Implementing MATRIX PRO optimizes VLK’s production

We are proud to present an amazing project achieved in collaboration with Jansen Techniek, Marelec’s distributor in The Netherlands. Jansen Techniek has decades of experience in the poultry processing industry, resulting in a high level of customer confidence. Van Leeuwen Kipspecialiteiten installed its first MARELEC grader many years ago. As a result of the benefits this provided, the company has now commissioned another four MARELEC grading systems, all controlled by our MATRIX PRO software to optimize production and yield with absolutely minimal give-away.

Van Leeuwen Kipspecialiteiten specializes in transforming chicken breast caps into clean fillets ready for consumption. Its clients range from smaller customers buying just a few boxes to those ordering a truckload of fillets cut to their own requirements. With over a thousand different product specifications, efficiently dealing with tight delivery times, customer-specific labels and packing material required a more sophisticated approach. 

As companies grow, they usually add more production lines to meet the increased demand. Just like the other brands it used, the first MARELEC grader that Van Leeuwen Kip had installed required a high level of manual logistics – a ‘traditional’ style of manufacturing that no longer meets the high levels of efficiency called for in a competitive market.

That was the driving factor behind the company changing its method of production. The existing deboning lanes were retained but the logistics flow in the factory was completely redesigned with a focus on efficiency, minimal giveaway and optimum working conditions for the operators.

Each of the four new MARELEC grading systems features 30 batching outputs, and can weigh and sort up to 200 chicken fillets per minute per lane. Together, they provide a total capacity of 1000 fillets/minute. Production capacity has increased significantly while giveaway has been reduced to a minimum. When producing 50 tonnes per day, each one percent reduction in giveaway means that 500kg of product is directly added to the total profit. The improved logistic flow also resulted in a lower share of real estate per ton, plus a reduction in operators, which led to a fast payback.

Van Leeuwen Kip has also responded rapidly to the changing market, recently installing a dual-lane grader for its tenders. While most processors think only in terms of available space, MARELEC is experienced in making the most of the available height, offering dual-lane graders with conveyor belts arranged one above the other. With this approach, it is able to achieve maximum throughput from the minimum footprint.

MATRIX PRO software – a part of Industry 4.0 – plays an indispensable role in production. MARELEC’s advanced processing software processes multiple orders simultaneously, prints and applies labels and ensures that complete orders are sent to packing stations. Existing orders can be put on hold while rush orders are given priority, without operators even being aware of this. With MATRIX, the products can be tracked and traced from start to finish, ensuring full traceability.

When I notice increased ‘traffic’ on the packing lane, I can easily shift priorities and send more products to the available bulk stations. One of the comforts that MATRIX provides is that I don't have to worry about orders being completed as it will keep track of all production quantities. However, the improvements are not only seen by the management – the workers feel it too.

Albert van Nordennen
Production Manager

Van Leeuwen Chicken Specialties is originally a family business. In 1957, Mr. van Leeuwen senior started as a chick fattener. From 1970 onwards, trading activities were set up for slaughtered chicks and frozen packages. Because this was very successful, these activities have been further expanded. A processing department was set up where a complete range was cut.

In 1975 the activities as a chicken fattener were stopped and the focus was completely on processing. In 1993 the company was taken over by the eldest son and current director, Cees van Leeuwen. From the moment the demand for fillets increased, they specialized further in cutting and packaging fillet. In addition to a number of large Dutch retail organizations, export activities were also established to Germany, Belgium, Denmark, England and Ireland.

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