$10 million upgrade at ANZCO Rangitikei

A scale model of ANZCO Rangitikei's new boning room
A scale model of ANZCO Rangitikei's new boning room used for planning the new facility.

A $10m investment in ANZCO’s Rangitikei sheepmeat processing site will improve yields as well as health and safety.

The investment features an x-ray machine which works with automated cutting equipment to ensure precise cutting to the exact specifications of each carcase.

The automated cutting equipment replaces five band-saws and will remove the fore-quarter, leg and debones the full middle. The automation will reduce the company’s health and safety risks.

The increased yield will come from improved cutting accuracy ensuring as much of a carcase goes into the best possible cuts.

ANZCO is taking an innovative approach to the installation of the new equipment which will almost halve the installation time.

At four metres high and 25 metres long, the new kit is a significant piece of equipment. To enable the site to keep operating during much of the installation ANZCO is building a sealed room in the boning room where the new equipment can be assembled without impacting on the site’s normal processing work. The phased installation is starting in July and aims to be complete in early 2019.

This is a significant project and the Rangitikei team is following last year’s health and safety award-winning approach to the boning room project. This involves working closely with the employees who will use the equipment; building a life-sized model to ensure everything worked as it should; refining ideas; regular contractor briefings; and developing contractor health and safety management plans.

No jobs will be lost because of the new equipment, with the band-saw operators being integrated into the wider processing team.

ANZCO built the Rangitikei sheep processing site in 2005. It employs around 400 people and has an annual processing capacity of 1m sheep/lambs.

ANZCO Rangitikei directly contributes more than $128 million to the local economy each year through wages, salaries and farmer and supplier payments. This will further be enhanced with a significant portion of the $10 million automation project cost being spent on a range of local service providers working on the project and equipment installation, the company says.

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