Customer story

Birtwistle goes automatic

05 Apr 2013

Birtwistles logo

At the beginning of 2012 an extensive search for the right machine led Operations Director, Glenn Eastwood to Marel UK, whose I-Cut 36 Portioner seemed to comprehensively fulfill Birtwistle’s requirements and specification. 

Extensive trials took place prior to purchase. These soon revealed the machine's impressive ability to operate with minimal supervision and at a rate that greatly increased production 

output. The machine has more than met expectations. It operates day and night and has substantially increased production and, of course, better deployed and greatly reduced the cost of labour.

“Before the I-Cut arrived on the scene we had seven employees cutting the meat by hand, but now just two operate the machine. And not only has the installation of the machine meant a release of manpower to be used elsewhere, we have also been able to increase the volume of processed products”, Glenn Eastwood explains.

“The machine's ability and flexibility makes it perfect for our operation. Our orders can quickly change and the I-Cut makes it is easy for us to quickly modify production plans thanks to its easy programming. Furthermore the I-Cut is capable of cutting not just beef steaks, but most of our products like pork belly, pork neck or gammon”, Glenn Eastwood continues.

“A true portion cutter”
The I-Cut 36 is a true portion cutter, with a capacity that enables high throughput for virtually any size of business especially those who may believe that automation is too large an investment.

But as Glenn Eastwood points out, “This is not just a “steak machine” and you don’t need a large pub contract to have the volume to run with this portion cutter. We benefit greatly from the machine’s flexibility, which is a great advantage when responding to changes in orders as often as we do. It significantly enhances our ability to fulfill the company strategy of being completely flexible and capable of reacting immediately to customer’s daily needs as part of our total service vision. Operating it is not something that requires weeks and weeks of training. Our first operator was quickly trained by Marel to handle the machine, and even when we had to switch operators we were up and running after just one day of training.”

About Birtwistle Catering Butchers
Birtwistle Catering Butchers are based in Irlam, near Manchester, and have recently opened in Milton Keynes. Birtwistle Catering Butchers employs 165 people. The company operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week processing meat for some of England’s finest restaurants, football stadiums, ready meal producers, hotel groups and contract caterers, to name but a few.