Cutting and preparing poultry breast meat was traditionally a time consuming, labor intensive task, prone to inefficiency and potential contamination. In this environment, the introduction of JBT’s DSI Waterjet Portioning System some 30 years ago proved revolutionary. In addition to decreasing labor costs, the System has proven to consistently improve product yield and increase productivity. DSI’s David Pfanstiel explains how the system works.
The current installed base of DSI Waterjet Portioning Systems is well over 300 Systems globally. The DSI brand has been synonymous with leadership and innovation in waterjet portioning of boneless proteins for more than 30 years, producing systems that are equally effective in cutting poultry, fish, beef or pork, or even products as diverse as pies and pizzas.
How does the waterjet portioning system work? The product is conveyed in and scanned. We are able to distinguish lean meat from fat for fat trimming applications. We also provide portioning to product weight and or dimensions. With the scan, we take a three-dimensional map and based on the input density, we can cut to product target weight, and into portions, strips, nuggets, or other various solutions.
After being scanned, the product data is gathered and analyzed within milliseconds for several software solutions, which can be running simultaneously. The key is we want to maximize yield on every piece cut.
The scan information is sent to the cutters, which use high-pressure water, generated by a pump. We take normal pressure water and generate that up to either 60,000 psi or 87,000 psi, depending on the application. These cutters then portion the product. The cutters are on x-y dimensions, so they travel in both directions, cross-belt and down-belt.
The scan information tells the cutters where to move and cut the product, then the product is harvested off the exit belt. The key benefits are capacity, yield, and accuracy. Labor savings also provide a substantial payback, particularly as qualified labor has become a challenge in many markets. Depending on the application, labor savings are typically between 10 and 20 people per shift. Other key advantages are software flexibility, footprint, and life cost.