Haukur Hafsteinsson, embedded software engineer at Marel, explains how the road to making food proce..
Lilydale - Canada
19 Feb 2009
Marel Graders a Standard at Lilydale
Lilydale, a long-time Marel customer and one of the largest poultry processors in Canada, boosts grading operations with MPS production software.
Probably best known for the world’s largest mall, the city of Edmonton, Canada, plays host to a thriving food processing industry as well. Lilydale, Canada’s largest poultry processor, has operated out of Edmonton since the early 1940s.
When this leading poultry provider made the corporate decision to standardize its operation, it chose Marel graders as its standard grading equipment. “We moved everything over to Marel. We even converted some older graders that we had from other companies over to Marel technology as well,” explains Ron Patterson, Vice-President of Production and Operations. Lilydale now runs 18 Marel grading systems in its plants throughout Canada.
Two of Lilydale’s plants in Edmonton use Marel grading systems to grade caps, breasts, leg meat and other products. “We’ve been working with Marel graders for over a decade and in the last three years we’ve installed 8 graders. We have some very tight size ranges and specs we need to meet for our customers, especially on our further processing side,” says Patterson. “The graders give us both the accuracy and the flexibility we need. We are very satisfied with the results we are getting from the Marel equipment.”
Constructed from only the most durable materials, Marel graders are designed to withstand even the harshest wash-down conditions. The graders are accurate and flexible and grade the product according to a selected grader program. The product can, for example, be graded simply by weight or it can be intelligently graded into batches with minimum overweight. “The graders have a lot of capacity and we are grading a massive volume on them,” says Steve Fedick, Plant Manager. “The graders are fantastic and do a great job for us here at Lilydale.” Control is provided though an easy-to-operate M3000 graphical color interface, which is touch-sensitive, user-friendly and water resistant.”
Robin Jean, Plant Manager at the Calgary plant has been involved with the grading systems on a daily basis. “We require absolute reliability and accuracy in our grading and I am very pleased with the Marel graders,” says Jean. “They give us exactly what we need and since the system is fairly easy to use it saves us a lot of labour.”
MPS Software – better production information
“Recently we did an upgrade on all of the graders and installed the MPS production software on all units. We’ve found the reports and documents we can now get from the systems very useful,” says Patterson. “The installation and conversion of the software went very smoothly and it has run well from the start."
Linking the M3000 grader control unit to a PC computer using Marel MPS software enables systems to be monitored and adjusted from any remote access point, including the Internet. Total control of raw material flow into production per production line, yield monitoring of each section, and the information on total amount of completed and packed product are just some of the many useful production reports provided by the system.
“While the machines are always accurate, the MPS software gives us better access to the data,” says Jean. “The reports are a great advantage in giving us better overview. In addition, it is easier to change the requirements with the MPS. Moving from, lets say, 525 kilo bins to 200 kilo bins is now very easy.”
“Installing the system greatly increased efficiency,” says Fedick. “Once we installed the system and people realized how it made their work easier they took to it immediately. With the new production software our people get better information about drops. They became more efficient when they were able to see precisely what we dropped and how we dropped it.”
No one can afford downtime
“With the volume of chicken we produce and the time frame we are working with — basically into the plant today and on the consumer shelf tomorrow — we cannot afford to have any downtime at the plants,” says Patterson. “We’ve received fast and efficient support and service from Marel and that type of reliability is a big part of why we chose to go with Marel and why we’ve stuck with it.”
Plant manager Steve Fedick agrees on the quality of Marel’s services. “There is only one thing to be said about the service and that is that the service is great. If we need anything the Marel Sales Manager, Kirk MacKenzie is always available. We don’t have to wait for a response.”
“The co-operation with Marel has been excellent. With any of the projects we’ve undertaken or even considered down the road, the support we’ve got, not only from the local service people but also through the head office, has been outstanding,” concludes Patterson.
“We are very satisfied with the results we are getting from the Marel equipment.”
- Ron Patterson, Vice President of Production and Operations.
“The graders are fantastic and do a great job for us here at Lilydale."
- Steve Fedick, Plant Manager.
Visit Lilydale at www.lilydale.com