Cut-up technology for Asian tastes

New ACM-NT modules meet all requirements to serve specific markets

ACM NT Second Joint Wing Cutting2

The Asian market for chicken parts has some very specific requirements. These result from traditional manual cuts usually done by skilled labor. Manual cut-up is, however, no longer an option given today’s production volumes and the shortage of people. In its new ACM-NT modules, the Neck Cutter HY and the Second Joint Wing Cutter HPP, Marel has really succeeded in mimicking the hand/knife movements demanded by these cuts.

Second Joint Wing Cutter HPP cuts consistently

In Chinese and Asian markets, the second wing joint (also known as wing flat, center wing or wingette) is a top-quality end product with a much higher value than breast meat. For a perfect second joint wing cut, it is crucial to keep closed the tip of the skin between the first and second joints. This gives the right product appearance and the highest yield. The fully anatomic cut should respect Chinese tradition, with superb skin coverage, intact epidermis and no cartilage damage.

Meeting the requirements

As the second joint is a very complex structure with irregularly shaped bones, a simple straight cut will not give the required result. Automated cutting should involve a series of precise and consistent movements. Paul Arnts, Poultry Process Technologist for Marel says, “To ensure that the right amount of skin is harvested along with the second joint, our new Second Joint Wing Cutter HPP features a dedicated pre-incision blade. It can equal a skilled manual cut to give excellent presentation and a very high yield.”

Mimicking the perfect Chinese wing cut.

‘Catching’ the bone joint

Each wing entering the module is immediately ‘caught’ by its own dedicated ‘active transporting unit’ that moves the wing towards the blade holder. The wing joint is pushed into its optimal position and the module ‘feels’ automatically where the bone joint is located. The Second Joint Wing Cutter HPP is not sensitive to variations in weight or shape. The static knife makes a consistent anatomic cut precisely at the right position of the joint.

Difference in value

Paul Arnts continues, “By adding that extra piece of skin to the second joint, you actually take it away from the first joint. Given the high value of the second wing joint, first joints with little skin left on are acceptable to the Asian markets. In other parts of the world, however, they would be rejected. For those markets, the basic Second Joint Wing Cutter HPP without pre-incision will cut high-quality anatomical second and first wing joints.

Acm NT Neck Cutter HY Machine

Neck Cutter HY cuts long necks cleanly

In Chinese and Asian markets the chicken neck is a high-value product. It is eaten in many different ways, on a skewer, as a snack, as street food, or as part of a dish. When cutting up a chicken carcass, attention should be paid to the careful harvesting of the whole neck. It should be as long as possible, but without damage to valuable pieces of breast skin and meat, and without breast contamination from crop skin or crop fat.


In the evisceration process, chicken necks are cracked, trachea and esophagus having already been removed. In the cut-up department, the process is completed by harvesting the neck as a consumer product. The Marel Neck Cutter HY achieves optimal neck yield and enhances breast skin quality. It can even benefit wing cutting quality. And what is more, it does all this while saving labor. There’s no longer any need for an additional worker to remove manually any residual crop skin or crop fat in the downstream breast deboning line.

Effective cutting

Product guides position the necks before they enter the cutting unit and bend away the wings to prevent them from being cut. Thanks to an ingenuous pulling transport mechanism, the Neck Cutter HY cuts the neck extremely effectively, carefully and tidily at exactly the right location to make it as long as possible. The module uses a non-aggressive, spring-loaded chain that adapts to every weight and size. Rotating blades then sever the neck from the product.

Neck length and breast skin

All the above Marel technologies give an additional 30mm [1.2“] neck length. However, length is not everything. The neck cutter has to find a compromise between a long neck cut - up to the scapula bone - and breast skin quality. The Marel Neck Cutter HY gives processors the opportunity of adjusting settings to their individual preferences.


The optimum harvesting of chicken necks for human consumption.


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