Improved selection and preparation for feet processing

Paw Cutter and Selective Foot Unloader

Feetsystem Layout

For processors in many countries of the world feet are a profitable by-product. Potential issues are ensuring that any feet processing system handles only “A” grade material and local regulations forbidding the processing of downgraded feet together with feet fit for human consumption. With its Selective Foot Unloader and Paw Cutter, Marel has solutions to both issues.

Marel Selective Foot Unloader

Selective Foot Unloader

In some countries it is forbidden to process downgraded feet together with those intended for human consumption. Selective unloading technology should remove rejected feet before the feet scalding process. The Marel Selective Foot Unloader does precisely this. It takes information from a veterinary inspection station and/or camera and automatically unshackles every single downgraded foot in an unloading carrousel.

Rejection by vet

Suppose the veterinarian station rejects a carcass. Sensors and tracing software allow for so-called ‘paw tracking’. The system registers the shackle from which the carcass has been removed and locates the corresponding shackle with feet. The Selective Foot Unloader then receives a signal to remove both feet from this shackle.

Feet lesions

To detect lesions before scalding, Marel uses a camera, installed in the feet line after the transfer unit between defeathering and evisceration. This scans feet in the shackle. The highresolution camera assesses each foot separately and individually. It’s truly objective, without human biases. If it detects a lesion, it sends a signal to the Selective Foot Unloader to remove the foot. The unloader removes that foot and that foot only from the killing shackle.

Precise unloading

Shackles containing all feet enter the 20 unit carrousel mounted in the well-known Marel RS frame. This is where feet with lesions and feet from carcasses rejected by a vet are unloaded. The Marel Selective Foot Unloader works precisely and to very tight tolerances.

Marel PawCutter

Paw Cutter

Paws or ‘feet without shanks’ are an attractive product in China, as attractive as feet but weighing less. It can therefore be lucrative to produce ‘A’ grade paws. In a processing plant, Marel’s Paw Cutter is installed at the end of the feet line after the Selective Unloader. The Paw Cutter only receives good feet, from which it cuts off the shanks. This means that broken feet can become ‘A’ grade paws. The machine does an excellent job, cutting just below the shackle. It handles all kind of feet regardless of cut, resulting in a higher yield.

 A-quality only

The Marel Paw Cutter is a robust, reliable carousel machine in an RS frame and has 16 units. It includes a non-selective unloader. As it is the last machine before the Feet Processing System, it releases all paws from the line. The system will only scald, peel and chill ‘A’ grade paws. The Marel Paw Cutter performs perfectly at high hourly throughputs. It is suitable for 15,000 shackles per hour [250 per minute], having proven its reliability at this speed in plants in Germany and the Netherlands.



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