Food manufacturers who receive bulk meat and seafood in frozen blocks commonly face the challenge of effectively separating the frozen blocks for further processing. These blocks, which arrive on pallets, often vary in size and contain large slices that are frozen together.
For one CHL customer, separating the slices within these large frozen blocks of bulk food was a labor-intensive manual task. The blocks—some as big as 40 inches by 24 inches wide with 4-inch high slices—presented workers with numerous ergonomic and safety issues due to their size and frozen state. An operator would have to get positioned next to the block and use a difficult-to-handle pneumatic jackhammer to separate the large slices of bulk food.
As a result of the various safety issues and lack of precision in manually separating the large frozen blocks, the manufacturer approached CHL Systems to investigate how best to automate this difficult process.
Using the proprietary CHL Systems custom development process, our design engineers determined that a programmable system, using lasers to determine slice thickness and forks to maneuver the slices, would offer the most effective solution.
After our certified engineers created the detailed blueprints with specifications, they turned them over to the skilled CHL manufacturing team. Our precision manufacturing team then crafted the automated Frozen Block Separator machine.
With this ergonomic machine, an operator can now separate layers of large frozen food blocks automatically and precisely with only a few safe, easy steps. The operator uses a forklift to place a full pallet of meat blocks into the machine. The visual capability of the machine determines the size of the stack, and the operator enters the height of each slice into the onscreen display.
Once the controls are set, the Frozen Block Separator automatically moves the fork to separate the large slices of frozen bulk food. After each layer is separated, the operator then pulls the pallet so that each slice of frozen meat can be transferred to the processing step.
The time and cost savings combined with the safety benefits of the Frozen Block Separator make this machine a key automation improvement for any food company that processes bulk food frozen blocks. Contact CHL Systems today to learn more.