Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

CIFT Assists Honeybaked Ham with Automation


Harry J. Hoenselaar opened the first Honeybaked store in Detroit 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 Challenge

The Honeybaked Ham Company facility located in Holland, Ohio was facing labor shortage issues. To solve this problem, the company needed to improve its operation. CIFT, part of the Ohio MEP and the MEP National Network™, met with the company, conducted a walk-through assessment, and determined that automation was needed, in the form of a robotic palletizing system.  
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

MEP's Role

CIFT brought in a mechanical, electrical, controls engineering services company and a software development company to design a palletizer specifically for this Honeybaked 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 3 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 company took only eight months.
Created October 27, 2022