Zoned for Efficiency
CATTELI BROTHERS COLLINGSWOOD
The daily shift begins with USDA inspection of premises and review of pre-operational sanitation and hazard analysis critical control point procedures and checkpoints. Workers unload truckloads of veal and lamb carcasses, chilled 48 hours prior to fabrication. Processing begins after grade segregation and production staging. When cuts reach the packaging, boxing, labeling, and metal-detection steps, they have converted from carcass form by air saws and hand boning, among other techniques. Quality assurance technicians monitor products to validate custom specifications before shipment to warehouse storage for further assurance of proper chill-and-temperature levels.
“Once pallets are loaded onto trucks, off we go to service our customers,” Joe Rucco, vice president of operations, says. “But our work is still not done. We place temperature-control devices on our trucks so we can monitor for proper temperature to assure our customers total freshness.”
Poultry Business Rebirth
COOPER FARMS COOKED MEATS
Features include the following:
•Total separation of raw production and cooked, ready-to-eat areas
•Separate drain systems and the ability to sanitize individual drains
•Pasteurization system for added food-safety assurance •Radio frequency collection of real-time data for process, yield, and quality tracking
•Dedicated staff with the right attitude to embrace change, which is necessary to meet changing customer expectations
“We have always sought ideas of our employees about what they wanted in a plant design,” notes Vaughn Blum, general manager. “When we built a new slaughter hall in the late nineties, for example, employees wanted more space and more light. And that’s what we gave them.”
The integrated plant’s layout links beef processing, livestock pens, rendering, hides, and a wastewater facility that enables the recovery of methane gas as boiler fuel. Laboratories operate in a new technical services center and a nearby learning center offers education programs for children and adults.
JUNIATA PACKING CO.
Juniata Packing comprises a manufacturing and packaging plant and another dedicated to sliced luncheon meats.
The manufacturing facility bears no resemblance to its 1937 origin, thanks to upgrades, expansions, and remodeling over the years at a cost of more than $8 million. Food safety is the guiding force behind the design throughout. Walls, incorporating “Arcoplast” material, inhibit bacteria harborages. Ready-to-eat packaging teams operate in a separate location from raw meat production.
This $3.5-billion firm with 6,500 employees companywide finds itself in a new ownership arrangement for the second time since its 1992 partnership purchase by John Miller and Tim Klein. Both mavericks bring deep industry ties and experience to their position, which now affiliates them with U.S. Premium Beef — their new business partner since this past year’s completed transaction. Their two processing plants in Kansas at Dodge City and Liberal handle more than 15,000 head of cattle daily.
ODOM’S TENNESSEE PRIDE, LITTLE ROCK
“Our philosophy is to lead the industry with technology to meet the needs of our customers and all governmental regulations,” Jim McConnell, plant manager, explains. “That means we strive to be one step ahead of any future issues to protect our people, customers, and the positive reputation of our products. We work closely with all organizations including our competition to improve the meat business, especially concerning food safety and humane treatment of our livestock and to protect the safety of our associates.”
Oakland Foods LLC
“The plant supports our dedication to the foodservice industry with a focus on food safety while also maintaining production flexibility and efficiency,” explains Daniel Milovanovic, general manager, who was a member of the scouting party that found the “dream” plant to address overcapacity issues. “The plant and equipment are designed to provide flexibility of operations enabling us to produce numerous SKUs while still providing the cost benefits associated with production efficiencies.”
PREMIUM STANDARD FARMS-CLINTON
“We have invested both money and energy to ensure that product flow, employee flow, and facility integrity are maximized,” Null explains. “We segregated employee welfare facilities, in including parking lots, entrances, locker rooms, and cafeterias to maximize food safety by eliminating co-mingling of slaughter and further-processing employees.”
On the equipment side, Nell reports investment in equipment washes, room sanitizers, clean-in-place systems, and air-handling equipment.
“We also studied the product flows and relocated entire operations to improve our cycle times and efficiencies,” Null adds. “Many areas of our plant were constructed in the past three years, including our cut floor, ready-to-eat areas, and distribution department. Having a consistent supply of high-quality raw material from our integrated farms helps us maximize the return on these investments.”
SMITHFIELD PACKING TAR HEEL
TYSON FRESH MEATS INC.
“The engineering group did a fantastic job designing the plant,” notes Ray Hankes, plant manager. “We took the best equipment from around the world and married it into well designed integrated systems. Our ability to randomly run various SKUs of the same footprint through the weigh-price labelers allows us to be very efficient and our product moves through the system rapidly. We have a diverse team (fourteen different languages) that has come together as a focused production unit to successfully meet our customers’ needs.”