Waterjet portioning system trims meat into shape

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fmc foodtech, Meat

A new waterjet portioning system for meat allows processors to
achieve specific fat coverage, shape, weight or size specifications
to meet current market trends, claims its manufacturer.

FMC FoodTech claims its DSI Accura makes it possible to create special cuts of meat at a low cost and on a large scale. "The portioning system allows meat processors to maximise the use of raw product, have the flexibility to produce the latest meat products and reduce overall costs,"​ the company stated. For example the machine can be set up to produce strict fat-controlled servings for health-conscious consumers, or for carefully controlled shapes for airline meals. The Accura system uses machine vision and a vertical waterjet to cut and portion meats. The machine's options include a horizontal slicer control, infeed loading aids, computer-controlled belt speed, and a sorting and statistical process system. It gives processors the ability to portion products to any custom shape at belt speeds as high as 80 feet (24 metres) per minute, stated Jon Hocker, FMC FoodTech's business development manager. "Fat can be trimmed to a positional accuracy of about plus or minues 1/16 inch (1.6 mm),"​ Hocke stated. "Plus, the Accura system can cut virtually any shape with its proven and durable two-axis cutters. A user can sketch a shape, scan it and start portioning in minutes."​ Raw products are first set on the infeed conveyor, where machine vision technology evaluates each piece. The system's waterjets then cut the meat to the pre-programmed shape and size. The Accura system's design allows operators to replace parts in minutes and improves access for inspection and cleaning without the use of tools, Hocker claimed. The cutting line is designed as a single-lane, reducing the required reach. The guarding improves access while increasing safety, the company claimed. "With more cutters per lane, the Accura can produce more complex cuts without slowing down the line,"​ the company stated. "It can cut portions, strips or chunks of red meat from the same input product - increasing raw product utilisation and yield."

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