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Custom Lid Scheduling Solution for Australia's Largest Meat Processing Co-operative, NCMC.

Fibre King Pty Ltd creates a custom lid scheduling solution streamlining the logistic process for NCMC.

The Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd (NCMC) is Australia’s largest meat processing Co-operative as well as the industry leader in meat processing. When NCMC was looking to expand their production line in order to keep up with demand they contracted Fibre King with the task of providing two (2) Lidding Machines as well as creating a custom lid scheduling solution that would enable the production team to pre-empt the upcoming lid (SKU) requirements in their production room, streamlining their logistic process. Fibre King having provided the best meat packaging equipment range in Australia for over 30 years were the ideal candidate to take on the challenge.

In order to build the lid scheduling software, Fibre King’s Engineers collated the data file from the chiller and extracted the individual SKU details of each tray that was accepted into the chiller the day before, and with the order that they were accepted. By implementing a bar code scanning system they were able to track each tray and send it to the correct lidder, with the correct lid type for the SKU. They could then work out what SKU’s will be presented out of the chiller the next day. There can be over 30 different SKU’s per day adding to the complexity of the line and the two Fibre King Lidding Machines have a capacity for 12 SKU’s at a time. The lid scheduling software was programmed to display the queuing of SKU’s required via a 55” monitor in the production lidding room. The information displayed shows what lids are required in the lidders at present as well as what lids are required for the next hour of production, and for the next 4 hours production. This enables the operations team to organise logistically when to have what lid SKU available in the lidders, what lid SKU they need to have in the room for the next hour and what lid SKU’s they don’t need any more.

The improved visibility and predictability of which lids will be required as production proceeds has significantly reduced the requirement for manual handling and rework of trays of meat weighing up to 27 kilograms. If a tray of meat is scanned as it arrives at the lidding machine and the required lid is not available in any of the 12 magazines the tray is rejected to a rework conveyor. By ensuring all the required lids are present in the lidding machines to satisfy the coming hour of production the need to reject trays of meat for rework is eliminated.

Fibre King continues to work closely with meat processing companies to develop new solutions with a focus on improving productivity, safety and reducing direct labour costs.

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