Woolworths Meat Company’s meat processing facility is the centre of excellence for meat production plants across the country. The facility opened in September 2015, shifting the focus on what meat plants have been, to what they should be, clean, safe and highly efficient.
Located in Victoria’s “food belt”, and being one of the largest case ready (retail ready) facilities in Australia has brought across many challenges to staff safety. Before the Truganina site was built several key trials were initiated with the BladeStop system at Meat Co’s Bunbury facility, paving the way for a successful transition of 10 BladeStop Bandsaws into the plant.
With close to 500 staff on site, Meat Co employs a large amount of staff from the local community, boosting the local economy. On average, the plant processes 25 tonne of product per day equating to around 125,000 cuts across the 10 BladeStop systems. Given the high volumes of meat processing, safety has been inbuilt into the culture at Woolworth’s Meat Co and BladeStop has proven invaluable to the plant and bandsaw operator safety in several key instances.
“The site has recorded five instances where the BladeStop has significantly reduced the severity of the outcome. Instead of having potential amputations we’ve had some really successful outcomes, we’ve had some minor lacerations, band aid injuries.” Jeff Sabel – Site Safety Manager.
BladeStop alleviated the high risk of bandsaw operation related injuries at Meat Co, with multiple injury saves has quickly established a high sense of moral around bandsaw operators within the plant. The culture of Meat Co has been established as one of safety and this in part is due to the collaboration of Woolworths Meat Co & BladeStop .
“We wanted BladeStop here from the get-go, we wanted to have the safest possible kit from day one to make sure that the people really understood we took it seriously and we could in-bed it in our processes from day one. We like to see this facility as an opportunity to have a centre of excellence for people process and technology. We’re going to do that with this BladeStop technology, we’ve been able to get in here and prove it in a very large scale operation and with that information we will be now be able to take that and expand into the other sites and that can only be good for people, our business and Woolworths.” Andrew Condell – Plant Manager
BladeStop is available worldwide and is uniquely designed to reduce risks of serious injury by mechanically stopping the bandsaw blade when the unit senses that a person has come in contact with the blade. BladeStop is available in two sensing methods. Upon sensing contact with the operator, the blade stops operating within 15 milliseconds. This can be a huge difference between having just a small skin cut or an amputated finger.
The second sensing system detects operator gloves moving at high speed in a zone directly upstream from the saw blade and triggers the BladeStop mechanism to stop the saw blade. In both cases stops the blade in under 15 milliseconds.
BladeStop™ was developed by Scott Automation and Robotics in collaboration with MLA and AMPC.
Adding up the benefits
- Safety -Increase bandsaw operator’s safety; no more horrific injuries
- Workers– Improve personnel morale; happy and motivated workers
- Company– Improve company’s image as an attractive workplace
- Production– Reduce production time lost due to injuries
- Compensation– Greatly reduce worker’s compensation cost
- Insurance– Reduce insurance premiums
- Uptime– Increase processing uptime
- Employment Costs– Reduce operator turnover and training costs
- OH&S– Promote positive OH&S related to bandsaw operation
- Spoilage– Reduce product spoilage
Do you want to improve bandsaw safety in your plant? Bladestop bandsaws put your employees safety first.
Contact one of our Solution Engineers to discuss your requirements.