Particularly strict hygiene requirements apply when handling and processing open foodstuffs in order to minimize the risk of contamination. Interroll is now helping companies that handle chicken meat to meet this challenge with its new Ultra Hygienic Transfer (UHT). A disruptive innovation solution for automated material handling processes, the conveyor module reduces the number of meat particles that end up on existing conveyor systems after cutting by 85–90 percent. Combined with Hygienic Product Design, which allows for particularly effective cleaning, this reduces the risk of germ contamination, and enables improved shelf life of chicken products and end-to-end quality control along operational processes.
The new Ultra Hygienic Transfer (UHT) was developed following extensive surveys of international customers and users in the food industry who value hygienically optimized automation solutions. It is based on the principles of hygienic product design and, as a modular product, has an equally robust and open design that is very easy to clean. The conveyor module can be installed between the upstream cutting machines and the downstream conveyor belts as a stand-alone solution—without additional sensors—requiring only a power connection for the integrated drum motor.
Depending on requirements, wing or breast meat is transported in stainless steel screen baskets which, instead of chutes, pick up the meat individually in a circular conveyor process and then deposit it on an existing conveyor belt. Corresponding measurements at test customers have shown that this solution reduces the number of meat particles usually produced in the flow of goods by 85–90 percent and significantly reduces the germ load of the processed meat products compared to the chutes commonly used to date.
The separation of the conveyed goods offers—in addition to the significantly improved hygiene—another decisive advantage over traditional chutes: Instead of turning the breast caps or wings from piece goods to bulk goods at this process step, the UHT ensures that they could remain identifiable along the entire process chain—for example, through appropriate sensor technology in conjunction with goods management systems.
“The subsequently packaged end product, such as the breast cap, can then be assigned to the original product by appropriate solutions from our customers, the system integrators. This is an important prerequisite for enabling quality control along the entire supply and processing chain in the hygiene environment,” says Dr. Stephan Kronholz, who is responsible for new hygienic platform solutions at Interroll.
The conveyor module, which is available on the market immediately, was designed by the engineers at Interroll Innovation GmbH. The Ultra Hygienic Transfer (UHT) is produced at the Interroll site in Hückelhoven-Baal, Germany.