Adam continues, “we had commissioned a brand new primary processing plant in 2012 and had equipped it with state-of-the-art systems. It was time to look at our downstream operations.”
Complex product mix
Hazeldene’s processes approximately 150,000 products per day. The company’s retail customers each have their own packs and standards. This means a complex mix, precise demands and the need for a number of Work In Progress (WIP) batch processes. In Adam’s words, “retail is detail!” Hazeldene’s portions and fillets some 90,000 products per day. Although cutting is done automatically on intelligent Marel equipment, Hazeldene’s debones breasts manually on seven deboning belts.
Innova surprised us!
Adam continues, “We bought Innova in 2016 to monitor deboning yields but soon saw that the system could give us more. Tighter margins meant we had to produce more efficiently. We were also drowning in paperwork that is necessary for compliance with regulations but doesn’t actually add value to our operation. We ran by paper stock-takes once a day and didn’t have a minute by minute overview of what was being produced in the business. We were losing control and needed to get a grip!”
Measure and manage
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” Adam quips. “Using Innova, our planning team can match incoming products to customer orders. This then determines how each product is cut. We now cut product both for customer orders and for stock. The comprehensive production data from our SmartWeigher and IRIS quality grading systems provided by Innova allows us to forecast more accurately. We have a better understanding of what we need to produce for stock. This helps us better balance our stock, which minimizes out of stock situations and ensures customer orders are satisfied promptly.