In 2016, Foodmate delivered and installed one of the largest cut-up, grading and whole bird distribution systems installed by an American Processor. The entire project consisted of six (6) OPTI Flow Flex Cut- up lines comprised of 1.2 miles of overhead conveyor and 6,200 cut-up shackles. The system can process a stunning 37,800 birds per hour.
The Foster Farms Livingston, CA plant was in need of a solution to automate and improve their whole bird grading process since a large percentage of their production goes to Deli WOG pack out. In addition, Foster Farms also wanted a solution to increase A grade cuts, reduce labor through double handling and rework as well as handle multiple product cuts simultaneously.
“We were looking for a system to replace our old cut-up system and add production and distribution controls such as weighing and vision grading to optimize bird utilization based on weight and grade and to effectively increase A grade pack out and yield value throughout the entire process. After close evaluation of various suppliers and our engineering teams working closely together, it became evident that the Foodmate OPTI Flow Cut-up and Distribution System offered the best overall solution, based on value, space requirements and performance ”, stated Chris Carter, Foster Farms VP of Operations.
The capacity of the system had to be able to accommodate 635 birds per minute. Final product mix varied and needed to be flexible with options including graded whole birds for Deli WOG’s, front halves with wings on, segmented wings, whole wings, split back out breast, whole back out breast, leg quarters, back in and back out thighs and drum sticks. The other requirement was that the system should be able to run all products at the same time while feeding a centralized tray pack operation with WOGs being supplied from two separate kill plants.
FOODMATE SOLUTION AND END RESULTS
The installation occurred during a two-week shutdown, the old system had to be removed and the area had to be cleaned before the Foodmate install team could start the installation and commissioning process. Foodmate brought an extensive crew of engineers, project managers, service technicians, electricians and installers to ensure this massive project would be finished on time for start up.
“Foodmate is proud to have earned the trust to be awarded such a large project. It was a major undertaking for both companies and the only reason we were able to make it such a success is because it was truly a joint effort between Foodmate and the Foster Farms engineering team, Terry Scroggins, David Hughes and Kevin Willet – all were instrumental for the implementation and success of this project” said Scott Hazenbroek, Foodmate President.
“We have continued to see substantial improvement in grading quality, A grade cuts and overall efficiency and yield. Since the startup of the Livingston project, we have also installed three (3) Foodmate OPTI Flow Cut-up Systems in Belgravia, CA, and in April 2017, we will be installing three (3) more Foodmate lines at our plant in Farmerville, LA” stated Chris Carter.