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Leading Export Manufacturer Sees Expansion

Leading Export Manufacturer Sees Expansion with More than 20 New High-Value Jobs

Compac Sorting Equipment, the Auckland-based designer and manufacture of hi-tech fruit and vegetable sorting equipment is creating more than twenty new positions as the business scales up to meet strong export growth. The Company is beginning an extensive recruitment drive to promote the positions available.

The jobs range from project management positions to engineering and product design roles and cover graduate through to senior levels. Most will be based at Compac’s Auckland head office with some being located in regionally in New Zealand and overseas markets including the United States and Australia.

“We are experiencing strong and continued sales growth” Founder and Group Managing Director Hamish Kennedy says, “ As a result we need to increase our capability to develop new products, provide high quality solutions and expand the service and support networks which have built our business so far”.

In 2012 Compac designed and installed the largest citrus sorter ever made, sorting around 30 million mandarins every day. This growth continues as Compac is installing the world’s largest electronic cherry sorter for a customer in California. It will sort around 50,000 cherries every minute when it becomes operational in April. “We are taking on a number of increasingly large and complex projects in our export markets” Sales Director David Buys says “Our overseas markets are a key driver for our continued expansion in research, design and manufacturing functions here in New Zealand. These diverse export markets (38 countries) also mean our risk is spread over multiple markets”.

Compac’s expansion comes against a backdrop of increasing pressure on New Zealand exporters due to the volatility and strength of the New Zealand dollar, along with the on-going weakness in the global economy. “There are big challenges for New Zealand’s export and manufacturing sector” says Kennedy “to offset this we’re concentrating on strengthening our business through lowering our internal costs with more efficient designs and better manufacturing processes. Also we’ve developed innovative products in which our customers see increased value and return on their investment this justifies the premium for a Compac solution” he says

The company says that the expansion would not be possible without the support of NZTE and Callaghan Innovation (the new entity that now invests in business R&D on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). “We want to publicly thank the teams at NZTE and Callaghan Innovation for their support, which has allowed us to accelerate our development of some key products and enter new export markets” says Kennedy “they supply key innovation support and funding which is helping us to create more of the high value jobs New Zealand needs”.

The company is encouraging potential employees to contact Compac’s HR department via the positions include:

• Project Managers

• Mechanical Design Engineers

• Software Developers

• Field Service Engineers

• Electronics Assemblers

• Electronics Engineers

• Internal IT Programmers

• Business Analysts

• Marketing and Product Management

• Sales Engineers


Compac Sorting Equipment is a leading supplier of sorting and packing solutions to the global produce industry and is based in Auckland, New Zealand. The company is ranked 20th in the TIN 100 index of New Zealand technology companies with a global turnover of $83M. Compac was the winner of the 2012 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards Company of the Year, Exporter of the Year and NZ Exporters Deal of the Year for 2012.

Compac sorters are able to sort produce based on their weight, size, shape, colour and surface blemishes. Compac sorters use digital cameras and software developed inhouse to analyse the surface of produce and Compac’s unique roller-carrier to deliver the produce to the packing areas within the packhouse.

Compac also provides traceability solutions to packhouses enabling produce to be tracked from the orchard block it was grown on, across the packing line and finally into bags or cartons. This tracking assists if any product recall is required.

First established in 1984 by Hamish Kennedy, Compac has grown from a small company supplying the domestic kiwifruit market to a company of more than 300 staff supplying sorting solutions for a number of different types of produce in almost 40 countries.

Manufacturing of Compac solutions takes place in Compac’s Onehunga based factory alongside three other locations in; South Korea, Italy and Uruguay. Compac is also a shareholder in Fruit Handling Systems (FHS) a Hastings based company which specializes in infeed and packing equipment. Together with FHS, Compac provides full turn-key solutions to a range of packhouses.

R&D functions are based in Compac’s head office in Auckland where software engineers, mechanical engineers and designers continue to improve Compac’s equipment and solutions design.

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