Their focus on efficiency, capability and sustainability has led Cranswick to embrace automation as a way to meet their targets and address challenges in the marketplace, such as labor challenges.
In 2016, Operations Director Darren Andrew saw the Marel DeboFlex at IFFA and recognized its potential, "It started me thinking, why don't we have one of these at Preston?" Andrew's passion for innovation and the advanced solutions of the Marel portfolio allowed him to see a different future for the Cranswick pork processing facility. "I saw how we could transform a labor-intensive process to a food manufacturing process with all the tangible benefits that come along with that." Marel shared Andrew's vision, and a partnership was born.
Cranswick's transformation began with the installation of Marel's DeboFlex for fore-ends. "To embark on a journey of change, you have to make sure you can still do what you've always done. The shoulder solution allowed us to dip our toes into a different way without actually changing too much," says Andrew. Introducing new technology gradually can help ensure processing lines are being transformed in a way that best supports the business. "Small steps at the very beginning to change hearts and minds from a traditional way of doing something to semi-automation has been the catalyst we've needed to push ourselves forward,” says Andrew.
The modular design of the DeboFlex ensures new additions integrate smoothly, increasing confidence when shifting processing lines to automation. "The DeboFlex system is modular and smart, meaning that we have been able to design it according to our end-product needs," Lee Raspin, Cranswick’s Preston Butchery Manager, says. It is an added security that the investments made today will be adaptable to Cranswicks' future requirements."