Poultry processors are facing QSR (Quick Service Restaurants) and retail customers asking for high volumes of typical portioned products such as crispy tenders, medallions, strips, nuggets, cubes and more. They can now automate many manual portioning and sorting processes. Marel’s I-Cut 122 has always been able to perform multiple cuts. It is now able to sort different cut products produced in the same integrated process. From a single stream of incoming products, I-Cut 122 TrimSort can make two separate streams of cut products and the trim cut from them. This further reduces giveaway with no need for human intervention.
So far, I-Cut 122, combined with SpeedSort, was able to separate cut products into two conveyor belt streams. Now, the integrated TrimSort functionality and smarter software allow for the distribution of many more combinations of cut product to the two integrated belts. All of this is done in one smart system with a small footprint, without the need for a separate SpeedSort. I-Cut 122 TrimSort can generate various high-value products while accurately splitting the product flow at the highest speeds.
Fillet, offcuts and trim
I-Cut 122 TrimSort can portion a fillet into a smaller fillet, useful cut-offs and trim, while sorting the cut items properly on two conveyor belts.
When a fillet enters the I-Cut with its ‘short edge leading’, a proper cutting angle can create a number of medallions, a smaller fillet and trim. The fillet continues on its way to retail packing by robot. Medallions and trim are accurately separated from the fillet and land safely on the separate lower internal conveyor belt, which takes them to another process.
Using a different fillet infeed and a different cutting angle, I-Cut 122 TrimSort will cut a fillet into a smaller fillet plus a number of strips, which together with trim will be diverted to the lower outfeed belt. The smaller fillet can be used in many QSR products such as a whole muscle meat burger. Portioned strips often end up as QSR whole muscle chicken wraps, chicken salads or ‘crispy tenders’.
Automated trim removal
When customers ask for chicken nuggets, strips or other small bites in QSR restaurants, these are easy to produce with the I-Cut 122 TrimSort. An inner fillet or half fillet is cut precisely several times and at high speed. The super-fast opening and closing belt does a reliably meticulous sorting job. It drops the tip, leaves perfect cubes on the upper belt and drops the tail too. Such a job needs no operators to separate quality products from trim, making the I-Cut 122 TrimSort a labor-saving solution.
I-Cut 122 TrimSort’s ability to cut and sort in so many different ways will handle the majority of portioned fillet products demanded by retail, QSR and catering customers.
I-Cut 122 TrimSort will handle the majority of portioned fillet products demanded by retail, QSR and catering customers.
Marel Product Manager Portioning
How does it work?
Equipped with the latest handling and communication software, I-Cut TrimSort now has additional functionalities, which have not necessitated any mechanical modifications to the machine. One of the software’s main tasks is to keep the collected dataset connected to each product on the belt, allowing the distribution to its best destination. Sensors in the system help the software recognize the ID, weight, position and many more details of products on the belt. Sharing product data through the process allows Marel machines to work together to achieve feedback loops and product-specific distribution.
Feedback loop principle
The communication software in I-Cut 122 TrimSort makes use of the feedback loop principle. The machine sends out sync messages containing product information, which are then added to the existing product dataset. This accompanies product along the conveyor belt. The feedback loop ensures that the machine’s output is used as input for the next operation in the line.
I-Cut’s most important sync message is the target weight for the end product. A weighing unit immediately after the I-Cut adds the real weight to the dataset. This information is sent back to the i-Cut. The feedback loop will cause I-Cut to compare target and actual weights. I-Cut can now adjust its settings to give better and more consistent performance, without the need for any recalibration during the day. ‘Robot with a Knife’ also uses this principle.
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