hand contact with food and medicines

  • Improve productivity, both of the product line and the people working on it

  • Reduce workplace health and safety issues for bulky or heavy products

  • Ensure packaging quality, which is especially important for exported goods

  • Handle specialised requirements such as vacuum packaging, inflatable packaging, skin packaging (where product is placed on a cardboard tray with a plastic film and heat-sealed) and pressure filling.

Packaging machinery can be purchased as standard off-the-shelf equipment or be custom-made for specific operations.

The packaging machinery selection process includes an assessment of technical capabilities, labour requirements, worker safety, maintainability, serviceability, reliability, ability to integrate into the packaging line, capital cost, floor space, flexibility (change-overs, materials, multiple products, etc.), energy requirements, quality of outgoing packages, qualifications (for food, pharmaceuticals, etc.), throughput, efficiency, productivity, ergonomics, return on investment, and more. It's complicated and no small undertaking.

Large, fully automatic packaging lines can involve several pieces of major equipment from different manufactures as well as conveyors and ancillary equipment. Integrating such systems—that is, connecting them all up to ensure the line works smoothly and efficiently—can be a challenge, which is Foodmach’s superpower.

Good machinery manufacturers are aplenty, but our integration skills are second to none.

Foodmach makes or supplies the full range of packaging machinery, including complete, turn-key packaging lines:

  • Accumulating and collating machines
  • Bottle caps equipment, over-capping, lidding, closing, seaming and sealing machines
  • Box, case, tray, and carrier forming, packing, unpacking, closing, and sealing machines
  • Cartoning machines
  • Cleaning, sterilising, cooling and drying machines
  • Coding, printing, marking, stamping, and imprinting machines
  • Conveyor belts, accumulating and related machines
  • Feeding, orienting, placing and related machines
  • Filling machines: handling dry, powdered, solid, liquid, gas, or viscous products
  • Inspecting: visual, sound, metal detecting, etc.
  • Label dispensers, printers, and applicators
  • Orienting, unscrambling machines
  • Package filling and closing machines
  • Palletising, depalletising, unit load assembly
  • Product identification: labelling, marking, etc.
  • Sealing machines: heat sealer, tape, or glue units
  • Security seals, tamper-evident bands, etc equipment
  • Strapping machines, banding machines, etc.
  • Weighing machines: check weigher, multi-head weighed
  • Wrapping machines: flow wrapping, stretch wrapping, shrink wrap, pallet wrapping
  • Form, fill and seal machines, bags, pouches
  • Other speciality machinery: slitters, laser cutters, parts attachment, etc.

Why do we choose to do packaging automation?

It's in our DNA, which you can read about here.

But more than that—packaging machines are challenging, and it's hard to do them well.

They satisfy the engineering nerdiness within—that same urge that made us pull apart machines to see how they worked as kids, developed into a fascination with making really big and complex, yet elegant automation.

But we don't just love playing with robots and servo motors. Anything exciting will do. Our R&D team is busy solving automation problems for all kinds of applications. 

If you have a problem that needs a smart, automated solution...

Just ask us