Over the last year, equipment suppliers were hard at work developing new technologies to help processors get the most out of every labor hour and every square foot of floor space. New equipment for doing everything, from scalding birds and defatting turkey breast lobes to scaling and bagging product, was on display at IPE 2009. This report is the second in a series providing a whirlwind tour of efforts of some of the processing exhibitors this year.
Completely new devices were more scarce than usual at the show but were important to find. These items were worth our time to consider in many plants we visit.
Meyn Jet Stream scalder
Birds spend hours preening their feathers with oil and wax into a laminated, water shedding and insulating barrier. De-laminating these feathers can be done with heat or with energy, so Meyn built a scalder to use water for turbulence instead of air. The energy of water at over 8 pounds per gallon is far better at blasting the feathers apart than air, so this design makes a lot of sense.
Morris Smart Ice
This little modular 20 metric ton icemaker weighs less than 5,000 pounds, can be installed in small spaces and, at the push of a button, gives you 333 pounds of ice. This is repeated every 12 minutes. The machine is stable, simple, compact, and controlled by one command center that sends you an e-mail if anything goes wrong. These units, combined with small ice storage "boxes," can replace the huge ice rooms that few plants need today. The other really good thing for process flow is that the old ice room space is right where a perfect "paw room" could be located, now that paws are graded differently.
Starflex "Take-a-Weigh" bagging/check-weighing system
This is an extension of the product weight batching system, so bagging and check-weighing come together in one system. This unit bags at 40-plus-per-minute rate with a simple roll-out-for-cleanup bag former, pinch sealing and open frame design. Bags can be fit with a unique peel-to-open and zip-lock-to-close top that saves material and waste. The bags eject on to the Take-a-Weigh system (an inline conveyor that integrates the check-weigher (and optional metal detector) into the same discharge conveyor. This makes a compact, full-system for making weight, check-weighing and metal detection in a very small footprint.
Prime turkey breast defatter/cleaner
This inline machine removes excess fat and membrane automatically with minimal yield loss and, as a result, with smooth fillets.
Prime-Nord fecal evacuator
This machine looks like a vent opening machine but, instead, performs the needed task of evacuating the last three inches of the colon to prevent fecal failures. Inevitably, one fecal issue can lead to another and another if there are surges in the flow, so preventing the first failure is the goal here. This simple device needs consideration for every plant.
Simple but absolutely necessary in some places where there just isn't room to rinse in a straight line, this compact rinse cabinet is built into either 90-degree or 180-degree corners, providing a solution for when there is no space to do it differently.
Foodcraft AMA positive displacement pump
We have places around the plants with oily or slick stuff that needs to be pumped continuously. One is the really dirty sludge pits in every facility, the other is MDM residue, and yet another is skin. This pump took a simple idea, the basic and proven diaphragm pump, and added a massive hydraulic cylinder and a diaphragm as thick as a truck tire. It can run completely dry or flooded, pumps anything that can possibly be crushed through a 3-inch opening (probably more because it is so powerful), and has so few moving parts that it must be dependable. Pits are a pain, and this looks like some realistic relief.
Prime shoulder and neck skinner
The skin around the neck is a harbor for bacteria, and it gets in the way later in the deboning process. If the skin is gone, the bacteria harbor is gone and, therefore, antimicrobials work better and the shelf life is more consistent. By removing the shoulder skin, shoulder cutters can find the right place to make precision cuts and breast yield increases. Finding this joint correctly every time means yield on the part of the breast that is the main income of most processors.
Starflex tray sealer upgrade
These heat sealers require expensive and dangerous steam lines to each unit. This upgrade provides the correct heat by a built-in heating system, so electrical and water hookups are all you need. This system is simpler, safer and easier to maintain.
Meyn turkey rehanger
This rehanger removes the turkey from the picking shackle and places it on the evisceration line. This unit takes away one more point where people must otherwise lift a heavy bird. It can be set to pull part of the tendons or just cut the hock.