It’s relatively popular in the Netherlands, but in the USA and Canada they absolutely love it: bacon. A North American customer commissioned Sleegers Technique BV to build a unique machine combining both underleaving and stacking. These production lines are in high demand.
“Bacon is a fairly fatty meat so sheets of paper are used to separate the slices and prevent them from sticking together,” explains managing director Huub Sleegers. “That process is also known as ‘underleaving’, and placing the slices on top of one another is called ‘stacking’. Thanks to the modular design of our machines, we can supply underleavers and stackers separately or a single machine that can do both. That enables customers to present their meat products appealingly, just as they wish.”
But that wasn’t the customer’s only request. All the stacks of bacon had to look neat and tidy too. “The first and last stacks of bacon often look less attractive because they come from the start and end of the bacon joint. The underleaver is fitted with cameras, enabling it to scan the slices and remove the unappealing packs from the line. The slices from the less-attractive packs are used to make a few neat-looking stacks manually, which then rejoin the production process.”
Everything is always done in close consultation with the customer. Huub Sleegers: “We sit down together to discuss the customer’s wants and needs. Should it be an underleaver or a stacker, or would a combination be better? In the case of this customer, for example, they wanted to handle the packing stage themselves and that’s fine too. We then set to work to draw a design for the underleaver. Once the prototype has been built, we can test it both at our own facility and on the customer’s premises. We don’t stop until we’ve achieved the perfect result and the customer is happy.”
Source: © Sleegers Technique