Tatarstan’s leading chicken producer turns to Sealed Air’s revolutionary automation as success demands a massive increase in output.
Just released onto the market, Sealed Air’s exclusive Cryovac® BL120 Automatic Vertical Bag Loader for Whole Birds has already been snapped up by one of the top ten leading Russian poultry producers – Chelny Broiler LLC, based in the Republic of Tatarstan. Looking at Chelney Broiler LLC’s fast growing production and ambitious marketing strategy, one surely can understand that the slogan “Bez buldirabiz” (Yes, we can!), adopted by Tatarstan to promote its successful economic model, characterizes the company’s development strategy at best. Chelny Broiler began operating in 2003 throughout the entire poultry cycle, starting with the egg and continuing right through breeding, slaughtering and processing. Serving the demand for poultry in the largest country in the world is no easy logistical feat. When production topped 58,000 tons, a new processing plant was required and, in 2007, a factory was built in Neberezhniye Chelny. Since then, sales have risen exponentially and, in 2014, turnover was more than eight billion Rubles (equivalent of 114.700 million Euro) and net profits topped 1.1 billion Rubles (equivalent of 15.7 million Euro). The development strategy of Chelny Broiler is aiming at reaching new horizons. By the end of 2015, it will be shipping outside Tatarstan 4,000 tons a month and, within five years, the aim is to deliver 119,000 tons – 74% of the factory’s total production. The company plans its retail chain extension in different cities of Russia including the main economic centers – Moscow and St. Petersburg. The practical realization of the production extension and geographic expansion became possible thanks to the partnership with Sealed Air. Initially, Chelny’s production was organized through manual loading operations with the use of non-shrink, polyethylene bags that guaranteed only a 5-day shelf life. However, in 2009, as delivery distances started to be stretched, they chose Sealed Air’s packaging solutions and began to use, on the base of their existing equipment, Cryovac® BN vacuum shrink bags that prolonged shelf life of fresh poultry from 5 to 10 days. Demand soon outstripped supply as the company’s 12 operators struggled to meet the orders, even working non-stop, the productivity of the manual loading was too low. Besides, due to manual operations it was difficult to contain a high level of production hygiene to exclude any possibility of product cross contamination. What’s more, the presentation of the final product was not very appealing to consumers while being very important for the marketing purposes.
The management of the company started to look for process automation options that could help them to improve productivity and increase their business efficiency, thus helping to reach the development plans. In 2012, the company turned to Sealed Air, as its knowledge-based approach towards customers and tailor-made solutions allow to reach even the most ambitious goals, and the response was – “Yes, we can”! Representatives of Chelny attended Sealed Air’s “Packforum” event, in Paris, where they made up their mind to install the VR8630 rotary line together with three BL 120 automatic bag loaders.This operator-free technology delivers a new cutting edge in operation efficiency, food safety, and brand building, improving the poultry processors performance and profitability. In order to provide the best solution for Chelny’s production the BL120 loaders had to be tuned by Sealed Air engineers according to whole birds’ special anatomical requirements.
Ramil Mukhametshin, Deputy General Manager and Leading Process Engineer, said: “I must stress that the line was customized by Sealed Air to comply with the technical and technological requirements of our plant. BL120 loaders were modified in line with the anatomic peculiarities of the whole bird produced by us. We very much appreciated the highest professional level of Sealed Air specialists.” After the installation of Sealed Air’s equipment, positive changes were not long in coming. BL120 together with VR8630 allowed Chelny to start delivering a hands-free product from the stage of birds slaughtering to the table of the final consumer. Due to the proper hygiene conditions achieved through the new equipment, the company was able to increase product safety – crucial for the poultry market – by reducing the risk of possible product cross contamination via personnel. As a result, the product’s shelf life noticably encreased leading to food waste reduction that became a serious concern for retailers as well as final consumers. Moreover, with BL120’s pneumatically actuated hock breaker the company managed to provide an excellent whole bird pack appearance. Thus, the equipment helped to solve the problems of delivering to retail chains in the regions outside Tatarstan, as well as made the final product look really appealing therefore opening new horizons for the business. What is important is that the equipment ensured flexibility of the production process and significantly reduced operations costs. Together with BN vacuum shrink bags, that Chelny is currently using, the yearly savings for three BL120 are up to $18,000.
In demonstration of further advantages, only 4-5 operators are now managing the production rather than the previous 12, while the maximum capacity per hour has almost quintupled from 500 to 2880 kg. Ramil Mukhametshin, Deputy General Manager and leading Process Engineer, shared the benefits of Cryovac ® BL120 usage: “Thanks to the new line, we witnessed a drastic decrease in the time spent previously on labour-consuming operations, and so productivity has increased. The quality of the final product has improved and so has its merchandising appeal. The shelf life extension of up to 10 days has opened up new markets for sales.” Furthermore, the equipment guarantees substantial sustainability benefits such as food waste reduction and reduction of required material. BL120 is the first loader that requires a smaller bag width (30 mm less) versus manual loading systems, providing an excellent bag to product ratio. In addition, the automation system of BL120 contributes to create a healthy clean environment for personnel through improved hygiene practicies and by avoiding manual hock breaking, which is a repetitive and hard work. Chelny Broiler is a pioneer in the Russian poultry market whose positive experience with BL120 proved all the declared benefits of this system. The company is not going to stop on the achieved results and is putting further great goals to be reached with the support of Sealed Air’s solutions.