Protein Problem Solver: Improving poultry cone line operations
Fieldale Farms Corp. provides branded and private-label all-natural whole birds, plus cut-up, boneless/skinless chicken parts and trim to an international customer base. The company has built a reputation for producing quality products by its willingness to adopt the latest state-of-the-art equipment, among other corporate strategies. Fieldale Farms’ Murrayville, Ga., facility is one of the first poultry plants to begin using the YieldScan Rapid Frame Analyzer manufactured by Gainco.
The challenge: improving speed, efficiency in cone line QC
Fieldale Farms’ objective was to enhance worker performance and productivity on its deboning lines to maximize the amount of saleable meat while reducing waste. Carrying out traditional scrape tests on frame carcasses wasn’t meeting the challenge.
Roy McClain, Fieldale Farms’ yield manager stated at the outset of the initiative: “All of our scrape test results are after the fact — and there’s not much we can do after the fact.”
As a production floor QC instrument, YieldScan provides more frequent data and insights for optimizing meat yield. Thanks to proprietary vision technology developed by Georgia Tech Research Institute, it enables real-time, on-the-job monitoring of deboning operations to improve operating efficiencies and drive better product yield.
To gauge YieldScan’s effectiveness, comparative tests were conducted in January 2016 under actual operating conditions at Fieldale’s Murrayville plant, comparing YieldScan’s capabilities versus conventional scrape testing. The results found that:
- YieldScan builds on the traditional scrape test by providing a faster way to deliver relevant information and insights in real time.
- The speed of the YieldScan instrument is much faster than conducting scrape tests. One operator could analyze up to 30 frames in less than five minutes for a single cone line.
- The rapid speed allows an operator to gather a large representative sample at various times during the workday. This provides significantly more trend information, enabling corrective actions to be taken right away.
- There is a 95 percent correlation between the results obtained by the YieldScan Rapid Frame Analyzer and the traditional scrape test.
Fieldale’s workforce found the YieldScan equipment easy to operate. Moreover, the large display monitor makes it possible for to see and track their work performance. “Competition among workers is the key to a good debone yield,” McClain says.
Debone performance implications
The Fieldale Farms test results show YieldScan gives managers access to more frequent and more useful information, which is the key to improving line productivity and increasing overall product yield.
As an example, based on recent market prices for breast meat and tenders vs. MDM, and assuming full capacity on the various cone lines, a 1 percent increase in typical deboning yields through remediation thanks to using the YieldScan QC instrument shifts nearly 350,000 pounds per year to higher-value classification, resulting in approximately $575,000 in additional product revenues per year.
In this example, the equipment payback period (ROI) would be less than two months. NP
To learn more about YieldScan Rapid Frame Analyzer, contact Humberto Hernandez at 877-869-7410 or HumbertoHernandez@gainco.com. YieldScan and the Gainco design are trademarks of Gainco, Inc.