New filleting department at Avisabor

12 Dec 2016

Avisabor SA, PortugalFrom left to right: Marco Solleveld (Marel Poultry Area Sales Manager) and Vitor Pinho (General Manager Avisabor)

After reconstruction of the entire processing plant in 2015, capacity at the Portuguese processor Avisabor increased to 12,000 bph (200 bpm). It was time to bring the filleting department in line with the process speed of the rest of the equipment. With the integration of two Stork AMF systems and a SensorX bone detection solution, breast cap deboning and bone detection have now become much easier and faster.

Vitor Pinho, General Manager of the processing plant, says: “We felt higher yields were possible from our product input. We were looking for an integrated deboning and filleting solution, which could fulfil our needs. Marel Poultry accepted the challenge and they really succeeded in outperforming our expectations.”


Avisabor SA, Portugal

First of all, the logistics of the filleting department have to be perfect. Product should move smoothly between the different work stations in the filleting lines with minimal interruption and with minimal human intervention. The SystemFlex logistic solutions at Avisabor do this perfectly, while at the same time taking good care of meat integrity and ensuring food safety.
Thanks to the specific belt material used, fillets do not lose meat and therefore weight when detached.

Smart grading with Gauss

From the breast cap cut-up line, products proceed to the Marel SmartLine Grader. This grader splits the product flow into two weight classes. By making flexible use of the overlap region in the Gauss curve, the SmartLine Grader is able to divide incoming product into two equal volumes of heavy and light fillets. This is a smart way of generating the highest possible yield from the fillets, which can only be achieved with this particular combination of Marel equipment and Innova software.
A single filleting line without intelligence would never match this performance.


Both AMF-BX FlexControl breast cap deboning lines at Avisabor receive the same amount of fillets and are equipped with the same modules. They therefore produce the same products, one line delivering smaller fillets and the second line heavier ones.

Avisabor has chosen to fully equip both Stork AMF-BX systems with modules for deskinning, wishbone removal, fillet halving, fillet separation, tendon cutting, tenderloin separation and breast tendon harvesting. In this way, the filleting department is able to handle 14,400 fillets per hour. Actual volumes are, of course, determined by the previous processes.

Bone detection

After deboning, fillets pass a manual trimming area to end up in the Marel SensorX SmartSort. Equipped with the SmartSort discharge unit, this SensorX combines X-ray bone detection and X-ray grading in one compact solution, doing away with the need for a separate weighing unit. Based on weight, SmartSort gently diverts calibrated products into a bulk box. This is Avisabor’s end product: bulk batches of calibrated, bone-free, fat-free fillets, to be packed elsewhere.

Challenging process

Avisabor’s state-of-the-art filleting department is a very challenging process in which many components have to work together smoothly. Vitor Pinho comments, “After the implementation of our new filleting department, we immediately noticed huge improvements in filleting performance, compared to what we were used to. We are very pleased with this rise in yield.”

“We are very satisfied with the way Marel Poultry supported us during the changes to our filleting department. That’s why we’re looking forward to continuing the cooperation in the future,” concludes Vitor Pinho.

Avisabor and Lusiaves

The processing plant Avisabor (former Hilário, Santos & Filhos) is located in the town of Estarreja, on the west coast of Portugal, 40 km (25 m) south of Porto. It was founded in 1980 to slaughter, produce and sell poultry products. In 2006 Hilário became part of the Lusiaves Group and since then it operates under the name of Avisabor. The company, with a strong expansion strategy, redid the factory lay-out in 2015, enabling a significant increase in processing capacity and ensuring its future growth.

The Lusiaves Group currently has 2500 employees. It is the leading Portuguese agricultural company, vertically organized and present throughout the poultry production chain, namely in corn production, animal feed, incubation of eggs and production of chicks, production of chickens, free-range chickens and turkeys, poultry processing, storage as well as sale and recovery of sub/products.

Avisabor SA, Portugal