Tyson Foods Europe secures future growth

New strip cutting line enables maximum yield and quality

Tyson Oosterwolde

From its location in Oosterwolde, the Netherlands, Tyson Foods Europe serves its European retail and Quick-Service Restaurants (QSR) customers. In 2019, the company decided to add chicken strips to its product portfolio. This decision meant upgrading its plant with a brand new cutting line.

Reaching manual cutting standards

When they decided to invest in a cutting line, Tyson Foods Europe faced the challenge of having to reach the strict quality standards of a manual cutting line. Federico Carro Lazarini, Sr. Manager Technical Development, explains: “Our factory in Thailand produces strips in a manual cutting process. They set their standards very high and gave us the challenge to reach their strict quality specifications in an automated line. From the start of this project, we knew how difficult it would be to replicate this manual cut. That’s why we wanted to work with a company that really knows the process and could advise us on how best to build up this line.”

Reaching maximum results

Geovani da Silva Senior Manager in the Engineering and Maintenance Department adds: “When we started talking with Marel, they gave us the insights we needed. They showed us how we could maximize the use of our raw material and how to achieve the best yields and high quality products.” After taking some time to decide on the best line set-up, it was an easy decision to move forward together with Marel. Da Silva: “Marel understands the process and knows the possibilities. From the start, we had a firm belief that Marel could live up to our high expectations.”

I Cut 122 Strip Cutting

Optimizing the line as one team

The strip-cut line, consisting of a SensorX, a SmartSplitter and an I-Cut 122, has been running for eight months, but things didn’t go without some initial hiccups. Lazarini: “Marel showed that they had the best full-line solution, but for it to meet our standards, the line needed to be adjusted to our specific process and working conditions. The chicken fillets we use are high quality but virtually uncalibrated. This gave some initial issues. We didn’t reach the quality level and yield we wanted.” Da Silva explains how they turned this around: “A dedicated team of Marel specialists worked with us to optimize the line. By playing with the parameters, fine-tuning the line and updating the Innova software, the line now runs better than expected.” Lazarini adds: “It is unbelievable how much we’ve improved our process, quality and yield. We are very happy with the results”

Getting ready for the future

Reaching optimum line performance had to meet a strict deadline, an important quality audit to get the products approved for one of Tyson Europe’s key customers. Lazarini: “We were working towards this crucial deadline when the line had to run perfectly. We had complete confidence in Marel and in reaching a positive result. Now that we have successfully passed the audit, we are ready to increase our production volumes.” Da Silva: “We are planning to expand our plant significantly in the coming years. This is how we can be the partner for future growth, which our customers need. Just as Marel can be that partner for us.”

It is unbelievable how much we’ve improved our process, quality and yield.

Left to right: Ger Stans (Marel), Eric de Geest (Marel), Geovani da Silva (Tyson) and Federico Carro Lazarini (Tyson)

About Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods, Inc. is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. The location in Oosterwolde, the Netherlands employs some 250 people and produces a variety of poultry convenience products, which are distributed to European Quick-Service Restaurants and retailers.

Company website: tysonfoods.com

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