New Solutions for Automating Feet Processing

The launch of the Selective Hock Ejector is opening up new markets, maximizing yield and allowing processors to be more flexible with headcount.

Feet processing is a manual business, with several operators required to manage grading and processing line legal requirements. The recently updated QS Quality Scheme for Food states that processors who are QS certified will require a smart camera solution installed in processing lines by 1st January 2018, to grade and log foot pad lesions on broilers.

Meyn already offers a solution for foot pad grading in the form of the Footpad Inspection System (FIS), which is a commonly accepted solution to comply with animal welfare legislation. Using the FIS as a platform, the new Selective Hock Ejector allows processors to automatically direct product grades into the correct processing line, according to the classification they have been assigned by FIS software.

The Selective Hock Ejector is a 32 unit 180° machine that identifies individual hocks, for removal from or retention in the shackle. Processors can separate human grade from non-human grade product at the touch of a button.

In addition, the Selective Hock Ejector can be linked to a product sensor located after the veterinarian inspection platform in evisceration. If a product is removed by the veterinarian, the corresponding hocks can also be removed. The result is a closed loop quality control system.

Maximize yield
by removing the exact product, per hock (right, left or both) – where previously several pairs had to be removed to ensure product quality.

Open up new revenue streams
for products that were previously directed to offal, but which are now directed to human consumption processing lines.

Reduce the number of operators, freeing up operators to be re-directed into other processing areas. All of the benefits above are complemented by grading data and supplier performance data, shown in easy to use dashboards and reports.