Increasing production while keeping the footprint small with Marel Multihead Weighers

Increasing production while keeping the footprint small with Marel Multihead Weighers
Marel (South Africa) - When Rainbow Farms, one of the biggest producers of poultry products in South Africa, planned to increase their throughput of frozen poultry products, the choice fell on the newly released Marel Multihead Weigher IQF Poultry.

Rainbow Farms is the largest poultry producer in South-Africa. Over the years the processing plant has equipped their facilities with a range of Marel Stork Poultry Processing equipment, such as portioning machines and compact graders. A massive capital project was approved for the Rustenburg operation not only to increase their production, but also to create diversity and flexibility in this high volume throughput facility. Marel Stork was involved when the plans for the upcoming expansion came on the drawing board.

One of the main challenges in the project was the floor space. The 16t per hour that were being processed at the time were being packed manually and there simply was no space for more manual packing lines to handle the planned increase to 22t per hour. At that point, Marel Stork introduced the newly developed Multihead Weigher IQF Poultry. When they were drawn into the area, they only used an estimated 50% of the original floor space even with the additional 6t of product.

This Multihead Weigher was developed based on many positive user experiences of the Marel Multihead Weigher series. Robust, easy to use and designed for optimum throughput with minimum giveaway, the Marel Multihead Weigher IQF Poultry handles poultry cuts at high capacity and with great accuracy. It is designed for the rapid, accurate batching of frozen poultry products. The unit’s 14 large hoppers, each with a capacity of 9 liters, are specifically constructed to handle the toughness of frozen products, with a high throughput of up to 60 batches/min.

Marel Stork installed six Multihead Weighers, which are now batching 18t of products per hour. The machines mainly create 2kg batches for mixed portion packs at 25 portions per minute at 3t per unit. However, the packed products range from 1.15kg packs to 5kg bags. Even with the 1.15kg bags at 45 bags per minute, the accuracy and give away are still well within the customer’s specifications. The additional spare capacity on each Multihead Weigher, it allows the production to have flexibility in pack sizes, if the need arises. “We have now had the Marel Multihead Weighers for some time and we are very happy with them. They made it easy for us to increase capacity on the same floor space, they are highly accurate, and while easy to operate, we were not only able to decrease labor cost, but also increase volume and make our business more flexible,” says Theo van Strijp, Factory Manager at Rainbow Farms.

Another important part of increasing the capacity are the three new ACM-NT cut-up lines by Marel Stork Poultry Processing. The ACM-NTs were chosen, as they, compared to other suppliers’ equipment, are very accurate, reliable and provide the company with a high level of flexibility.

Each line runs with a different weight range - light, medium and heavy – which provides the best cuts possible, without constant knife adjustments that would interrupt production. From the cut-up lines, the products are transported to the injection system, and from there to the Spiral Freezer systems. Afterwards, the frozen poultry is transported to the Multihead Weighers for batching and packing.

Two Marel Multihead Weighers Fresh Poultry were installed at two locations for batching fresh chicken liver. This has greatly increased the accuracy of the fixed weights. Previously, there were problems with completing the 250g orders. However, now with the automated system the problem was resolved as it can produce 40 – 45 fixed weight batches per minute on 250g tubs.

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