For nearly 20 years, Monogram has been helping its customers bring home the bacon — and produce novel snacks, like the industry’s first bacon jerky. It’s clear that bacon is big at Monogram Foods, a food manufacturer providing comanufacturing and production for private label, grocery and foodservice companies throughout the United States. Founded in 2004, Monogram Foods manufactures other top-quality and innovative food products as well, including a full range of meat snacks, appetizers, assembled sandwiches, corn dogs, baked goods and convenience products. The company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, has more than 3,600 team members and operates thirteen manufacturing facilities in seven states.


Monogram brought on Tim Christopherson, a food production veteran who spent 22 years at Smithfield Foods as Vice President of Operations. Christopherson is taking bacon to the next level at Monogram by leading the Bacon Divisions at their state-ofthe-art, ready-to-eat facility in Harlan and ready-to-cook facility in Denison, both in Iowa.

“I’m prioritizing two important, high-level goals,” says Christopherson. “Ensure Monogram offers the highest quality bacon products to our customers and meet our mission to be ‘the growth partner that makes it better.”

While helping customers scale up their businesses, Christopherson must ensure that food safety, customer service and innovation remain top priorities. And that means relying on Provisur for the high-performance, hygiene-focused equipment and wellknown bacon expertise.“

It’s no secret that North American bacon belly weights have increased significantly over the last 20 years, creating challenges for manufacturers such as Monogram. Larger bellies have resulted in more defects after smoking, including boot jack, dropped CT muscle and thin edges to name a few. In turn, this has produced overpressed bellies, cracks and deep wrinkles in the final pressed bellies, which negatively impacts yields and slicing performance.

At Provisur, customer needs inspire innovation. Provisur Engineers worked closely with bacon processors to develop a system to intelligently remove belly defects prior to pressing. The Hoegger® TrimX® scans the 3D belly shape to identify defects and utilizes sophisticated algorithms to determine how best to automatically sidestrap and dock the belly ends to optimize line performance. This produces perfect bellies presented to the press.

The end result? Higher yields, reduced scrap on the line, only full slices left on the pressed belly and increased slicing throughput on the slicing lines.



“Mike Collins, Provisur’s Bacon Product Specialist, initially introduced me to the TrimX®, and I saw what it was doing for us in our ready-to-eat operations,” Christopherson says. “We decided to install a second machine for our ready-to-cook operations, and we’ve seen great improvements in how the belly is optimized before pressing. It has produced more full slices and made grading much easier for employees. They touch less of the bacon, which has improved our food safety and quality.” The team on Monogram’s ready-to-eat side has also improved the gradeouts by 5-8% based on belly size and customer expectations.

“In my long experience with bacon, I believe the real advantage of this equipment is to clean up the ends and pieces on the line and improve the quality of the product,” Christopherson says. “That’s the ‘win-win’ for us.”


The $33 billion competitive U.S. bacon industry* is dominated by the ready-to-cook category. For Monogram to help its customers increase their share of that market, every little bit counts — literally. In their Dennison ready-to-cook facility, the TrimX® has delivered on its innovation, giving Monogram a 20-30% slicing throughput improvement at the line and as little waste as possible.

“What really stands out for our team is the higher throughput and how much it has improved the jobs on the line,” says Christopherson. “We spend less time on grading and more on weight acceptance and overall quality of the bacon we send to our customers.”


The equipment also has benefits beyond driving profits for Monogram and its customers. The user-friendly control platform stores recipes and trimming decisions for efficient, repeatable processing. It also archives the dimensions and defects of each belly so that the processor can effectively evaluate their belly suppliers and make informed sourcing decisions. The state-of-the-art control architecture provides open and agile development ideal for any food company that’s ready to embrace the interconnectivity and automation of industry 4.0.


Monogram recently purchased another Hoegger® TrimX® to improve volume at both facilities even further and help them keep focus on specific customer needs and challenges. As with its prior purchases, the Monogram staff will receive full training in the machine, supervised preventive maintenance and diagnosis via remote access and enhanced customer-service and support.

Christopherson says, “Provisur has been a partner through this transition with us. The teams have worked well together and given us many reasons to purchase another TrimX®.”

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