Success Story

Gerber Poultry

Foodmate’s goal was to provide a solution that would improve the plant’s throughput, quality of end-product, and reduce the cost of ownership of automated breast debone.
Foodmate Equipment
(2) MAX6000 Breast Deboners
Scope
The scope of the project was to remove two existing breast cap filleting systems and replace them with two Foodmate MAX 6000 Whole Breast Deboners. Plant production is around 650,000 birds per week, about 70-80% of which is deboned, depending on orders.
OBJECTIVE & Strategy

Foodmate’s goal was to provide a solution that would improve the plant’s throughput, quality of end-product, and reduce the cost of ownership of automated breast debone.

Having completed other large projects with Gerber’s, Foodmate has established a good partnership and successful track record with the company. We wanted to work closely with their team to ensure their ultimate goal to improve product quality and achieve labor reduction was met. After thoroughly studying their existing equipment and current production levels, we recommended the MAX6000 Whole Breast Deboner due to its flexibility and efficiency levels. Gerber’s mainly runs individual fillets with tender out and a highly trimmed fillet. The plant also at times, and requires tender in/ butterfly fillets; hence, MAX6000’s flexibility was the best option.

FM Solution & Results
The install went very smoothly and on schedule. Improvements were met shortly after install. “We are producing significantly more products of a higher quality. The plant has not shown a staffing reduction in the process yet, but because of the increased throughput and higher quality, we now need the people on the pack-out side. With our previous systems, we had to run a second shift to meet orders. We the Max 6000’s current throughput increase and quality, we believe we will be able to meet orders on first shift; so this will be great overall labor reduction.”, stated Becky Rhodes, Vice President Production/Operation for Gerber’s.
Has Gerber Poultry noticed any improvement since installation?

“We are very satisfied with the machines’ performance. We have increased throughput in the first shift, despite being in the training process of loading machines. We knew that loading would be our biggest obstacle with the machines. With time and training, though, the loading process will become easier. We had a significant improvement with tender quality/quantity, harvesting an additional 4,000 lbs. of tenders /per day, which was previously being either downgraded or lost to byproducts on the frame, and this represents huge savings for us.

My favorite feature on this machine is tender and breast cuts, final product quality is excellent. Also, with the height of machines, we now have more space; plus, machines’ design makes maintenance easy to perform.

The fillet cut is also much cleaner than in the previous machines we were using. No labor savings as of now, but the overall quality and output has improved. Our first shift has increased by 18% input lbs over four weeks. Again, I am planning on seeing that percentage to increase with training and experience.”, added Rhodes.

The MAX6000 offers exceptional flexibility with final product options such as butterfly fillets, half fillets, and tenders in/out.
MAX6000 allows the user to operate two different pre-set programs, such as half fillets or butterflies. This gives you the ability to control production on the fly and saves valuable set up time.
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