“Time is of the essence,” says Eduardo Walter, general manager at MasterCarnes. “Cooking needs to be fast and easy, so big kitchens, hotels and restaurants want products of the same size and same weight.”
Lacking skilled workers
In order to create uniform thin beef steaks, MasterCarnes has installed a small but very efficient system in its production line. The system consists of an I-Cut 11 PortionCutter for cutting same-weight beef steaks and a Platino Flattener for flattening and softening the meat and standardising the size. “We installed the portion cutter and flattener because we had a lack of qualified workers to do the job,” says Walter. “With one machine we are able to cut what we would otherwise need 12 people for.”
Accuracy is essential
There are several benefits to the system – and labour savings is only one of them. Another major benefit is that the cutting accuracy is very high. “When cutting by hand, the variation in weight is between 10%–15%, but with the machine we see an absolute maximum in cutting variation of 3%. This represents a huge value to us,” comments Walter. There are numerous other benefits, too, he says, including less need for meat storage as the result of quicker run-time, better hygiene, higher productivity and a uniform look and presentation to the final product.
MasterCarnes started out in the 1950s as a meat buyer and distributor. Later the company branched out to supplying portioned, boneless meat. Today the company is a pioneer in food service to Brazilian restaurants, wholesalers, supermarkets, hotels and industrial kitchens. MasterCarnes has four plants in southern Brazil, from where it supplies approximately 1,000 tons of meat—hamburgers, meatballs, sausages and portioned beefsteaks—per month.