At nursery R.Mooyman in De Lier, Havatec installed a semi-automated inserting machine for gerberas. Workers only need to stick the flowers in the boxes. On one side, you insert the box. The line unfolds it and puts it in the right angle to stick in the flowers. Then they again go vertical, the flowers are cut at the right length, they go through two binders and are placed in the buffer. New on this line is that you can have various packaging designs.
It is a kind of customer order oriented system for gerbera growers. The most diverse and small orders can be inserted and processed in a row. "It is like you are processing one order that you can put on a trolley", says Mark Fikkers, Director and owner of Havatec. "It enables the grower to become more flexible and keeps up the speed in the company, also when it has many small orders to process. In practice, this often results in problems. As the machine streamlines the operations and maintains the peace of mind of the workers, we named it FlowMaster."
"In the 'gerbera world' one needs to supply customer-oriented", says Richard. "One way or another, it entails a lot of labor work, but with the old inserting carousel, it added up. For quite a while, I was looking for a solution and as this machine can handle four different kinds of packaging, the investment became instantly interesting. Now, we can operate the entire line with only four people and the so-called 'route' is always clear. The people take in their fixed position and, so to speak, do not have to leave their spot. I think we gained about 30% on efficiency, in both labor and time."
The machines of Havatec are always customized, says Mark. Currently, around eight FlowMaster machines are in operation, but none are identical. The real update to this machine is the option to fold different boxes, something state-of-the art. "Of this type, we currently supplied two machines, one at Mooyman and one at Gerbera United. At both, it fits perfectly. They process around 80% of orders with it. The other 20% consists of urgent orders or orders that came in between and one therefore needs to maintain a second line."
An older version of the FlowMaster, installed in 2016 at Villa Gerbera
The first type was presented about three years ago and, according to Mark, the interest for the machine is now really taking off. There is no other manufacturer with similar machines, says Mark. "As we speak, one machine is on its way to Rosa Flora in Canada. They had a new requirement: instead of boxes, they use flat cardboards - a sort of tennis racket - through which they stick the flowers."
Mooyman is a member of the cooperative Summit Gerbera and recently also joined Decorum. "We supply the high-end segment and therefore supplying quality has become more important than ever before. Besides, we need speed in the mornings. We receive the most inquiries by 6 am which need to be delivered at 1 pm. Then, it is working at full speed and everyone is being relieved - but then haven't we given in to quality? This machine is the answer to that."