Multihead Weighers are an immediate success

Family-owned House of Raeford Farms sees an overall better product

Multihead Weigher Medium Legs

“Our sales team came to us and said they could get a better margin with sealed and exact weight bags,” states Cowan Johnson, Plant Manager at the Wallace, North Carolina processing plant. That is when House of Raeford began to evaluate the Marel Multihead Weigher. House of Raeford processing plants are big bird plants. The Wallace location debones all their products. They sell mainly into further processing operations. Marel’s Multihead Weighers have also opened the door for producing 10 lb. [4.5 kg] bags for the retail market.


Immediate results

The first Multihead Weigher for bagging wings was installed at the Wallace facility in early 2020. It was an immediate success with both giveaway and labor reduced. “Bag weights were better, the bags looked better, the product looked better all-round,” Cowan comments. The Wallace facility now has seven lines, all with Marel Multihead Weighers, bagging wings, drums, leg quarters, breast meat, bone-in thighs and boneless thighs. Prior to the installs, they were hand-packing all products. Throughout their facilities, House of Raeford has now installed a total of 13 Multihead Weighers!

Successful install

There is a lot of history between House of Raeford and Marel, which has led to a close relationship with solid mutual trust. Marel’s service team, for example, provided great support during the install process. “The experienced team that Marel brought to us made a huge difference in our people learning the right way to do things,” continues Cowan Johnson.

He specifically speaks about Bobby Shepherd, who led the service team during the first install. “Bobby paved the way for a successful install of the additional Multihead Weighers. He taught us the best way to do things.” The passing of Bobby during 2020 was a terrible loss for both Marel and our customers.

Looking to the future

House of Raeford has seven plants spread throughout the Southeast of the United States. They were the first in the industry to offer dry-packed fresh chicken to the food service arena. It’s that kind of forward-thinking, innovative product enhancement, which allows them to keep on bringing fresh ideas to their customers. Following that thinking, they also are continuously looking to implement automation where possible and find innovative ways they can cut cost with machinery options.

Bag weights were better, the product looked better all-round

Cowan Johnson
Plant Manager of House of Raeford, Wallace, North Carolina

House Of Raeford

About House of Raeford

The history of House of Raeford goes back to 1954 when founder In 1925, Mary Sue Johnson began raising turkeys in her backyard in Rose Hill, North Carolina. This was the start of what is now family-owned House of Raeford Farms. In 1959, the business expanded into chicken production with construction of a chicken hatchery and a grow-out operation. In 1969, the Johnson family purchased the Raeford, NC turkey plant to which they had been selling turkeys and became the first in the industry to introduce fully cooked turkeys and deli turkeys to consumers. Their seven processing plants are located in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana. All locations are highly involved with the community, and in 2008 they started FLOCK, a nonprofit outreach program that partners with local charitable organizations to enhance outreach capabilities and provide the highest possible impact.

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