20 Minutes to Process and Pack a Full Truckload of Birds? No Problem
As a poultry processor, you face the daily challenge of ensuring your product is high in quality, but is also processed quickly. This certainly isn’t easy. After all, your customers will often have different requirements for the finished product, not to mention for things like the size and density of bone fragments.
This was exactly the situation Norway-based Nortura found itself in. Norway’s largest supplier of meat and eggs has a number of different customers, with each one having its own definition of what a suitably bone-free product looks like.
A 50% rejection rate
There is no question that these requirements had caused Nortura problems in the past. In fact, the process engineer on site was quick to recall days when 50% of the chicken fillets had to be rejected in order to achieve a suitably bone-free product. That’s a lot of wasted time and produce.
Thankfully, the company had the wisdom to change their process for the better. Rather than taking a chance by continuing to rely on standard X-ray detection equipment, Nortura invested in three dual energy X-ray inspection systems. “But what is the difference”, I hear you ask. Quite simply, the dual energy system uses two different types of energy to create two images of the product – ultimately ensuring the detection of low-density contaminants such as bone fragments is twice as likely.
The inspection of breast fillets may be relatively straightforward, but the varying muscle and fat composition of deboned thighs can be a real challenge for any poultry processor. Thankfully, dual energy inspection is up to the challenge and ensures much of the criteria set out by Nortura’s customers is not only met, but surpassed.
Detection at speed
This all sounds great, but with such detailed inspection taking place, how quickly can a full truckload of birds really be processed? Just 20 minutes, believe it or not. The 25m per minute belt speed combines with the capacity of the X-ray inspection system to process and pack a bone-free product with ease.
These advances in X-ray automation are not only driven by consumer and retailer demand, but by a need for the poultry processing industry itself to remain competitive amidst challenging times. In the words of our friend the process engineer, “reliable X-ray detection at speed has become essential”.
To find out more about how you can optimise your process, download our new white paper, The Poultry Processing Blueprint