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QPLC, the Philippine poultry integrator Quezon poultry and Livestock corporation, have planned to expand its poultry processing plant with Marel, to support the automation of this existing plant to reach new levels of quality
Gary Raya, plant manager of QPLC’s processing plant, said, “The food service market, which we’re in, collapsed. During lockdown all restaurants and hotels were closed. We had to find other ways of bringing products to our customers, so we turned our trucks into mobile markets. Although we’re definitely doing better than most, our market is not yet back to where it was.”
An end to quick-fixes
“At that time, our machines were no longer efficient due to breakdowns and a high consumables turnover. That's why we had to replace them and why we switched to Marel systems. In all of the processing plants I’ve seen in the Philippines and abroad, machines were more durable; they were all Marel,” Raya explained about QPLC’s situation in 2018, when he became responsible for the processing plant.
Early in 2020, QPLC started completely rebuilding the killing and evisceration departments to handle a capacity of 4,500 bph [75 bpm]. Automation replaced manual processes. QPLC managed to continue business in a rented processing facility nearby, while re-equipping and reinstalling their own plant, which became a kind of greenfield within an existing building but with a new roof and floors.
Local Marel engineers
“Luckily Marel had a full team of local engineers available in the Manila region, who could come to our plant. As hotels were closed, they had to rent an apartment for the time needed to install and commission,” commented Raya. Despite the unusual circumstances, they performed perfectly.
With evisceration things are very different as not all eviscerator brands really perform that well. It is the Marel machines in the evisceration area, which have made the biggest difference. When the Nuova CoreTech system processed its first 100 test broilers, employees started clapping, because the machine had taken out all intestines perfectly.
Whole chicken handling
A new Marel Compact Grader, installed after the water chiller and drip line, grades whole birds. QPLC wants to weigh their chicken precisely without added water content. Products are then packed in bulk bags, which contain about 15 whole chickens depending on their weight.
QPLC sells their whole chickens mainly to HRI customers (Hotel and Restaurant Industries). These include the Metro Manila outlets of Jollibee Food Corporation, the major QSR chain in the Philippines and famous worldwide for its fried chicken. Jollibee Food Corporation is one of QPLC’s most important customers and awarded QPLC the title of ‘Preferred Supplier’ in 2018.