The Hera loss-in-weight depositor is employed by the manufacturer to dispense free-flowing products, such as seasoning and spices, onto poultry – a process that had traditionally been completed by hand, which required considerable staff and resulted in significant giveaway.
As well as a reduction in waste materials, the automated system allowed Avara to upskill its workforce and redeploy staff to new roles – such as quality control and product innovation.
The introduction of four Hera machines to the processor’s site in Brackley means it is now able to process 50 birds per minute and deliver consistent quality.
Avara engineering manager Nick Belshaw said the system had provided good consistency in the company’s product delivery with “even sprinkle coverage across the bird”.
Daniel Frank, sales and commercial director for Sparc, added: “We know suppliers are keen to streamline processes and cut down on unnecessary wastage – and they can now do that with intelligent automation.
“Hera is designed to dispense materials by weight. Not only does this reduce wastage it also helps to improve quality by evenly distributing ingredients and bringing consistency to product lines.”
Hera is used to sprinkle free-flowing materials, such as powders, grains, nuts, peas and frozen vegetables by weight into, or onto, conveyored products for the food industry. It can also be used as a ‘salt and cure’ depositor for dry-cured bacon systems.
Deposit weights and variance can be automatically recorded, and individual batch data delivered in real-time back to a customer’s database.
Sparc has also created a checklist for food producers and suppliers to help them identify whether they are wasting time and money on suboptimal production processes – gauging everything from their current methods of sprinkling ingredients, to the number of staff deployed to undertake the method. The checklist can be found here.