Objective, SOlution & Results
Experiencing issues with lost yield during the thigh deboning process, Perdue contacted Foodmate in August 2012. At the time, the Perdue Milford plant was sending bone-in thighs to an off-site contract deboning company as well as receiving boneless thighs from our sister plant in Fredericksburg, PA. So much shipping back and forth was resulting in yield losses due to purge, decreased shelf life, and increased food safety risks to the consumer.
Our primary goal was to find a way to bring both processes into the Milford plant to efficiently, safely and profitably debone 100% of all chicken thighs. After evaluating our current operations and other options, Foodmate offered a solution utilizing the Foodmate OPTI Thigh Deboner that demonstrated to offer a very fast Return on Investment by increasing the yield by several percentage points and reducing labor and training cost.
To validate the numbers presented in the ROI analysis, Foodmate made a test machine available for a week in the Accomac facility. During the test, the Georgetown and Milford plants both tested their own product to obtain more detailed yield numbers. With these test results besting our current yield numbers by several percent, we realized that the OPTI Thigh Deboner was our best solution.
Our existing facilities in Milford did not provide a suitable location for the machine, so we made the decision to add a state-of-the-art dark meat deboning operation to the plant. In early 2013, we broke ground on a new building adjacent to the cut up and packaging lines. In late July 2013, Foodmate installed two new OPTI Thigh Deboners that have been in full production since mid-August 2013.
To date, we have seen a 6% yield increase, and all of the related issues have been resolved. The machines are operating at 100% capacity and our goal is to add a third machine in 2014. In addition, we have reduced staffing and high training cost which are associated with manual deboning operations.
We are very happy with the performance of the Foodmate thigh deboners and the overall experience with Foodmate from initial conversations to installation, and training has been handled professionally and without any delays or issues. Foodmate has exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to working with Foodmate on future projects.
Business Unit Leader
Milford, DE Processing Facility