The twin system consists of two Template Slicing Machines (TSMs). One of the challenges facing processors is the increase in bird sizes while portion sizes have remained largely the same, and in response to this challenge, Marel developed the Template Slicing Machine, which showcased at the Atlanta Poultry show last year.
The TSM slices uniform portions of chicken breast to pre-defined parameters. The company claims that the resulting portions are naturally shaped and that portion weight is consistent. The system therefore processes meat in two portioning steps before check weighing and assessing the quality of each cut.
This part of the process is carried out by the recently launched Catch Grader, which is installed after each TSM machine. This weigh checker is connected to MPS production software, into which statistical information is given. The manufacturer is therefore able to gather accurate reports on the state of production.
The system is also capable of registration online all production data - an important feature given the current emphasis placed on food safety and traceability. Manufacturers in the EU are preparing for forthcoming legislation in January 2005, which will see food traceability through the supply chain becoming a legal responsibility.
Under the new laws, food producers must be able to identify products by batch, lot or consignment numbers and traceability of the product must be possible at all stages of production, processing and distribution. This means food businesses will have to be able to identify every supplier of food, feed, a food producing animal or any substance incorporated into their food/feed products. Marel claims that the highly integrated system produces a uniform product processed with high yield and minimum labour. According to the company, each TSM machine can perform the work of up to people cutting by hand, thus cutting down on labour cost and wastage.