Hanan Products, a pioneer in the wholesale whipped topping, icing and dessert filling sector, and the original creator of Tasty Whip, has unveiled a new addition to its Long Island, New York facility – a robot named Hugo that picks and stacks heavy boxes.
The fast, accurate and efficient giant robotic arm does the heavy lifting, so Hanan’s staff doesn’t have to complete this step in the manufacturing/packing process. Moreover, it will help Hanan meet an increased demand for its products. Though this new automation saves time, the company is not laying off workers; staff is being reassigned to other tasks.
Hugo is named after a now-retired 30-year employee whose favorite job was stacking Hanan’s boxes on pallets for shipping, as the new robotic arm does with finished product from one of the plant’s numerous conveyor belts. Capable of picking and stacking 4,000 cases per day, Hugo can stack up to eight per minute. With boxes weighing as heavy as 40 pounds, the robot performs this demanding job with ease – and improved accuracy. This new technology makes pallets more structurally sound and uniform for storage and shipping.
“The addition of Hugo to our facility has definitely added efficiency and just in time,” said Paul Hanan, CFO at Hanan Products. “With the world opening up and consumers going back to having gatherings and events, we are seeing significant demand for our products, both from current and new customers. We’re in a period of growth that’s genuinely exhilarating. Hugo is custom made for exactly what we need so we can redirect employees to other critical jobs.”
To continuously upgrade and modernize production capabilities, this October, Hanan will be adding a new modern packing machine – with more upgrades to come in the future. This modernization is being led by Paul and Ryan Hanan, the grandsons of Hanan Products’ founder, Stuart Hanan. Paul serves as the CFO and Ryan as chief operating officer. In the last 10 years, Paul and Ryan have introduced innovation and enhanced food science to advance the company, creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility including two minus-15-degree freezers the size of two-story buildings and a fridge the size of a parking lot – and now robotics.