Need for speed
Rising consumer demand for high-protein food and changing customer preferences have spurred the global market for poultry meat. In response to this growing demand, manufacturers of processing machinery have been driven to develop more sophisticated equipment that can process broilers quicker, achieving high levels of quality and performance.
This results in more automation, longer production days and increased line speeds. Especially greenfield projects, but also existing plants demand the highest possible processing capacity within the available space. Namely, faster line speed means more production and greater profit opportunities. It goes without saying that the increased volume should not affect the (high) standards on product quality and animal welfare.
Over the last 50 years, processing speeds have increased significantly. Back in the seventies, most processors would never have believed that line speeds of 15,000 bph where possible.
High-speed processing lines are typically requested for greenfields, where the investor wants to make sure the plant is “fit for the future” and the ROI is reached within the blink of an eye.
Understandable if you take into consideration the increase of labor costs over the years and especially the last decade. However, just increasing line speeds is not enough: in doing so, animal welfare and product quality cannot be compromised. Also, labor conditions for the staff working in the plant need to be respected. All these requirements need to be taken into consideration when designing machines to facilitate the process.
Creative solutions that focus on maximizing revenue over the complete production chain are essential. This requires high processing capacities and a labor involvement that is reduced to the absolute minimum. This can only be achieved with systems that have the capability to properly process a wide range of birds at high speeds in a trouble-free manner.
Meyn has developed and upgraded its machines for high-speed processing lines and is very proud that this year alone, machines for at least three new 15,000 bph high-speed processing plants will be delivered. Today, Meyn offers the processing line capable of processing up to 15,000 birds per hour with the highest degree of safety and quality possible.
Some highlights of our high-speed processing portfolio:
Animal welfare is crucial for any live bird handling system. Especially with high-speed processing lines, it is important to have enough incoming product to fill the line, without compromising product quality and animal welfare. In order to guarantee that, you will need an efficient and robust system allowing for large volumes and quick processing throughput. With those in mind, Meyn designed the new Grande drawer system: extra-large drawers allow for maximum loading capacity, in combination with sufficient head space for ventilation of the live birds.
“Customers choose for the Meyn Grande drawer system because of the reliability of the complete system and the volume it can process. Besides the operational benefits, the transport modules allow for optimal conditions of life products and the smooth unloading process results in higher product quality,” said Wouter Veerkamp, Product Manager at Meyn.
The Automatic feet selection system was designed to reduce manual work in the feet processing line, whilst maintaining the highest quality standards. The system grades, sorts and logs all information automatically based upon footpad quality. It means that quality grading is done objectively and animal legislation is followed in one fully approved system. A smart solution for saving resources in a 15,000 bph high-speed line.
New versions of existing evisceration equipment are implemented with 20 units in a 240° frame (instead of the normal 180 degrees), allowing for longer processing time in each machine. The new 240° machine design matches high speeds with superior product quality and maximum food safety. Despite leeway caused by regular service, this equipment can continue to cut accurately with the 20 units in a 240 frame.
To show the relation between line speed and machine design, in the table on the next page is explained how much time there is inside the equipment to process a certain step. This makes it clearer why Meyn developed 20 units/240° equipment. This to create (extra) time when capacity is increasing.
Meyn's new evisceration equipment, from vent cutting through actual evisceration itself up to final inspection and cleaning of the carcass, offers the highest possible yields and hygiene standards available in the industry while maintaining the same overhead costs.
“Customers are looking to increase their production speed whilst also reducing waste and quality defects. This enables us to meet customer expectations and helps them to achieve further efficiencies,” said Pete van Poorten, Product Manager. “Many of our installed systems have already been running above 13,500 bph, and this is the logical next step.”
Higher line-speeds mean more processing activities per hour. In theory this would result in shorter interval times between the sharpening or even replacement of knives. Meyn has further improved the durability and quality of all cutting blades to reduce maintenance and maximize uptime. Moreover, in some modules the blades have changed from smooth to serrated cutting edges, resulting in an up to four times longer durability. So, another innovation by Meyn to run a processing line smoothly at 15,000 bph.
For a continuous process flow over the complete processing plant, reliable rehanging is both critical as well as essential for uptime. Meyn has a long history in rehanging solutions and is proud to introduce its leading transfer solution: the Meyn Carousel rehanger M2.0. The Carousel rehanger M2.0 allows for smooth transfers between lines with equal or different shackle pitches, with similar or different line speeds.
Another challenge is the accurate and consistent weighing at increased production speeds as there is essentially less time to weight. As a next step of the process, products are sorted automatically with the Meyn Line weigher M2.0 to measure product weights and to help planning for the daily order demand of full bird, cut up or deboned products.
Meyn can offer the most accurate cut up and deboning equipment, but if the weigher is not accurate then the gains from those machines can easily be lost in sorting departments. The aim is to put every product into its most profitable form. High yield, profitable cuts are then produced on the various modules of the two cut up lines.
Although high-speed processing is dependent on the right equipment, the right monitoring is also crucial. All track & trace data are available through Meyn Connect M1.1.
The Meyn Cut up lines are updated to support the poultry processor in realizing the highest possible revenues with an unrivalled speed of 7,500 birds per hour. The new design of modules provides top performance both in accuracy and quality of cuts.