Incoming products are bone-in legs, thighs and breast caps. Brabant Meat 's main business is the production of semi-finished meat products for industrial processors and foodservice customers.
"On the other hand, we sell end products to a growing group of local butchers, because they really see the difference between manual and mechanical cuts.”
Most of the time, Brabant Meat uses StreamLine for processing fresh broiler thighs. They are deboned and trimmed manually, with or without skin. When skinless products are required, the thighs first pass through a stand-alone Marel SK skinner. John Hendriks is enthusiastic about it. “This Marel skinner works fantastically, running very reliably, without too much noise. It has a nice wide conveyor belt, higher capacity than other skinners and no wear and tear issues.”
Two years ago, Brabant Meat switched to Marel StreamLine; this move resulted in logistic heaven. "Before, we were totally surrounded by crates. We did the manual cutting on a large working table and all the time, there had to be a pile of 400 kilos of meat on the table. Even before the table was empty, new meat was already being put on top of it. As a consequence, the meat temperature became almost too high. From a bacteriologic perspective, StreamLine is, therefore, an enormous step ahead."
Now, a pallet of thigh meat is guided through the skinner and StreamLine and half an hour later the products are processed and back in the chiller.
"This prevents a lot of logistic problems; we don't have dirty crates anymore nor crates falling over. Furthermore, it saves a lot of hall space because it really streamlines the process. Thanks to StreamLine, the quality of the meat we are delivering is such that we have at least an extra two days’ shelf life."
John Hendriks continues, "At first, our employees had to get accustomed to the working method. As the cut products were immediately conveyed away from the working space, there was no time anymore for a check immediately afterward. We had to re-define the control process and bring back the routine. After that, the StreamLine did wonders for us!
Our throughput per man hour grew at least 15 percent! In combination with the yield increase, it couldn’t get better. We don't even need to award bonuses for hitting targets; the system itself stimulates the operators to work optimally. What is more, there's no quality inspector anymore at the end of the operation. We never have any complaints."
Previously, using a cutting table, Brabant Meat had a maximum performance of 48 kg (105 lb) per person per hour. "Now, using StreamLine, we can easily reach 60 to 70 kg (132 to 154 lb) per hour. We can cut thighs as fast as manually loaded machines. During the time needed to position the thigh in the equipment, our skilled people will already have completely deboned the thigh; they can do 13 thighs per minute. Whenever we have the finest quality of thighs available, we can even achieve 100 kilos per hour.”
For John Hendriks connecting StreamLine to Innova is logical. “Innova offers perfect control of time, kilograms, quality, throughput and yield data; it can’t be better than this! Personally, I’m very fond of the Innova time registration.
Everybody’s got a chip, so people check in as soon as they’re at the StreamLine and check out during breaks and end of the day. You really see the effective hours and payroll accounting becomes super easy this way. We, therefore, rolled out Innova time registration for all our operations."
Brabant Meat is a young company in the town of Katwijk, in the province of Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. It was founded in 2010 and employs 40 people in total. Owner John Hendriks is proud to say that staff turnover in his company is extremely low. "Our well-trained workers enjoy our fine employee benefits package. People feel comfortable, so we got employees working here for more than six years."
Brabant Meat specializes in processing fresh chicken products and finds its customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and UK.