Cat: Turnkey Systems
Packaging Line for frozen meat hamburgers
A case study on a South-African leading company
Karan Beef and Cama: a state of the art meat processing plant
Karan Beef is the premier supplier of the highest quality beef and beef products in South Africa. It seeks to be recognised for the commitment of its people to the highest standards of productivity, hygiene, house keeping and general maintenance.
Ivor Karan established his feedlot on the Karan family farm in 1974 with less than 100 head of cattle. Over the years the capacity of the feedlot has increased to accommodate over 130,000 head of cattle – making the Karan Beef feedlot the largest in Africa. The past twenty five years has seen great changes at Heidelberg farm, just south of Johannesburg in South Africa, as it has expanded to accommodate the changing needs of blossoming feedlot business. The purchase of three adjoining farms increased the overall size of Karan Beef estate to 2,330 hectares – not only accommodating the growing feedlot, but also allowing for the evolution of the facilities into a fully integrated business unit.
This expansion has also allowed the Karan Beef Group to establish a game farm and wetland eco-development which has become a significant attraction in its own right and now plays home to one of the widest selections of water fowl found anywhere in Southern Africa.
The processing plant is part of the Abattoir complex situated in Balfour; the abattoir has the licensed capacity to process 2,000 head of cattle per day.
The meat processing plant utilises trimmings generated from the on-site deboning plant producing 22 tons of meat products per shift. Here Karan Beef manufactures and packs a range of value added products including marinated, pickled, par-cooked products and hamburger patties. All products are produced with care and dedication worthy of international consumers (export to Hong Kong, Indian Ocean Islands, Middle East, African countries).
They are also sold nationally to the food services market in a variety of pack sizes and to the retail market, under their own house brands or under the Karan Beef brand.
The high standard of Karan Beef’s hygiene is matched only by the superb quality of the beef products and the high tech production and packaging lines.
Quality of production, altogether with customer’s satisfaction, is the absolute priority for the company. In the past several years, customer demand for its products has been well above the company’s sustained annual compound growth rate. Throughout its growth, Karan’s priority has been not only to meet the market demand, but also to maintain a high quality standard of its products and processes.
Karan Beef consequently turned to Cama Group, a leading supplier of advanced technology secondary packaging systems, to engineer its packaging lines to allow the company to meet the exceeding market demand. Cama’s outstanding robotic know-how made it the right choice for the project.
The Italian Company has been supplying robots for over thirty years now, offering its “new generation” robotic loading unit with the latest open architecture electronic controls. The main advantage is offering equipment with built-in, customised robots, not arms that simply pick and place, but solutions conceived for specific packaging operations.
To meet the Karan Beef needs the Cama packaging line is composed of a box forming machine and four in line Triaflex Delta Robots, which by means of a “smart” vision system can pick flow-wrapped frozen hamburgers, and load them into three flaps lid boxes with different configurations and sizes.
Loaded boxes are then transferred outside the loading unit and transported to the three flaps closing machine.
The maximum infeed rate is 300 packs per minute. Subsequently, the products are packaged in retail cartons or catering cartons with different size changings.
The Cama packaging department developed and designed a specific box with gusset type reclosable feature to suit the specific demand of the “catering” sizes.
Main advantages of the Cama robotic application
The optimal, fastest and most gentle-handling solution has been studied, so as not to damage delicate products.
The easy handling of irregular hamburgers can guarantee insignificant waste of products.
The Cama Smart vision system can optimize management of the product by automatically selecting products, according to pre-established dimension and arrival speed.
The unique approach of this new multi robot application is that Cama now adopts a single controller for the entire system, based on a standard technology and can therefore be managed by a trained engineer. Consequently, all functions are integrated in one control system, while the number of interfaces and component costs are reduced.