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  • Writer's picturePatrick Dawkins

A Winning Process


For HD Process the clue is in the name – they make sure honey processing operations are running at the top of their game, and to do that they rely on a simple but effective process of their own. By combining 26 years of business experience with the best of locally and internationally manufactured equipment they ensure those in the business of honey have their plants best setup to not only extract and pack honey as efficiently as possible, but meet the exacting requirements of international markets too.

James and Kim Dolan, HD Process owners. There are not many honey processing challenges that the HD Process team haven't solved since the business’s inception in 1997.

While honey might require less ‘processing’ to change its state than many other foods, there is still the ‘process’ of getting it out of the frame, into the drum and then the significant challenges of getting it from drum to packed into a jar in the highest quality form.

However, there are not many honey challenges that HD Process owner and engineering manager James Dolan and his team hasn’t seen – and solved – since the business launched in 1997. Through the last two-decades-plus they have witnessed the honey industry boom, and now retract, all the while honing their skills as they have assembled some of New Zealand’s largest and most efficient honey and extraction plants, and helped improve existing facilities.

“Sometimes we provide a single component, such as a particular filter or pump, to fit into an existing system and other times we are specifying and supplying a range of components making up a system. Whatever the case, our business revolves around making sure that whatever is supplied works as precisely as it should, thus being headache free and adding value to the customer’s business,” Dolan says.

Those precise results are gained by working alongside local manufactures – because New Zealand’s honeys are unique – while also sourcing the best equipment from around the world.

“Much of the equipment we offer is tailored specifically to the particular needs of our industry. For instance, our Crystal Cruncher pump is a local adaptation, designed to break down honey crystals so they can be dissolved back into the honey, without using heat and thus without any increase in HMF,” Dolan explains.

HD Process might be based in Penrose, Auckland, but their small team of engineers is often on the road, visiting processing plants all over New Zealand. They deal in a range of industries from wine to dairy to honey, with an extensive catalogue of equipment for honey processing, including:

  • Positive displacement pumps – able to cope with the different types of honey, from warm, runny honey to cold, highly viscous, creamed honey.

  • Coarse and fine filters – including self-cleaning filters and bag filters.

  • Honey extraction equipment – including honey looseners, extractors and centrifugal honey/wax separators.

  • Heat exchangers – for heating honey to allow fine filtering and thermalising, then also cooling (e.g. prior to creaming).

  • Vacuum evaporators – for removing moisture from honey at low temperature, without degrading the honey, or adding HMF.

The wide range of equipment on hand means any solutions they recommend, and implement, achieve the desired results, no matter how specific a processing problem may be – and honey does throw up some curve balls.

HD Process have a huge catalogue of honey processing equipment, from pumps, to filters, heat exchangers, centrifugal wax separators and more.

Right now the honey industry itself is throwing up some curve-balls too, with retrenchment the order of the day for many businesses and therefore, unsurprisingly, a slowdown in work in the honey sector for the HD Process team. However, with 26 years of adding value to honey businesses, there are still the regular clients who continue to work with HD even in the downturn, and the family owned and operated business is thankful to have built that base.

“Many of the smaller producers we deal with are struggling as their costs are up and their incomes are down. Consequently, there’s not a lot of capital available for new plant and equipment. Given this situation, we are grateful to work with our existing honey industry customers when invited to and have the level of business we currently have,” Dolan says.

The good news for the rest of the honey industry is, it means Dolan and his team have scope to offer their expertise to new clients. So, if you are having any troubles in processing your honey, or you have plans to adapt or grown your plant, then HD Process would love to hear from you.

“We love talking honey processing. So – regardless of whether a beekeeper has a big budget to invest in new plant, or not – I encourage them to pick up the phone, or email us, and we can help get their honey flowing the way it should be.”

Editor’s note: HD Process is among the small group of Apiarist’s Advocate’s most loyal and supportive advertisers, having backed each and every issue right from publishing our first content, 54 months ago, in August 2019. They support us, so we can bring you – the beekeeper – this content for free.




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