EasyTrack is an electronic data collection system that gathers processing information and registers it per flock into an open database system. It can handle machine and process settings, processing parameters and manually entered data. It provides online tracking of flocks through the shackle lines. EasyTrack is a valuable tool to automatically monitor and instantly correct the internal processes, but it also enables evaluation of long term rearing strategies.
EasyTrack applies SCADA technology in order to forward process information into a higher level monitoring application. Machine controls for bird counters, rehangers, scalders, stunners and chill room are connected to a dedicated EasyTrack PLC by means of Ethernet. On specific locations in the line, data entry points are created that allow line operators or quality staff in the processing plant to enter information into the system. These data entry points are connected to the EasyTrack PLC as well. Next, the EasyTrack PLC forwards the information to the EasyTrack server PC. Here, the system as a whole is controlled in a convenient desktop application. All connected processing steps can be monitored and production data is stored in a local or remote database system. EasyTrack keeps track of flocks by means of the Meyn flock tracker. This unit registers a flock change at point of hanging and follows it across the lines by means of trigger wheel sets at every rehanger.
Instead of the traditional bird counter which only registers the number of birds that have passed it, EasyTrack will compare this with the actual line speed and express the result in an efficiency percentage. When this percentage drops below a preset threshold value, an instant alarm will be generated. This alarm can be communicated as a pop-up on a desktop PC, or as a message to a PDA. Moreover, the alarm is registered in the database together with a date and time stamp and the ID of the current flock.
A total of six monitoring locations can be used to register the scalder temperature. For each location, both set point and actual value are registered at intervals of one minute. This will allow for a very accurate analysis of the scalder temperature behaviour. Deviations will be found before damage to the product occurs. Flock average temperature, highest and lowest values are registered in the database for future reference.
Veterinary inspection results
All inspectors will have access to a personal terminal, conveniently placed directly on the line. The terminal, that fully withstands the harsh environment of the processing line, is fitted with a touch screen. Occurring defects on passing carcasses are registered by simply touching the corresponding button on the screen. There are 16 buttons available that can be programmed flexibly. When the last carcass of a flock was processed, counts of all terminals are uploaded in the database and the counters are reset for the next flock. Again, on surpassing the preset limits, an instant alarm is generated.
In many plants, the QA officers will perform off line random sample tests. EasyTrack includes a convenient tool to manage and register the results of these random inspections. The results are stored in the database with a time stamp. Moreover, the user is asked to link the results to a flock from the actual flock list.
Since all relevant processing information is filed in a database, together with a flock ID of the flock that was processed at the moment, EasyTrack can generate a comprehensive flock report from this data afterwards. Such a flock report will contain: