Jurassic Productions

Imagine a fantastical creature. Deep in the tropical jungles of ancient Asia, imagine it evolving for millions of years, the closest living descendant of the great Tyrannosaurus-Rex. Supported by two scaly legs that curl to claws, its body is clothed in long striped feathers with a crown of red flesh rising between its beady eyes. With panoramic vision of 300°, it can sense danger in every direction. This small beast has acquired a special ability rarely attained by mankind: Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep. While one side of the brain is lost in slumber, the other is awake. The creature sleeps with one eye open, prepared for any predator in the dream or waking world.

It is the revered Gallus gallus domesticus, also known as the domestic chicken, with a population of billions upon billions on planet earth. Harvesting the descendants of dinosaurs is no small matter, but Habasit has remained at the forefront of the poultry industry as a leader in finding creative and cost-efficient belting solutions. With decades of experience with these Jurassic farm fowl, Habasit knows what it means to offer a complete solution and is committed to making sure customers are aware of the options available. Rather than simply suggesting any standard product, our staff regularly visits the customer plants to troubleshoot issues and create new solutions specific to the needs of the client.

A quickly hatching industry

Now imagine an industry in fast forward with nearly 300 chickens harvested every second in the U.S. alone. In less than 60 years, the number of chickens raised for meat has reached astronomical numbers, rising over 1,400%. The already somewhat surreal creature has now been developed into a fantastical food source whose body is bred to grow 65 times faster than it normally would, so that every year, more than fifty billion chickens are artificially hatched, grown and harvested in a brief lifespan of a minimum of 42 days.

Together, chickens and turkeys represent the majority of animals harvested for food in the U.S. Not only is it one of the most efficient industries, it is one of the most economical since feeding a chicken requires much fewer resources than raising a cow or a pig. Furthermore, there are no religious or cultural barriers to eating poultry, which makes it a welcome ingredient on dinner tables all around the world.

With poultry production ramping to an all-time high, it is often the most low-cost option for consumers. The wholesale price of a chicken dropped 50% from 1978 to 2000. And this is where Habasit comes in, a company committed to make the process as affordable as the final product.

The procedure can be divided into three different stages of processing. In the first phase, the harvesting, the live chickens are delivered into the factory. The next two stages, primary and further processing, include the cutting, cleaning, deboning, chilling and packaging of the meat. It takes about 180 minutes from beginning to completion. Large-scale production lines have synchronized the procedure so that they can process up to 12,000 birds per hour.

Always at the cutting edge of the industry, Habasit has introduced original belting innovations such as the Live Bird Cage Dump, the Hanging Belt and the Offal Drainage, a system used by the top ten poultry processors, and which now saves at least one customer close to a million dollars in annual water and transportation costs. During the offal process, water is removed from the meat before it is transported to the rendering facility. With the HabasitLINK® M5021 plastic modular belt installed, the maximum water drainage is achieved while preventing any product loss. Since the transportation trucks are not unnecessarily weighed down by water, there is 40% savings in emissions, 20% less water consumption and a capital savings of 80%.

From chain, modular to monolithic belts, the range of specialty conveyor belts is continually growing with a priority for the most stringent hygiene standards always in mind. Belts equipped to be used with metal and x-ray detectors are available so that debris can be immediately identified and removed from the food product. Additionally, Habasit Cleandrive™ belts drastically reduce the danger of contamination with a homogenous, closed surface made of high-quality thermoplastic material which eliminates the risk of residue in gaps and hinges. With high chemical resistance against harsh sanitizing agents, the line is also designed for frequent and easy cleaning.

The Habasit Saniclip is yet another invention designed for quick disassembly and sanitation of almost any modular belt. The rod removal system is specifically suited for the Micropitch M0870, M0885 and M1185 belts, but the possibilities are quickly expanding so that it is now available for up to 1/2 and one inch belts. The capacity to be able to dismantle a conveyor belt for convenient and thorough cleaning is essential to the hygiene of a plant, but it also contributes to reduced downtime and a significant cutback in labor costs.

Growing appetites

Details like these make all the difference in an industry of such mammoth proportions of appetite. Americans consumed 90 pounds of chicken per capita in 2015, and the numbers are only growing. More than 100 million pounds of chicken are usually eaten during Superbowl weekend alone, and worldwide, the number of chickens raised for meat increases by about one billion every year.

No matter the magnitude, Habasit is committed to making the manufacturing process as efficient and economical as possible. At every step of production, Habasit has a solution with savings as fantastic as the food. (ST)

Sebastian Miles Sebastian Miles Industry Segment Manager Edward Elam Edward Elam Area Sales Manager Wet Food USA

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