Plate freezer installation for meat processing plant in Dubbo

Tuesday, 14 June, 2022 | Supplied by: MHM Automation

MHM Automation has recently commissioned its 200th Milmeq plate freezer at Fletcher International Exports’ sheep meat processing plant in Dubbo, NSW.

MHM Automation Sales Manager – Australia Chris Carter said the project was the result of a longstanding relationship between the companies.

“Fletcher International Exports has always been an innovator in the meat industry. They’re constantly looking to new technology to improve the quality of their product and the performance of their business, and we’re proud to work with them to develop and deliver industry-leading equipment.

“It’s fitting that this milestone installation is for Fletchers,” he said.

The development and provision of plate freezers to the meat industry was led by Milmeq in the 1990s. Today, the large horizontal plate freezers provide a fast and energy-efficient system for freezing cartons of meat.

The project saw the installation of two new plate freezers at Fletcher International Exports’ Dubbo plant, each standing at 12 m high, with a capacity of 2560 cartons and the ability to completely freeze cartons of cold boned product in less than 24 hours.

This installation brings the total number of Milmeq plate freezers installed for Fletcher International Exports across both its plants to 18, three of which feature the latest technology innovation, single station opening (SSO).

The SSO plate freezer model was a collaborative development between Milmeq (now part of MHM Automation) and Fletcher International Exports, with the first commercial prototype being commissioned at Fletcher’s Dubbo processing site in 2015.

The SSO mechanism allows products to be automatically loaded and unloaded one station at a time, keeping the remaining stations closed and product in those stations in contact with the plates to continue the freezing process. The SSO is designed to increase the effective refrigeration, to ensure regulatory compliance.

The plate freezers are claimed to deliver savings of up to 30% over the blast freezing method traditionally used, and more than halve the time required to freeze cartons.

Cartons frozen in the plate freezers have flat presentation, allowing 10% more cartons to be stacked, which can reduce shipping costs.

Completely automated loading and unloading operation, with integrated infeed and outfeed conveyors, can reduce manual labour and associated WHS risks with working in a frozen environment.

Image caption: Fletcher International Exports owner Roger Fletcher standing in front of one of the newly installed Milmeq SSO Plate Freezers.

Phone: 07 3255 6099
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