With Meyn’s auto system, Gold Kist’s Douglas, GA facility has improved the quality and reduced the labor in its rehang operations.
Gold Kist’s Douglas, GA poultry processing facility is massive. It processes 16,800 chickens per hour, and running two lines for 16 hours per day, the facility processes 1.25 million chickens weekly.
Earlier this year the facility looked to address a problem area within its production line. While manually transferring chickens from the picking line to the evisceration line birds were sometimes handled two or three times increasing the possibility of cross contamination and ultimately resulting in slower production times. Another problem with manual rehang systems is that the birds would get damaged while being taken from the chute to the conveyor belt. Damaged ribs and wings are common results of birds being piled atop one another while waiting to be manually transferred.
“The transfer from picking to evisceration was often a bottleneck during production,” explains Frank Jandrane, Gold Kist’s yield manager at the Douglas facility. “There were sanitation and product quality issues but the bottom line is that we were not able to maximize production using a manual line.”
Enter Flowery Branch, GA-based Meyn America. Meyn’s auto rehang system automatically transfers the birds from the picking line to the evisceration line.
After a pre-cut is made in the joint of the hock, the birds enter the auto rehanger where a series of actions occur to take the birds from the picking line shackle and be automatically placed in an evisceration shackle.
Using sensors that interface with a control panel, the auto transfer machine is synchronized with the overhead conveyors of both the picking and evisceration lines. The use of sensors and the control panel interface allows processors to run the picking and evisceration lines at different speeds if, and when, it is necessary, such as with a line stoppage in the evisceration department. By slowing the picking line down and running the evisceration line at its normal speed, back-up personnel can fill the empty shackles with the birds that were unable to be transferred when the evisceration line stopped.
The bird is then physically removed from the picking shackle by lifting units that place the bird in a transfer unit and eventually into product carriers in the “Carousel”, or heart, of the auto transfer machine.
The product carriers move around the Carousel and deliver the birds to transfer units on the evisceration side of the line where the birds are mechanically placed into the incoming evisceration shackles. A result of going to automatic rehang was Jandrane being able to move 12 people off the line.
“Initially we moved ten people off the line and we’ve subsequently moved two more people off the line,” says Jandrane. “In addition to improved quality and production times we’ve seen enormous labor savings.” Another benefit of the Meyn system is the modem that comes with the machine.
“The modem is fantastic,” adds Jandrane. “Meyn is able to know in real-time how their equipment is performing, so they can spot problem areas often times faster than we can. It has helped minimize downtime and ultimately increase production rates.”
Increased labor savings, reduced incidences of cross contamination, and remote support. With these abundances of advantages, Meyn has revolutionized the rehanging process. NP
Check out the November 2019 issue of The National Provisioner, featuring our cover story on FoodMaven's mission to minimize food waste in the supply chain, the 2020 Consumer Trends Report, and much more.