A high level of mechanization is necessary in Western Europe where wage rates are high and off-line plants operate at over 500cph. A number of installations were demonstrated at the 2010 VIV, which have potential application in the U.S.
Eggs in the EU are transported on plastic flats with plastic dividers and pallets to conform to accepted levels of hygiene and biosecurity. All transport material is decontaminated after each use. A product similar to units available in the U.S. was displayed at the exhibition.
Robotic handling was evident at the 2010 VIV exhibition. Moba displayed a range of purpose-designed models for packing plants.
Mechanical pallet and tray washing equipment is required in EU plants, which are all operated off-line. This unit was displayed at the 2010 VIV exhibition by U.S. manufacturer Kuhl Corporation, which has an extensive export market.
Mechanical egg handling installations are required in EU off-line plants which operate at up to 500cph with regular labor costs. Moba displayed this case packer at the exhibition.
The Crono Loader, required for the Synchro egg breaker rated at 500cph, was demonstrated at the VIV exhibition by Pelbo of Italy. Pelbo is a manufacturer of further processing and pasteurizing equipment.
The Ovotrack system displayed at the 2010 VIV exhibition provides continual identification of eggs through the chain of production from farm to point of sale. The chain is now being adopted in the EU to ensure traceability, especially with off-line plants. A similar system is under evaluation in the U.S.
Nuovo’s egg stamper uses a membrane to imprint a logo widely used on both farm packers (eggs are not washed in the EU) and on the packing lanes of large plants. This unit, displayed at the 2010 VIV exhibition is similar to the model currently used for the leading specialty egg brand in the U.S.
Nuovo also displayed its new carton stamper at the exhibition.