The following are some of our recent projects.
Fletcher International Exports is Australia’s most integrated processor and exporter of lamb and sheep meat products, exporting to over 90 countries around the globe. They operate two processing facilities, one located in Dubbo, New South Wales, and the other near Albany, Western Australia.
At their Dubbo site, Fletchers used a combination of two plate freezers (previously installed by Milmeq) and an air blast freezer to freeze their product. With plans to increase their production throughput, they approached us to provide a solution to increase their freezing capacity to match this.
Key objectives for the project included achieving a faster freezing time for their hot boned products to minimise bacteria growth and maximise shelf life, and freeing up the space currently occupied by the blast freezer in the centre of their processing plant for future extensions to their processing line
Milmeq designed, manufactured and installed three MILMEQ® Plate Freezers, each with the capacity to freeze 2,300 cartons in a 24 hour cycle.
These all featured our latest design of lifting cradle with synchronised hydraulics, compact chain pusher technology and an independent servo drive to provide better control over speed and positioning of the cradle for loading and unloading cartons.
The third plate freezer featured a new innovation; the single station opening (SSO) function, which was developed to meet Fletchers’ requirements to reduce the temperature of their hot boned products as quickly as possible.
On the SSO model, only one set of plates opens at a time for loading cartons, rather than all plates opening at once. This means cartons are under contact with both plates sooner and provides three hours additional freezing time per day.
Fletchers have been using the SSO plate freezer for their hot boning product, which they are able to completely freeze in 21 hours.
They are considering upgrading the other two plate freezers to SSO in the future. At that stage, it would be possible to increase the evaporating temperature of the plates in order to further decrease their energy requirements.
Another significant advantage they have seen since moving from blast freezing to plate freezing their product is the production of completely flat cartons. This means they can fit 10% more cartons per container leaving the distribution centre.
"The team at Milmeq share our pioneering spirit and have worked closely with us to bring our vision to life. Their plate freezers are enabling us to deliver a superior product to our customers as well as significant improvements to our bottom line. By installing the new plate freezers we have also been able to resolve production bottlenecks in the plant."
FARRON FLETCHER / GENERAL MANAGER, FLETCHER INTERNATIONALEXPORTS