Customer story

Successful large broiler processing at 8” in the US

06 Feb 2015

Case Farms in Dudley (North Carolina, USA) had a simple goal: to process large broilers at higher speeds than they were able to achieve on 6-inch center shackles without experiencing any loss in yield or reduction in quality.

We have been able to get a better yield at higher speeds. The line has surpassed our expectations.
- Brian Hanna, Plant Manager Case Farms in Dudley
Stork Vent Cutter at Case Farms

The solution they chose was a complete Marel Stork Poultry Processing evisceration line from rehanger through final washer, newly developed on an 8-inch center shackle: the Nuova 8”, including a complete, automatic giblet harvesting solution. After nine months of operation, the results of their decision were in. “We have been able to get a better yield at higher speeds,” Plant Manager Brian Hanna said. “The line has surpassed our expectations.”

Of particular attention to the team at Case was the ability to harvest high quality giblet packs or “pluck” as they refer it. “The main reason we chose Marel Stork equipment was the capability Stork has to harvest pluck,” Brian explained. They have been very pleased with the quality and yields that they have achieved with the Nuova 8” system: “One of our customers says we send the best pluck of any of their suppliers,” Hanna noted.

Zero chain stretch with Automatic Tension Control

Every nine months to a year, Case Farms was used to having to change their chain out because of chain stretch. With the addition of ATC (Automatic Tension Control) system in their new 8-inch line, they have been able to eliminate chain stretch. “Here we are after seven months of operation and we have had zero chain stretch,” David Gammon, Maintenance Manager, noted. Reduced chain stretch reduces their cost of operations by eliminating the need to bring in people at the weekend to change chain out and it allows them to keep their timing intact, reducing the need for adjustments.

“I love the Opening machine”

Another favorite piece of equipment is the opening machine (the Stork VO-20 Reference Series). “The opener, in my opinion, is the best piece of equipment on the market,” Hanna said. “It blows the others away. I love that machine.” The Opening machine VO-20 RS prevents damage to the intestines and does not bare the tip of the breast bone. The length of the opening cut can be adjusted quickly and easily during production allowing a precise opening cut to be made irrespective of product weight.

Increased yields, more efficiency

Stork Nuova Eviscerator at Case Farms

Gammon said they have seen no gall staining and no machine damage which has helped them with yield. Case Farms has actually been able to reduce labor while increasing yields. “The line has definitely helped us with yield which means more profit. We are more efficient,” Gammon explained. “And we are achieving a better quality of product – birds or pluck.”

Case Farm has been able to increase their birds per man hour in the front end of the plant by 30 per man hour. They are now running at 100% line efficiency six days per week. “98% efficiency is bad for us,” Hanna laughed.

Innovation through partnership

Case was the first installation of the Nuova 8” system and Hanna admits that created a few challenges. “Marel Stork was with us during the entire time to be sure we solved any problems,” he noted. “Marel Stork learned with us. We did make the right choice,” Hanna said. “For what we do here these are the right pieces of equipment. The line is the perfect fit for us.”

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