SPC Ardmona is Australia’s largest producer of packed fruit and vegetables. The company was formed in 2002, when the historic Shepparton Preserving Company (SPC, which was established in 1917) and Ardmona Cannery (begun in 1921) joined forces. In 2004, SPC Ardmona bought Henry Jones IXL (established 1859), expanding the group’s brands to include IXL, Taylor’s, Weight Watchers, Ardmona, SPC and Goulburn Valley. In 2005, SPC Ardmona was bought by Coca-Cola Amatil.
The company has a strong history of innovation: Ardmona was the first processor to pack fruit in natural juice (soon followed by other major manufacturers globally) and the first to pack fruit in long-life plastic tubs; SPC developed a fruit imaging and sorting system.
The 8ha Kyabram site produces in excess of 10,000 tonnes of jams, sauces, simmer sauces and marinades.
Production-facility upgrades, including robotic stackers, over the past few years have resulted in fully automated lines. However, the coding equipment wasn’t able to keep up speed wise, and was unreliable, causing too much downtime — to the point the Team Leader “spent so much time working on them, [he] almost became an expert”.
For the past two decades, SPC Ardmona has barcoded on two sides of its shippers and pallets; to fit in with the production-facility upgrades, it needed coding equipment that could handle different-size items, was reliable, and could code on two sides. Line speeds vary according to what is being run, ranging up to