Haukur Hafsteinsson, embedded software engineer at Marel, explains how the road to making food proce..
Robot with a Knife nominated
12 Sep 2017
Match fillets to orders
Each chicken processor will warmly welcome an automatic in-line system allowing him to match customer orders for fixed-weight breast fillet retail packs to fillet coming off his deboning line.
If such an operation succeeds hour after hour, consistently accurately and with minimum give-away, it would help him considerably match available breast fillets to customers orders. By using Innova software to link its RoboBatcher and I-Cut technologies, Marel Poultry can offer just such a system, nicknamed as “a Robot with a Knife”.
Fixed-weight retail packs
RoboBatcher batches breast fillet onto fixed weight retail trays or into fixed weight bulk packs. It can handle up to three recipes or customer orders simultaneously. The Marel I-Cut 122 portion cutter will cut fillet to a pre-set weight, dimension or both. It can cut fillet at various angles to give a natural looking cut end product.
By linking the two technologies, I-Cut 122, the Knife, receives its instructions on what size to cut each fillet from RoboBatcher, the Robot. As each fillet enters the I-Cut 122, it is scanned and its weight assessed. This information is passed to RoboBatcher which will then decide whether the fillet can pass directly into one of its recipes or whether it needs to be trimmed to fit. This technique makes the very best use of incoming fillet, at the same time keeping give-away to an absolute minimum. Not all fillets will need to be trimmed. The technique is also particularly suited to the challenge, faced by today’s processors, of accommodating breast fillet from ever heavier birds into the lighter fixed-weight retail packs demanded by the consumer.
Marel’s “Robot with a Knife” could just as easily be called “the Matchmaker”. The system ensures that breast fillets from the deboning line, whose size and weight will vary, are always matched as accurately as possible to customer orders, allowing processors to fulfil these orders efficiently and with minimal give-away.