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Labor-saving weighing and packing: meet the RobotGrader

Seeking a solution to labor shortages when it comes to grading, weighing, and packing chicken fillets and other protein products? The RobotGrader is the automated, high-speed, high-precision solution that does it all. Now available to customers in North America through JBT, the RobotGrader has been developed to grade products of varying weight and pack a fixed weight straight into the package, helping eliminate unnecessary manual labor in the process.

Fast and efficient in handling a variety of products from drumsticks to thighs, the system weighs, scans, sorts and packs into required tray sizes, as well as calculating the best combination of pieces to reach the target pack weight every time.

Speed and precision
Much more compact than a belt grader system and with significant hygienic benefits, the RobotGrader make use of a vision-only grading system similar to that seen in DSI equipment, and also comes with the option of an additional belt weighdeck.

According to DSI Product Manager, Alec Hewitt, the RobotGrader weighs and picks items for placement and is equally effective for bulk grading as it is for individual chicken fillets. 

JBT-TobotGrader_detail

“The RobotGrader is designed for tray packing in addition to grading products: it will take a product, scan and weight it, and even pick what tray it is going to go into,” he explains. 

“Let’s say a customer wants every tray to weigh 1lb and the piece moving through doesn’t meet that target. The RobotGrader will spread the product out until it finds another piece of the right weight that makes up the 1lb. The amount of speed and precision Robot Grader can maintain is really quite astonishing when you see it in person.”

Streamlining labor
JBT and Gothenburg, Sweden-based Robotgrader AB signed a formal distribution agreement in October 2021 for JBT to become the official distributor in North America, and since then have been working to get the RobotGrader ready for the North American market, says Hewitt.

JBT-RobotGrader_stats

In particular, Hewitt says the RobotGrader will allow North American customers to take advantage of the Net Weight Packaging system, which has attracted widespread uptake in Europe. The key advantage of the system, he explains, is that is eliminates a great deal of backroom labor for both the supplier and the end customer by removing the need for fillets or other products to be weighed and labelled in-store. 

A proven technology, there are RobotGraders installed with a wide range of food industry customers covering Europe and the Middle East, in countries including Norway, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Saudi Arabia.

LEARN MORE about the RobotGrader

Short of labor for netting and bagging? Try the TN3004

Worldwide demand for food products like turkeys, hams, and chickens has remained steady but the supply of labor has decreased. Automation is the solution for filling the labor shortage. JBT Tipper Tie’s clipping and packaging systems offer an automated solution helping to keep production lines running in a world where processors have suffered from lack of labor.

Tipper Tie’s recently introduced TN3004 is a next generation automated packaging system ideal for traditional netted products like whole turkeys, and spiral-sliced hams but also for netting turkey breasts, bone-in or boneless hams, briskets, and even mortadella. The TN3004 will automatically net an overwrap or finished net onto a product with the minimum of operator intervention. More than that, the system will also weigh the product before printing its weight, price and barcode and automatically attaching the price tag as well as creating a handle. 

Complete solution
“The nice thing about the TN3004 is the operator simply places the product onto a conveyor, it’s weighed, and then all of that information is printed out. The product is netted, a handle created, and a tag applied so everything is ready for sale in a grocery store,” explains JBT Tipper Tie’s Director of Product Management, Conrad Faust. 

The greatness of the TN3004 is it carries out all these steps in a single process, says Faust. Enabling even more automation and flexibility, the system is available in left and right oriented versions, which not only means the TN3004 can be easily adapted to different layouts, but allows for the placing of two machines together for greater productivity under a sole operator.

Overcoming shortages
Greater automation is a significant and increasing trend in the US and around the world driven by labor shortages and exacerbated by the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s very difficult for our customers to source and maintain labor, and the pandemic has aggravated these issues and concerns,” says Faust. “Automated solutions like the TN3004 can free-up labor to focus on more value-added tasks like improving your bottom dollar.”

Smart automation
However, Tipper Tie’s innovation doesn’t end there. Tipper Tie has also released their new RLW Rucker to further enhance the productivity of the TN3004. This makes refilling the netting on your TN3000 series chutes faster, safer, and more reliable. This is just another way in which JBT Tipper Tie is with you right down the line. 

LEARN MORE about the JBT Tipper Tie TN3004

JBT Tipper Tie will be exhibiting at the Anuga 2022 in Cologne, Germany from April 26-29, and at IFFA 2022 in Frankfurt, Germany from May 14-19, 2022 

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