Dietz & Watson Pneumatic Hot Dog Casing Removal Conveying Case Study
“The Quickdraft system gave us safety and flexibility.”-Chris Eni, Philadelphia Plant Manager
Since 1939, DIETZ & WATSON has manufactured high quality beef, pork, ham, turkey, and chicken products in its facility in Philadelphia, PA. The company prides itself on its exclusive Old World recipes for delicatessen and other prepared meats.
As part of a facility modernization program, the company decided to update the ready-to-eat hot dog processing, packaging and shipping operations in its plant. The primary focus for the update was to bolster food safety. Specifically, Dietz & Watson wanted a system to remove waste casings from its five Townsend 2600 frankfurter peelers as well as waste trim from four packaging lines and bag cut-off trim from two Cryovac bagging lines. The removal system needed to be as trouble-free as possible while achieving maximum production.
The existing casing removal system in the plant had several shortcomings. “The biggest problem was that our old system discharged into a trailer,” Chris Eni, plant manager of the Philadelphia facility, tells Meat Processing. “That meant that once the trailer became full of waste casing, production had to stop until a new trailer was placed in position. We were looking for a solution that was faster, cleaner, and more reliable.”
After Dietz & Watson made the decision to upgrade its casing removal system, the company established several requirements for the new system:
- The components of the new equipment had to be clean-in-place to eliminate the possibility of contaminating the RTE hot dog products
- The system had to operate continuously without plugging under peak demand
- The new equipment had to be easy to operate, without valves, canisters, and timers
- The system needed to collect both the waste casings and the packaging trim from the packaging and bagging lines.
Dietz & Watson selected Quickdraft in Canton, Ohio, to design and manufacture a CASING REMOVAL SYSTEM (CRS) for its Philadelphia plant. Quickdraft’s new CRS met all of the meat processor’s requirements.
This system is designed to operate continuously, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In the Dietz & Watson CRS, all conveying lines and other surfaces in contact with the product are stainless steel, allowing system blowers to circulate a caustic solution through the casing conveying tubes on a daily basis.
In addition, the system’s design allows for periodic steam purges, and the conveying path from peelers to discharge into the compactor is completely unobstructed. There are no valves, dampers, or canisters to malfunction or to be maintained. Once the system was installed, it took Quickdraft just four hours to train the hot dog line operators to operate and clean the CRS.
Quickdraft designed the Dietz & Watson system so casings, packaging trim, and Cryovac waste all discharge into the same air/material separator. This separator drops the material into the compactor and allows the conveying air to dissipate into the atmosphere.
Besides meeting the immediate need for a new CRS, the additional benefit of the Quickdraft CRS for Dietz & Watson became apparent when Dietz & Watson decided to expand its plant several months later. The space initially planned for the Quickdraft separator actually became part of the plant’s expansion. The new separator location required a 100-foot addition to each of the conveying tube runs.
This addition could have become a costly modification, as the components of the CRS were already fabricated. Quickdraft, however, was able to accommodate the change simply by upgrading the motors in the system.
Dietz & Watson also reconsidered the need for a back-up compactor when Quickdraft’s engineers were able to incorporate an accumulation chamber within the discharge chute to accommodate waste while the compactor was taken to an off-site disposal point. All in all, a successful job with a great client!