About Us

What if new technology could achieve things you didn’t even know were possible?

That’s the question we ask ourselves every day in our quest to develop new, leading edge technologies to enhance efficiencies for food processing.

H&C is renowned for our capability to design and deliver world-leading automated systems to the dairy, horticulture and meat sectors globally.

Our approach is to design and deliver market leading solutions, we don’t just supply standard equipment. Our comprehensive team of experts reliably deliver end-to-end turnkey solutions, from concept to commissioning and every detail in between.

H&C’s strength is delivering what is promised, not just during the installation but over the entire life of our solutions.

H&C Automated Solutions is part of MHM Automation, which also comprises the Mercer and Milmeq brands. We are committed to providing innovative solutions to wide-ranging customer requirements with uncompromising craftsmanship and quality performance.

Scroll down to learn more about our company history and key partnerships.

Company History


We have a proud history of providing product handling and refrigeration systems to the global products processing industry. Here are some of the milestones in our history:

1884 – The original Mercer company was established in 1884 by Mr James Mercer in Christchurch, New Zealand.

1952 – Milmeq had its beginnings in New Zealand under the name Refrigeration Engineering, providing chilling and freezing equipment to meat processors to enable the export of their product.

1965 – Haden and Custance was established with a vision to become market leaders in manufacturing. Initially the company specialised in bed spring and bed production.

1970s – Demand for process improvements in the consumer product manufacturing industries grew as local manufacturers such as Watties Foods and Morrison Industries scaled up their operations. Haden and Custance moved into providing solutions for manufacturers, including palletising systems.

1970s – Milmeq (then known as Realcold) developed automatic chilling and freezing tunnels for the meat and dairy industries.

1990s – Robots were introduced to Haden and Custance product handling systems for the dairy industry. Milmeq pioneered the development of large-scale plate freezers for the meat processing industry.

2001 – Our first first dairy-dedicated handling system was designed to remove cartons and plastic wrap from 20kg/40lb cheese blocks being fed to conversion lines. This technology, while constantly evolving, has been at the core of more than 130 installations around the world since.

2002 – Haden and Custance merged with automation company P&D Systems, enabling us to provide a turnkey design service to customers.

2016 – Haden and Custance was purchased by New Zealand listed company Mercer Group.

2017 – The BetaVac and AiCo prouct ranges were brought under the H&C umbrella.

2019 – The company purchased Milmeq to extend its capabilities into chilling and freezing and re-branded as H&C Automated Solutions.

2020 – Mercer, H&C and Milmeq were united together under one future-focused brand: MHM Automation. This name change reflects the growing importance of automated technologies to our customers.


H&C works alongside the following technology partners who provide complementary equipment which allows us to provide complete solutions to our clients.

Technology Partner

Mercer Stainless

Also part of MHM Automation, Mercer Stainless designs and fabricates high quality plant and equipment for the food processing industries in New Zealand and Australia.

Technology Partner


Starfrost is a UK-based manufacturer of IQF and Spiral tunnels for the chilling and freezing of a range of food products. Milmeq represents Starfrost technology in the Oceania region.

Technology Partner

TGW & Inther Group

We partner with Inther Group to deliver customised TGW ASRS systems to food processors worldwide. Austria-based TGW is recognised for delivering best-in-class shuttle-based ASRS technology for operation in low temperature environments.