Over the years we have tried all the normal ways to see everything at IPE that is different: made complicated maps to keep the path to known booths, called friends before the show, tried to walk the whole show to seek hidden places for knowledge and have traded lists of show "finds" during the show. With all of this, we have never found anything new that related to the processing area where we have spent our whole career. 

This report is the last of a three-part series on processing equipment exhibited at IPE 2009. This report focuses on new processing equipment and technologies that perform value-added tasks which will help streamline production of new products and a short list of processing equipment that received significant upgrades for 2009.

Equipment to help make "what's new" 

Every year IPE has equipment intended to help change the value of some new opportunity for marketing, or some problem product line, and this year was no exception. In the past, this equipment included flatteners, strippers, slitters and portioners. Later, it was sausage equipment, meatball machines, injectors, tumblers and co-extruders. There are absolutely no limits to what can be done with poultry to fit what consumers want. As long as you can walk into a resaurant or supermarket and hear the words, "what do you have that's new," we will always be seeking new products, new flavors and new shapes from our plants.

Stork Value Drum

Value Drum is a deep-coating concept, which effectively tumble-enrobes product with flavor rubs to create premium further processed items in a straight in-line flow.

Cantrell TS Techniek WOK

The biggest Chinese wok I have ever seen, introduced as a continuously stirred browning/steaming/cooking sort of flat kettle. This unit would be ideal for the quick browning required for heat-and-serve products.

Prime Mid Joint Cutter

This unit creates the "Japanese Chicken Ribs" by cutting between the two bones mid-joint of the wing. This allows even huge wings to become a manageable consumer-sized piece. Big wings should not be an issue to sell if they can be brought down to a more reasonable size.

Stork Wingstick Module

This module fits on a Stork cutup line or automatic deboner to form the meat to one end of the bone. This meat-on-a-stick becomes a party or snack food and allows big wings to become a more saleable product.

PacMac Trayless Traypack Upgrade

As a part of their trayless traypack project, PacMac continues to refine the package forming with a pinch seal to reduce rework. Bag material without printing seals a lot better and changing the folds makes the package stronger.

Marel Intelligent Portioning Machine (IPM) Piece Ejector

The Marel portioner has been used for years to calculate the weight of pieces, and cut them into accurate portions. The addition of an automatic drop-out for the trimmed pieces eliminates most of the handling labor. This simple mechanism works like a metal detector eject mechanism, simply allowing the needed piece to drop to another conveyor belt and out of flow.

Noteworthy equipment upgrades

There were far too many modifications found to fit on these pages, but a few highlights are listed. All equipment companies work on their machines every week, upgrading and fitting them to new uses and tweaking them for yields, durability and cleanup.

MP Equipment Portioner Upgrade

Optimum numbers of more "cube-shaped" cubes was a main upgrade of the precision Intellijet portioner from MP Equipment. This provides better yields of premium portions, with less waste.

Prime Leg Deboning

Updates on the Prime Leg Deboner include the use of about 1/3rd of the water the old units required. This new unit has also completely changed the appearance of the finished product, which has a more natural-looking shape.

Baader Debone and X-Ray

Setting up a process is sometimes different from setting up for single machines. The use of X-ray for what it does best, finding pulley bones, and using trimmers first to remove the obvious surface bones like fan bones, makes sense. This optimizes the use of the X-ray and makes the only product sent back the ones with problem bones.

Simmons Stunner Upgrade

The major shift in stunners to the combination DC-AC units continued with the recent "simple to install and simple to move" refinements. These simple clips allow installers to set the unit and bolt it solid, but with the ability to adjust it if things move during the setup.

Cantrell Paw Cleaner

Cantrell found that their gizzard machine could also be used as an effective way of upgrading as much as 7% of paws that were otherwise downgraded for remaining epidermis.

Bettcher Paw Cleaner

Bettcher found that by using their Whizzard knives on paw pads, any discoloration could be removed. This upgrades more of these paws to a premium. With the prices of the different grades of paws, trimming provides a good payback today.

Marel-Dantech Compact-Loaded Spiral Freezers

These have been around for a while but the membrane belt crusting devices are relatively recent. Even more recent was the use of a continuous belt Dantech device which was built into the loading side of a spiral freezer to save space. This whole system takes about the same space as the entry conveyor and spiral did before.

Stork Inside/Outside Bird Washer

The Stork inside/outside bird washer was optimized by making the construction far more open for cleaning and maintenance.

Meyn Scissor Opener Modification

The modified Scissor Opener follows a slightly curved path into the bird, greatly reducing damage to the intestines.

Marel Weight Makeup for Bagging

Marel upgraded their batching setup to feed 10-pound (or other size) batches of fresh product directly into baggers. The setup controls over pack to about 0.2 pounds on 10 pounds in most applications. This is far more precise than using people to "find" the right pieces to get the weights right and at a speed to keep up with fast flows.