“Especially with the recent labor shortages, our automation solutions have been in high demand. Therefore, we have been creating new machines in a quick tempo,” explains Karel van Hattum, General Manager of Jamafa Machinery. The Dutch company has been quickly developing over the years and is on their way to eventually producing a full line to automatically process bouquets. “These last few years we have been focusing more on the flower processors and how we can help them optimize their efficiency.”
Karel van Hattum
A vision of full automation
So, how did it all start? Almost 100 years ago, the Janssen family founded Janssen Machine Factory (Jamafa). When the company went bankrupt in 2009, Van Hattum happened to be on the lookout for a takeover and started Jamafa Machinery B.V.. “In 2012, I had the first concept vision on paper of a full automation line for bouquet processing. So far, we have been well on our way to creating many of those machines. From the start, we have been in fast development as a company. In just these past two years, we have created five new machines. This has also been possible because of our new collaboration with the Dero group, as it has allowed us to join our forces and build the FlowerCatcher this year, for example. This robotized system catches bunches of flowers, counts them and groups them in a bucket, allowing for a consistently correct number of bunches without damaging the flowers.”
An overview of the company’s workplace
Thus far, the industry has responded very well to their automated solutions. “We are making the lives of growers and flower processors easier, which is of much interest to them because of the labor it saves. We have machines that still require manual labor but we also have full automation solutions. And the products we create are always flexible, so we can adapt the solution to fit the customer. We have been noticing that in the UK especially, the demand for our machines has been high. The labor issues are a major challenge there and our machines can do the same work while requiring fewer people.”
Staff working on some of the robot arms
But the high demand hasn’t come without its challenges. “What has recently been very challenging for us is making the established delivery times as well as dealing with the increasing material costs. If we make an agreement with a customer and the delivery time is six months, our costs for that production may have risen by 20% by the time we finish it. But most times we are able to find other parts and brands to keep delivery and cost under control."
What the beginning of a machine looks like, it all starts with a simple frame
A future of growth
At the moment, the company is struggling to handle the demand they have been receiving, says Van Hattum. “Especially since we presented our products at the IFTF 2021, we have companies from all over the world who have shown interest. This is great, as one of our goals for the future is to expand more globally, in areas such as Asia and South America. However, even when the demand is there, this is not as easy as it sounds. For example, we have been overwhelmed with demand from Colombia. However, they have other needs and price levels than European countries, so it is not a simple copy-paste situation.”
One of the many hallways of storage in the back of the warehouse, where they have all materials ready for use
Fortunately, a company expansion is in the works to increase production. “We have already bought the land that is right next to our company, where we will start construction for a new building. This will help us grow our company and hopefully continue the growth of our market share. Ironically, in order to expand and help more people with their labor issues, we are very much on the lookout for more staff as well.”
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Jamafa Machinery B.V.
Karel van Hattum