Two markets at a time

Two FHF-XBs give Las Camelias (Argentina) total flexibility


Las Camelias, a major poultry production company in Argentina, was in need of an upgrade for its deboning process, which had to produce two different kinds of products. Marel supplied the perfect solution, by installing two Front Half Filleting lines, one for export product and one for a product for the domestic market.

This new dual setup, with a capacity of 2 x 4,500 bph, is able to produce fillets for both markets, each with their own specific presentational requirements. It is striking to see the different kind of fillets coming out of the two FHFs: on one line barely trimmed for the home market, on the other line exactly trimmed for export.

Stay separate

In the distribution line, the decision is made on which weights are to be allocated to the front half filleting lines. Two cutup lines, which are cutting two specific weight ranges, unload their front halves on two different conveyors to feed either one of the FHFs.

The two streams of front halves of different weights stay separate all the time while being conveyed on SystemFlex belts – which are also supplied by Marel Poultry.

Two weight ranges

Wingless front halves are manually loaded onto the overhead conveyor which then takes them through the system’s modules where they are processed. The two FHFs always debone two weight ranges simultaneously. Each FHF line is adjusted specifically to its own assigned weight range, which optimizes yield.

Export and domestic

Raúl Marso, president of Las Camelias, says, “For us, it’s important to have the flexibility to produce what we need at any given moment. We can have one line producing fillets for export and the other for our home market, or we can have both FHF lines producing the same types of fillets when demand is high.”

The domestic market requires more weight around the fillet, such as back meat, scapula meat and rind fat, while the export customers want a fillet trimmed to precise specifications. Switching from one regime to the other is quick and easy. Together, the two systems ensure optimum flexibility.

Handling divergence and speed

Marel FHF-XB can handle a wide spread of bird weights in each flock, which suits the heterogeneous Argentinian situation perfectly. At the same time, the high capacity of two FHF-XBs working together has exceeded expectations, as there are no other options available which can cope with 9000 products per hour.


“It’s amazing what the Marel FHF systems can do. Normally we would need quite some people to trim fillets to our specifications. But now we have the FHF systems installed, we need only adjust their settings to get exactly the specific fillet products we require. The FHFs do it all by themselves.” continues Raúl Marso.

“What is more, the fillets are high-quality end products with minimal bone contents. Checking them is now much less demanding.” At the end of the filleting process, breast fillet is once again taken away by SystemFlex conveyors with minimal inspection needed.

Yield and quality up

“The people from Marel Poultry really rose to the challenge. We told them our problem, and, by creatively combining systems and processes, they found a solution. By splitting the weight curve in two and with the precise setting of the equipment, we could achieve what we wanted,” says Raúl Marso. “We have been very happy to see yields and quality go up and kilograms per man hour increase.”

About Las Camelias

Las Camelias SA is a poultry company with more than 75 years of experience. It started up in 1936 in San José, in the Entre Rios region, the heart of Argentinian poultry production. Today, Las Camelias S.A. is in the hands of the founding family’s third generation.

It is a vertically integrated company, comprising grandparent stock farms, broiler breeding farms, hatchery plant and feed mill. Production capacity at Las Camelias is 13,500 bph (225 bpm). Half of the products are cut up, the other half is sold as whole products.

Las Camelias produces for the internal Argentinian market as well as for export markets. It exports about 60% of its total production to various markets such as Far and the Middle East, Africa, EU countries, Chile, Brazil and the Caribbean.

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