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Robots and Honey Baked Ham®

The Honey Baked Ham Company logo

The Honey Baked Ham value createdHarry J. Hoenselaar opened the first HoneyBaked® Store in Detroit, Michigan in 1957. Using the highest quality bone-in smoked ham, Harry created a special curing and cooking procedure, and that, combined with a patented spiral-slicing process, made Honey Baked Ham® the easy-to-serve centerpiece, and an instant staple at holiday dinners and special meals throughout the year. Today, the Hoenselaar family remains with the company, and so has the commitment to make every ham the same way Harry did — one at a time.

The Honey Baked Ham® Company facility located in Holland, Ohio was facing labor shortage issues. To solve this problem, the company needed to improve its operation. That’s where CIFT came in. Our manufacturing team met with the company and first conducted a walk-through assessment. The assessment determined that automation was needed, specifically, a robotic palletizing system.

Our team was able to connect a couple of different companies to help out. We brought in a Mechanical, Electrical, Controls Engineering services company and a Software Development company to design a palletizer specifically for this Honey Baked Ham facility. The state-of-the-art system that was designed would palletize products from one line, using two shifts per day. The work was previously completed by three employees, but the investment in this system would allow those employees to be used in other, more difficult jobs that couldn’t easily be handled with a robot.

The ROI on the investment for The Honey Baked Ham® Company was only eight months.

“CIFT’s management of the procurement and integration process, from vendor selection to integration support, saved our team time and energy during a period when we needed that most. And the robotic solution has exceeded all of our performance goals.” – Bob Branham, Plant Manager at The Honey Baked Ham® Company

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