Fast food chains are particularly important buyers of wing products. They look for top quality, uniform products, precisely what their customers expect from them. As wings can be bruised or damaged, they therefore have to be inspected and downgrades removed. To ensure uniformity, trimming is sometimes necessary. Wing products must then be assembled neatly into standard weight packs.
Challenging “subjective” work
Until now sorting, trimming and packing such products has been laborious manual work. Grading them accurately has been an onerous and challenging task, as quality grading personnel must stay fully focused over longer periods of time. Manual grading is also subjective. One person’s “A” grade is another’s downgrade. What is passed as an “A” grade can also depend on the operative’s mood, the time of day and the quality of the preceding flock. In short, manual grading standards can in practice be very variable.
Automated wing grading
With its unique new Q-Wing system, Marel has brought welcome automation to wing handling. The system ensures supremely accurate, ultra-reliable grading to a totally objective and consistent standard. It also saves skilled labor and provides an excellent logistical solution for packing and reworking wing products.
Q-Wing consists of IRIS vision systems controlled by dedicated Q-Wing software, the necessary conveyor systems for keeping automatically graded wing parts separate, bulk packing stations and a rework area for the possible upgrade of product downgraded by the system. Q-Wing will handle all wing products whether whole wings or individual wing joints cut from up to 15,000 bph.