Hanan Products, a leader in whipped topping, icing and dessert fillings, has announced a new addition to its Long Island, New York facility. Hugo, a robot that picks and stacks heavy boxes, will help to alleviate the manufacturing/packing process for Hanan’s staff.

Hugo will help the company meet an increased demand for its products. The company is not laying off workers with its new automation capability, as staff is being reassigned to other important tasks.

The robot 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 4000 cases per day, Hugo can stack up to 8 per minute. With boxes weighing as heavy as 40 lbs., this 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,” says Paul Hanan, chief financial officer 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.”

In order to upgrade and modernize production capabilities, in October, Hanan Products will be adding a new modern packing machine – with more upgrades to come in the future.