We have delivered primary food processing, materials handling and chilling and freezing technology to clients around the globe.
The following are some of our recent projects.
Alliance Group is the world’s largest processor and exporter of sheep meat and is owned by approximately 5000 farmer shareholders. It employs over 4700 people across eight plants across New Zealand, including one at Smithfield, near Timaru.
In 2015 Alliance Group embarked on a major upgrade to its processing facilities at Smithfield, seeking to improve productivity and plant efficiency as part of a wider strategy to lift returns for their farmer shareholders.
As a shareholder in the research and development entity Ovine Automation Limited (OAL), Alliance Group was aware of our development of the fully automated brisket cutting and evisceration robots, and had experienced their benefits first-hand when they were tested and proven in the Alliance Group Mataura plant.
They approached Milmeq to add these robots to the processing line at their Smithfield plant.
We installed and commissioned the two robots at the Smithfield plant.
This included assessing the production line, including current and future throughput requirements, and customising the robots’ programming to meet these.
Operators were provided with full training on the control system, and our engineers spent an extended period of time on-site to ensure a smooth transition to the new technology when production re-started for the new season.
The installation of the robots at Smithfield was the first commercial application of this technology, which followed several years’ testing as part of OAL’s research and development programme.
The brisket cutting and evisceration robots are now successfully up and running at Smithfield.
The robots automate two difficult and potentially dangerous stages of sheep processing, resulting in improved operator safety and improvements in productivity.
They decrease the plant’s reliance on skilled operators, which are becoming harder to recruit due to declining popularity of the industry as a career path.
The technology has also been tested and shown to improve food safety and product quality, with a reduction in contamination and improved accuracy compared with performing these tasks by hand.
From The Client
“We installed the latest robotic technologies with the aim of increasing productivity and plant efficiency, and ensuring we remain competitive on a global scale. Testing of the robots on the line has showed improvements in productivity and a reduction in food safety risks.”
Kerry Stevens, Alliance Group General Manager Processing