Successfully deboning large chicken breasts

AMF-i HD finds its way in the North American market


Lincoln Premium Poultry’s mission is to “utilize new and innovative technology to produce a high-quality product which meets or exceeds the highest food safety standards.” Their partnership with Marel is helping them fulfill this mission. For Walt Shafer, chief operations officer at LPP, the AMF-i HD deboning system for larger breasts is part of this fulfillment.

Lincoln Premium Poultry (LPP) is the sole supplier of chicken for Costco in the Mid-West. The impressive 400,000 square-foot state-of-the-art processing facility in Fremont Nebraska is operational since October 2019. LPP recently began running two shifts and intends to process more than 2 million birds per week by the end of 2020.

Large breast caps

LPP is running a total of five AMF-i breast cap filleting systems in Fremont. After mutual consultation, Shafer was open to implementing the new HD kits for the AMF-i on one line. The North American market is renowned for its bigger birds, so many processors in this part of the world have to process larger breast caps. The success of the AMF-i HD solution in LPP’s plant is therefore of paramount importance to Marel’s innovation team.


The birds at LPP are intended for retail saddle pack. It became clear quickly that the average live weight of flocks being grown for this pack was larger than average breast caps. The larger breast caps challenged the capabilities of Marel’s AMF-i filleting system. Walt Shafer was happy to notice that Marel’s innovation team already came up with a solution to the global trend of broilers becoming heavier. This would certainly help LPP. The modularity of the existing AMF-i system allows it to be easily converted to an AMF-i HD, making it possible to cope with a wide variety of breast caps weights. “The Marel technicians used the install weekend to help educate our in-house maintenance staff on preventative maintenance requirements and actions on setting up the machine properly,” states Shafer.

The results of the AMF-i HD kits are beyond expectation.

Walt Shafer

Walt Shafer
Chief Operations Officer at LPP


After three months of testing, the results of the HD kits are beyond expectation. “The AMF-i HD kits have really helped us handle rework at the exit of the system. The improved performance of the key modules reduces the rework and gives us better product flow to the SensorX,” Walt Shafer continues. “As labor is always a factor, we don’t need as many trimmers on this line either.”

One seamless flow

For LPP, it was a challenge to process the larger size breast caps through the regular AMF-i, but with the HD kits installed, their larger caps process without incident. The wishbone remover and halver performance have improved significantly as well with the new HD kits. Yield has been gained from less rework being done as now the HD system is efficiently processing the larger breast caps. The breast fillets running through the AMF-i HD, through the SensorX and into packaging establish one seamless flow and a wonderful operation to watch. The achievements of the AMF-i HD kits have convinced LPP to move forward with installing further HD kits on two other lines at LPP. “Because of the partnership between Marel and LPP, this facility is successful,” concludes Walt Shafer.

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