Custom Equipment Aids Processors

October 1, 2004
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Custom Equipment Aids Processors

Freezing Machines Inc.-Beef Products Inc. series of pumps and grinders are designed and built by a meat processor with sanitation, strength, and durability in mind.
When it comes to a harsh processing environment, meat plants top the list. Pumps and grinders, in particular, must continuously yet effectively perform while manufacturing a wide variety of refrigerated and frozen raw and processed materials. Equally important, this equipment must be designed for effective and quick cleaning and sanitation.
Beef Products Inc. (BPI), Dakota Dunes, SD, through its machinery manufacturing wing Freezing Machines Inc. (FMI), introduces its new FMI-BPI Series of pumps and grinders. In celebration of this launch, the company sponsored a two-day media event in mid-September, which included a walk-through of its new 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art, machine assembly/manufacturing facility in South Sioux City, NE, featuring South pumps, grinders, and other innovative process systems. This facility is located adjacent to BPI’s newest and largest lean beef trimmings plant.
Some may ask why BPI, a leading processor of boneless beef trimmings, would get involved in the meat processing machinery business. The reason is simple, relays Eldon Roth, BPI founder and president.
“We needed high-volume grinders and pumps that were dependable, sanitary, and built to last —so we developed our own,” he explains.

Features of its pumps and grinders include:
• Innovative design
• Superior performance
• Designed for sanitation —featuring CIP (clean in place) technology
• Fully automated and operator friendly
• All-stainless construction for maximum hygiene
• Built and developed by a meat processor for meat processors
Pioneering spirit
To this last point, BPI is no stranger to machinery design. In fact, it has been successful during its 23-year history in large part by designing its own equipment for its own unique processes. And Roth’s technology and equipment-designing skills, in particular, are widely praised by his associates. Although he doesn’t have a college degree, he possesses something far more valuable when it comes to designing superior machinery.
“We have an old saying: ‘We know how to do things…because we do things,’” he said during a previous interview. “And we’ve been doing things a long time.”
Following high school graduation, Roth did clean-up work at an ice cream plant for four years. During this time he learned a lot about machinery because he had to take it apart and put it back together again. Next, he became educated (once again…by hands-on experience) in refrigeration technology.  Today, BPI designs or modifies most of the machinery and systems used in its four plants located in South Sioux City, NE; Finney County, KS; Waterloo, IA; and Amarillo, TX..
“We design our own equipment [and parts] from sanitary pipe fittings to sanitary pumps to centrifuges to our roller-press freezer to frozen block grinders and more,” Roth said. Almost every piece of equipment BPI operates in its newest plant in South Sioux City, NE, has some BPI fingerprints on it —machinery is customized to meet BPI’s needs.
New venture
Today, the new FMI-BPI machinery is built or assembled at its South Sioux City assembly plant, which includes a new machine shop. It has created customized equipment solutions for selected users of its BPI® Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings. To date, the company has supplied 28 grinders and more than 100 custom pumps to its customers.
The FMI-BPI machinery assembly plant both allows BPI to design and build the most durable, reliable stainless steel equipment for sanitary operations, Roth says, and permits any necessary machinery repairs to be done away from the processing-plant floor. In fact, most equipment from its processing plant next door can now be moved into the assembly shop area for repairs. “We believe in the non-maintenance of machinery — the overbuilding of machinery so you don’t need [so much] maintenance,” Roth says.
Moreover, the company works to continuously improve its equipment to further boost reliability and to maximize food safety.
In addition to its new equipment-assembly facility, BPI boasts state-of-the-art monitoring and control capabilities that allow key personnel to observe and troubleshoot any piece of equipment, from any plant, from any location company-wide.
Features galore
The all-stainless pumps feature the largest bearings possible to reduce bearing failures, robust shafts and fasteners to decrease shaft failures, and many other technology improvements designed to maximize processing uptime, the company relays. Machined radius corners and spline on the shafts will optimize runouts. BPI team members design the grinders to work with the specific foods to be processed, under the specific processing conditions, and to interface properly with any conveyors, metal detectors, and/or other equipment that might be present.
Equipment is available through either a lease or purchase option. Moreover, it comes with an expert installation team that can also set up monitoring and control capabilities. In addition, under BPI’s equipment-leasing option, any spare parts are covered.
For the ultimate in service, the team can connect the equipment to BPI’s central control system and offer monitoring and control as a value-added service. If anything goes amiss, BPI can then notify the customer. NP

BPI Technology Inc., phone (605) 217-8000, fax (605) 217-8001, or visit www.beefproducts.com
Kathie Canning, managing editor for Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, contributed to this report.
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