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Hygienically designed deboning system
05 Sep 2008
Table boning has been replaced by the newer and more efficient pace boning concept at Swedish Meats in Kristianstad. The new lines, that feature USDA approved hygienic design, has delivered significant capacity increases in terms of area unit and per man.
"Pace boning requires far less space than table boning. The upgrade has given us 40% more work stations on the same area, and if we installed an extra double line, we could increase capacity by a further 50%. We are able to make better use of the space we have, plus we’ve achieved a smoother production flow. Not least in packing, where there could be too many unproductive periods, since the use of single-man agreements makes it impossible to create continuous product intake," says Kim Lyngby Larsen, work-study manager for the giant Swedish meat processing group.
Production Manager Kenneth Persson reports that the productivity of individual boners has also risen. "Firstly, boning is faster and more efficient when done on a line and the boners each has a specialized function. Secondly, integration of shoulder blade extractors, wizard-knives for trimming and derinding machine have increased productivity considerably," he says and points out that such machinery is also an investment in the working environment, as deboning puts a lot of strain on wrists and extracting the shoulder blade puts strain on the shoulders and underarm.
The best of both worlds
"Production has become extremely flexible, and to supplement the pace boning lines, we decided to keep one line with one-man tables. This makes for further processing of products if customers have special requirements, and in busy periods with lots of products in the cold store it functions as a buffer station on which extra men can be deployed to do the same work as on the pace boning lines. Thanks to successful integration of new and existing, the products can be transported directly from the new lines to one-man tables," Persson says.
The rapid throughput time per product on the pace boning lines contributes to greater food safety, as the deboned products can quickly be returned to the cold store. "The quality of our fore-ends has generally become even better. In addition to faster throughput, we get greater uniform quality. The likelihood of fore-ends being as uniform as possible is much increased when each deboner works in exactly the same way every time. Our online food safety checks is now much more efficient, as the controller can more easily identify where any errors in the process are occurring, which means we can react instantly," Persson says.
New concept in Sweden
Pace boning is relatively new in Sweden, and Swedish Meats is currently the only company to have introduced it. Kim Lyngby Larsen says that it has been easy to introduce into their production, as they already used the tray system. "One of our criteria to Carnitech was the re-use of existing materials as much as possible, including conveyors. This succeeded and we are fully satisfied with the functional solution we invested in and the collaboration we have enjoyed with Carnitech," he says.
Since 2003, Carnitech has achieved USDA-approval of two plastic module conveyors. The number of horizontal surfaces has been reduced to a minimum, new plastic-coated steel wear rail has been developed, plus a very open idle end, and integration of new production technology has made a special, easy-to-clean return belt support possible. "Considerations of hygiene is a natural constituent of our design strategy, the result of which are details that make our conveyors extremely easy to clean. Each conveyor is produced in total compliance with the specifications from the USDA authority," says Svend Nielsen, Divisional manager at Carnitech.