Automated shoulder puller

Wednesday, 15 March, 2006 | Supplied by:

Milmech, the engineering and design company in the Realcold Group and Alliance Group, has developed and commercialised a fully automated labour-less robotic shoulder puller.

The VIP (Variable Independent Path) puller was designed to replace existing manual and mechanically assisted shoulder pullers, In trials, the VIP has worked at commercial chain speeds, produced good skin and carcasses quality and achieved acceptable hygiene levels. The fully automated version requires two fewer operators on the line. It is designed to work in conjunction with a final puller to complete skin removal.

Milmech is confident that the auto load version will operate at 9-10 carcasses per minute. The VIP has variable pull paths that allow it to pull at the optimal angle for any size and shape of lamb or sheep. This is achieved using two independent hydraulic cylinders operated by an advanced control system. The VIP uses a vision system to evaluate each sheep and select the appropriate pull-path. The VIP comes pre-programmed with 10 pull-paths but more can be added by the plants to suit the stock they process.

The VIP fits into the space taken by existing second-generation shoulder pullers and is hydraulically operated with a 7.5 kW power pack.

The manual load VIP is available in Australia from Realcold Milmech. The auto-load is only available in New Zealand at this time.

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