Agrosuper processes 33,600 fillets per hour with 'MegaGraders'

Marel’s largest grading project ever at Agrosuper in Chile


To speed up production and improve accuracy in calibrating breast fillet, the Chilean processor Agrosuper worked with Marel at its San Vicente and Lo Miranda plants. This project involved the installation of three large Double Dual Lane SmartLine Graders, with a total of 300 gates! These so-called ‘MegaGraders’ allow improved precision in calibrating over 33,000 chicken fillets per hour.

Industrial Manager of Agrosuper Álvaro Ortiz explains, “We realized that any work done by us in the US market should include the supply of both calibrated and IQF product. This prompted our collaboration with Marel, and we now have three MegaGraders operational in our plants.” Agrosuper is using the graders for classifying chicken breast fillets, which have been deboned on Marel AMF lines and split by the Marel Smartsplitter. The processing capacity reaches 560 fillets per minute, which is 33,600 per hour. These fillets subsequently enter a 5-ton IQF freezer before being packed.

Megagraders Autoinfeed

Speed and precision

The Agrosuper San Vicente plant has been operating a similar grading system since 2017, developed together with Marel. To increase grading capacity and speed, a second system was installed at the Lo Miranda Plant. “We needed more capacity, as we needed to produce more product more accurately. We knew that current processing volumes posed challenges to the capacities of both plants,” says Álvaro Ortiz. “To do this, our aim was, together with Marel, to optimize all processes. Our prior experience with similar complex projects was positive. We understood that such projects require precise time management, advanced technology and flawless execution.”


AutoInfeed system

One interesting feature of this project is the AutoInfeed system, which automatically distributes all fillets to four different lanes using an in-line weigher. These weighing results serve as the basis for downstream grading operations. Álvaro Ortiz explains, “In our San Vicente plant, AutoInfeeds play a crucial role in maximizing productivity and efficiency.” A buffer bin holds the weighed fillets, intelligently sensing what type of fillet it contains. AutoInfeed causes fillets to be dropped automatically into their own dedicated flighted compartment on the conveyor belt.

We needed more capacity, as we needed to produce more product more accurately.

Álvaro Ortiz
Industrial Manager Agrosuper

Informed decisions

The nature of the production process meant that all systems needed to be able to communicate with each other. Innova achieves this by managing all distribution processes, intelligent combinations and communication between the various machines. “Integration of the graders into Innova allows us to make informed decisions and adjust processes to optimize the efficiency, control, and quality of our processes. Everything is closely connected to our Innova software and our control tower. This control tower allows us to make real-time decisions, using indicators such as processing, bird status, product weights, and video analysis. It also enables us to monitor and supervise the performance and consistency of our plants,” says Álvaro Ortiz.

Significant success

According to Álvaro Ortiz, the project has yielded significant results across several key areas. “Our primary goal has been met: we have effectively boosted our overall production capacity. The improvement in precision we’ve achieved in our processes is remarkable. Previously, operating at high speeds led to a considerable number of rejected products, necessitating reprocessing. Today, improved accuracy has effectively reduced rejects and the costs associated with reprocessing. Aligned with our commitment to continuous improvement, this project helped us integrate advanced technology and optimize processes.


A special partnership

The partnership between Agrosuper and Marel goes beyond equipment and technology incorporation. “It’s a partnership built and nurtured over time, involving working together on business development and growth. We have collaborated on the design and development of processing plants, taking into consideration our specific needs and requirements.” The successful installation of the graders was made easier by Marel’s detailed understanding of Agrosuper’s processes and requirements. The presence and participation of Marel’s technicians also played a vital role in the project. This was not a simple project, involving as it did the installation of advanced technology in the plants. “The technological complexity of this project demanded meticulous synchronization not only with Marel’s equipment and teams but also with the other companies involved. Marel really took on the role of coordinator,” concludes Álvaro Ortiz.

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