A custom lid scheduling solution developed by Fibre King for a meat processing industry leader has seen the company streamline its production and logistics processes.
Increased demand for trayed meat products saw the The Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd (NCMC), Australia’s largest meat processing co-operative and an industry leader in meat processing, recently look to expand its production line.
The company contracted Fibre King to supply two lidding machines as well as create a custom lid scheduling solution that would enable the production team to pre-empt the upcoming lid (SKU) requirements in their production room, so streamlining their logistic process.
In order to build the lid scheduling software, Fibre King’s engineers collated the data file from the chiller and extracted the individual SKU details of each tray that was accepted into the chiller the day before, and in the order that they were accepted.
By implementing a bar code scanning system they were able to track each tray and send it to the correct lidder, with the correct lid type for the SKU. They could then work out which SKUs will be presented out of the chiller the next day.
There can be over 30 different SKUs per day adding to the complexity of the line. The two Fibre King lidding machines have a capacity for 12 SKUs at a time.
The lid scheduling software was programmed to display the queuing of SKUs required via a 55-inch monitor in the production lidding room. The information displayed shows what lids are required in the lidders at present as well as what lids are required for the next hour of production, and for the next four hours production.
This enables the operations team to organise logistically when to have what lid SKU available in the lidders, what lid SKU they need to have in the room for the next hour and what lid SKUs they don’t need any more.
The improved visibility and predictability of which lids will be required as production proceeds has significantly reduced the requirement for manual handling and rework of trays of meat weighing up to 27 kilograms. If a tray of meat is scanned as it arrives at the lidding machine and the required lid is not available in any of the 12 magazines, the tray is rejected to a rework conveyor.
By ensuring all the required lids are present in the lidding machines to satisfy the coming hour of production the need to reject trays of meat for rework is eliminated.