"Software is not a big monster"

Innova for start-up poultry processors

CK65 Cold Store

Entrepreneurs in emerging markets who start processing poultry at capacities from 500 to 4,000 bph shouldn't be afraid of including software in their plant design. Software is not the 'big monster' that swallows all processes and takes over the control of the entire plant. On the contrary, implementing a first small Innova Food Processing Software module is relatively easy and causes no hassle at all. The most common, simple starting point for such processors is live bird weighing. After that, the software component in the factory can be expanded little by little.

The thought of having to deal with software in a start-up processing plant often scares people. It feels like a mountain to be overcome, although this anxiety lacks factual foundation. Processing software is nothing more than a natural part of the process, only there to support and ease the life of the processor. There's nothing secret or mysterious about it. Innova doesn't influence the process whatsoever, all that it does is registering the production, providing accurate and reliable facts and figures and replacing pen and paper.

palette scale poultry

Step 1 - Live bird weighing

The simple starting point for software integration in a start-up processing plant is to weigh live birds at reception, supported by the Innova Packing module. You can put the flock in crates on the floor scale and after that weigh the empty crates. Now it becomes clear what is the total weight of the incoming flock. This live bird weight may be interesting to compare with the data of the supplying farmers. In this way, it may play a role in the payment of the suppliers.

Weighing Scale Africa Blue

Step 2 – In – out weighing

This is a relatively simple expansion of step 1. In addition to weighing the live birds coming in, you're weighing the finished products - whole birds - going out, on packing scales. By keeping the flock together during the process, you know which flock has been weighed before and which one you’ll have to weigh at the end. It's kind of a simplified flock control. Innova gives you a "total weight-in " for the flock and a "total weight-out".

Now, with everything that happened in between, you’re able to compare the flock weights from the start to those from the very end of the process. Instead of taking down all weights on paper and comparing them manually, the Innova Packing module automatically connects the two weighing moments. By comparing what you've got in and what you've had out, Innova calculates your yield. It's just about whole birds so it's quite a simple process.

Whole Bird Grader

Step 3 – Adding a grader

When a grader comes into the processing line after whole bird dressing, it can be connected to the Innova Grading module. The grading process now gives you already the outgoing weight instead of the packing scales and allows you to make batches of similar weights of whole birds. Then you've got a more accurate overview of what you're sending out. A Compact Grader or SmartLine Grader makes it also possible to send heavy weight birds directly to the packing area and the light weight birds to the cone line for manual cut-up.   

The Innova Packing & Labeling modules enable you to manage other operations on the packing scales such as labeling. On the packing table, the chickens are being bagged or packed in a carton box and weighed with a Marel scale, after which they receive a printed product label. In this way, the appropriate labels are on your products for traceability purposes. 


Africa Dispatch

Step 4 – Inventory and dispatch

If you want to move on to the next step, the Innova Inventory and Final Goods Manager modules will cover you for inventory and dispatch. If you put your finished products into Inventory, you can dispatch them to the customers. Instead of manual paperwork, Innova takes over the customer dispatch. You enter the customer orders in the program and then, guided by Innova, the required cartons or pallets are assigned to the order by scanning their labels with the mobile scanner. They are picked from the cold store, assigned to a shipment, loaded on the truck and then dispatched.

With a relatively small software package of Innova modules, you can cover the entire process, from live bird supply to order picking, packing, labeling and dispatch.
If any further software upgrades are required beyond these steps, Marel can support you with well-balanced expansions. The Innova portfolio holds an elaborate program of modules to intensify control and management functions. Innova PDS, for example, offers many more possibilities, starting with bird counting up to elaborate distribution features.  

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