Customer story

Linden Foods: Monitor, measure, maximize – PAD line boosts production

19 Feb 2009

Ready-to-slice or PAD, prêt a decoupé, products have become an increasingly large part of the meat processing industry in Ireland and the UK, rising to 15 -20% of production in recent years. UK and Irish companies are lowering production costs by adopting new technologies and, as a result, increasing exports.


Production monitoring

Linden Foods Group

Traditionally, yield and productivity at this stage of production has not been as rigorously monitored as in other parts of beef processing. Linden Foods in Northern Ireland has now taken steps to gain better control by installing state-of-the-art Marel Flowlines at their de-boning facility in Dungannon. Another Linden Food Group company, Slaney Foods, will also be implementing the same type of system at their production facility in Co.Wexford, Ireland. Linden Foods produces high quality retail products for UK, Ireland and EU Supermarkets. The company currently processes over 1,400 cattle and 2,500 lambs per week and debone an average of 500 tons per week.

‘What’s not measured is not managed’

Lean Manufacturing

“Lean Manufacturing is a philosophy that Linden Foods have adopted and are keen to implement at any opportunity within its manufacturing process,” explains Rupert West, Group IT manager for Linden Foods.” Lean is focused on getting the right things, to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity to achieve perfect work flow while minimising waste and maintaining flexibility. I feel that the PAD production system we have chosen from Marel will be able to deliver that.”

“The Marel Flowline will also enable us to maximize selection of cuts into highest price products while minimising red meat loss. The registration and software features ensure that correct product specifications are strictly adhered to.”

The Marel MPS software that will be installed into the line measures the overall yield of PAD production as well as yield and throughput efficiency of each operator at the splitting, trimming, skinning and touch-up stations on the PAD line.

“As is continually quoted within our own business ‘What’s not measured is not managed’, and by implementing Marel’s line we believe we can measure each process in our production,” says Mr. West, also stating “We needed a system in place that could measure individual workers’ efficiency and performance and measure individual yield against a standard to maximize red meat yield. The Marel line ensures that operators have real-time information to achieve improved yields and throughput. Only by continually monitoring operators’ efficiency can the line operate at maximum efficiency.”

Improved bottom line

Linden Foods expect to see an improvement in yield of 5 to 8% on PAD yield from primals. The effect of measuring individual operator performance on this high value product is one of the main reasons for the impact on the bottom line along with the improved logistical setup of PAD production.