Lawn and Garden Bagging Case Study: Markman Peat Improves Efficiency with Automation


The Markman Peat Corporation has a long and dynamic history as a significant national producer of premium soils and landscape materials.  

When the new owners, Jeff Widdop and Brian Sherrick completed their 2011 purchase of the company, they began researching a variety of actions to position it for growth. In its 40+ year history, Markman Peat’s products have been a reliable mainstay of the Lawn and Garden Industry. 

During the owners’ analysis of their business, improving packaging efficiency became a focus. After researching various manufacturers and visiting several sites to watch machinery run, they decided to work with nVenia’s HAMER Brand as their automation partner. “We watched several different types of machinery run, and the HAMER Brand was the only [one] that could hit the aggressive rates we were looking to achieve,” said owner, Brian Sherrick. 

The plant chosen for the new automated line, in Laporte, Indiana, was one of five plants operated by Markman Peat. The Laporte plant already ran several of HAMER's original bagging machines with manual palletizers, but customer demand for their products required increased capacity.  

“We had two goals with this system,” commented owner, Jeff Widdop. “Increase production and reduce production labor costs.”  

The new system installed this past January includes Hamer Model 50 Bulk Hopper, infeed conveyor, Model 300VF volumetric filler, HAMER Model 2090 Form, Fill and Seal and a fully automatic high-speed palletizer with an automated in-line stretch wrapper.  

This system consistently produces bags at the rate of 27-30 BPM each day, every day, and the cost of production is far less than with their other semi-automatic lines. 

Markman Peat has been very pleased with the system and its performance this year. “…from the design and specification process through installation and service support, the HAMER Brand has consistently met our expectations for a high degree of service. It’s all about service – in our business and in [HAMER’s],” said owner, Brian Sherrick.