Optimisation of abattoirs and meat processing plants

In the meat industry, demands on greater profit come along with increasing focus on improving hygiene, reducing costs and prolonging the product shelf life. ALECTIA Food, who is now merged with NIRAS, consults on optimising and modernising abattoirs and meat processing plants with focus on increasing profits. Our expertise includes buildings and production facilities, hygiene and food safety, refrigeration and ventilation as well as all other processes from slaughtering to cutting and deboning.

24. Apr 2014

ALECTIA Food, now NIRAS, offers consultancy which focuses on achieving better hygiene, minimal operating  costs and greater profit by optimising buildings, plants and production processes. Such measures are essential when rising competition, feed prices and costs for salaries and energy supplies mean that every penny must be turned to ensure a profit in the meat industry.

Many abattoirs have to invest in modernising their buildings, production plants and processes to keep up with the market. Sometimes brand new facilities are required, in which case we can help with everything from testing existing facilities and advising on specifications, layout and hygienic design to preparing tender documents and payment plans as well as managing the contracting. Additionally, we help companies to achieve large savings by optimising their utilisation of resources – from raw materials and supplies to employees and production plants.

Recently, we helped a large international food processing group save USD 120,000 a week by optimising its production at a factory in North America.

Optimised cutting and deboning processes

Despite unchanged costs for raw materials, energy consumption and salaries, etc. significant profit increases can be achieved by changing production methods, training and motivating employees, adjusting certain specifications and adapting production and facilities to the markets.

Profit increases can be achieved by implementing new technology and more efficient processes on the slaughter line and adjusting the staffing accordingly. For instance, ALECTIA’s, now NIRAS', consultants have ensured customers significant operational gains by optimising their processes for cutting and deboning of pigs and cattle. Experience shows that method changes in the slaughter process can result in 1% profit increase per carcass, corresponding to 0.850 kg for pigs and 2.7 kg for oxen.

Long- and short-term possibilities

Through an audit of the existing production facilities and processes we assess the potential for “fast findings” as well as the long-term possibilities for optimising the production, reducing the operating costs and increasing the profit. If employee training and new technology implementation are needed, we prepare a detailed schedule in close dialogue with the customer which considers the customer’s needs and interferes as little as possible with the daily production.

An audit is a structured process which provides a critical overview of the current situation in a given area. Based on the audit findings we prepare a specific plan of action to help ensure that the suggestions for optimisation are implemented. In this way we help our customers optimise their production and achieve increased profits and/or a better hygiene.

ALECTIA, now NIRAS, covers all production processes

ALECTIA Foods, now NIRAS, offers consultancy on all production processes and elements; from slaughtering and meat processing to storing before and after. Our expertise includes:

  • Hygiene and food safety – including analysis, hygienic design, own-check and EU and USDA requirements
  • Slaughter processes – including optimisation of slaughter methods, hygiene and yield, meat classification and training of staff and management
  • Cutting and deboning – including cutting standardisation, quality and profit optimisation and cooling loss reduction
  • Further processing – including product reception, temperatures, refrigeration technology and methods for boiling and smoking, etc.
  • Process equipment and supplies – including tests, demand specifications, hygienic design, tender documents and contracting
  • Refrigeration – including process cooling and freezing, chill rooms, cold stores and cooling supply plants
  • Ventilation – including process ventilation, chilled work areas, drying systems for production areas and clean room technology

Additional services

ALECTIA Food, now NIRAS, offers consultancy in several other areas than production facilities and processing. Our services include:

  • Raw material reception
  • Logistics and storage
  • Strategy development
  • Economy
  • Supply chain

Contact us for more information if you wish to explore the possibilities for optimising your slaughter or meat processing plant and increase your profit.