International -

Fast, clean cuts

In both artisanal and industrial meat processing, cutting machines must deal with enormous forces - especially when handling frozen meat. This is why they must feature robust technology as well as convince with clean cuts, high cutting performance as well as down-to-the-gram precision.

Is it time to invest in a new cutting machine? When selecting the right model, the first order of business is clearly defining the purpose: what amounts of which products – fresh or frozen – must be processed? The temperature range in which the material will be cut also plays an important role. Continuous production is also decisive. Among other things, this means that the cutting machine should be compatible with other production line devices. The most important criteria when investing in a new cutting machine also include robust technology, clean cuts, simple operation and cleaning, weight accuracy and cutting performance.

Many different products are on the market: manual, semiautomatic and fully automatic cutting machines that process raw material into slices, strips, pieces or cubes. An accessible cutting area is the best prerequisite for an easy-to-clean machine, all of which are made of massive, rust-free stainless steel. Manufacturers are also careful to ensure that their models comply with the highest HACCP hygiene requirements. Rounded edges prevent the danger of injuries.

Frozen meat cutters can cut meats within a range of only a few degrees minus down to –30 °C. Make sure that cutting speeds for processing pressed or frozen meat are variable. In this regard, the greater the range, the better. Especially when cutting frozen material, machines must withstand tremendous forces; the same is true for the blades and breaker teeth. Machines must be robustly constructed and guarantee high resistance to wear as well as a long service life.

Smaller machines rely on manual infeed; larger ones usually use automatic conveyor magazines or block elevators. The feed worms of some machines are equipped with special breaker or conveyor paddles as well as spiral conveyors in order to perfectly process various kinds of raw materials. Hydraulic pressing equipment safely guides frozen meat blocks into the feed worms, thus guaranteeing constant throughput. For optimal control of the quantity of the product to be conveyed, the feed device should feature infinitely variable speed control.

Highly modern cutting machines recognize product consistency and adjust as necessary the feed rate as well as revolutions per minute of the cutting blade for very cold wares. This prevents damage to the gate blade. Sometimes, cutting machines are equipped with pressing systems that powerfully compress meat. The result is a clean cut and an attractively sliced product coupled with high productivity. Cutting machines with integrated scales ensure precisely portioned, weight-dependent cuts.

In addition to the machines presented in the following article, most manufacturers offer individual solutions for special raw materials or operational requirements.

Conny Salzgeber

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