Basel, CH – September 2015
The current situation
Danish Crown, a food business with an international focus, is one of the world’s largest meat exporters. In Holsted, the new headquarters for its Beef Division, Danish Crown has built Europe’s most cutting-edge slaughterhouse for cattle. The first animals were delivered for slaughter in spring 2014 and the slaughterhouse was opened officially by Prince Joachim on 22 August 2014.
For Softproviding, the “Holsted” project began back in November 2013 with workshops at Danish Crown’s head office in Randers. Not long after that, the first training sessions in the Meat Management training program were already being held to enable employees to start working on the project as effectively as possible and provide hands-on training.
The new plant had to meet the toughest requirements in terms of ergonomics, hygiene and cost-effectiveness while also ensuring optimized flows of goods. All relevant data on the production process had to be immediately available in the central SAP system and a sizeable part of the process control and production planning procedures had to be effected from the ERP system. Full traceability in SAP and Meat Management by Softproviding was a further objective of the project.
The solution: SAP ERP and Meat Management by Softproviding
Planning is carried out using Meat Management planning cockpits. The cockpits were tailored to Danish Crown’s specific requirements to simplify employees’ daily planning as much as possible. Disassembly planning was explained in detail in the most recent newsletter article.
Determining the cooling time
The cooling time (short or long) is determined separately for every single slaughtered animal. This process was implemented using Meat Management object determination. The cooling time is determined based on various input parameters (such as the weight of the animals) and reported back to the PLC.
Putting away and removing the halves
When putting carcasses away, employees can use object determination to simply define the storage groups in which the animals are to be put away (based on the quality data and findings from the slaughter data records). For example, it is possible to put animals which meet certain customer requirements away in a special storage group. If a visual inspection reveals that an animal is better suited to a different storage group, the hook can be scanned using a handheld device running a Softproviding RAF (Remote Application Framework) application and a manual correction can be made. For more information see here.
Halves are also removed from storage using Meat Management by Softproviding. A stock removal cockpit displays every single animal for the user. They can then be removed from storage individually or based on the storage group. The stock removal sequence is usually planned on the day before removal, with the removal orders authorized and made available to the production employees for execution. This ensures that the ideal disassembly sequence for primal cutting is complied with.
All primal cutting postings (inbound and outbound) are made with a reference to a disassembly order in Meat Management by Softproviding. Yields, costs and many other types of information can therefore be accessed at any time.
Recording and handling the by-products of slaughtering is a process which differs from the other slaughtering/disassembly processes for most customers. This applies to batch formation, traceability and recording and is also the case in Holsted. The by-products are therefore recorded using “statistical” disassembly orders which supply a material and quantity structure for recording.
Putting away and removing primal cuts for picking and deboning
The storage location from which the deboning employees take their cuts is also controlled using object determination and stock removal cockpits. This means that the primal cuts required for deboning are removed via stock removal orders and processed in the deboning area.
All deboning postings (inbound and outbound) are made with a reference to a disassembly order in Meat Management by Softproviding. Yields, costs and many other types of information can therefore be accessed at any time.
Minced meat production
Trimmings from the deboning process are collected in containers, put away according to their fat content and sent for minced meat production later on. In the minced meat production area, Meat Management functionalities are used for further production. The number of physical weighing processes is reduced to a minimum with the aid of weighing strategies and order pair formation from several orders. Minced meat production is planned via a special master data management system, enabling customer-specific labelling processes to be planned according to the timeframe. Special offers and further information can also be entered in the system. Orders are created automatically via a DPS planning cockpit and it is always clear which order quantities are based on customer orders and which are based on forecast data. If quantities change, it is possible to replan at any time, even if work is currently in progress.
Meat Management by Softproviding enhances SAP ERP traceability with its change control feature. By assigning change reasons (or change characteristics), variations in the values of the features assigned to the different products can be controlled individually to determine if and when they lead to a change. Thanks to the flexibility this offers, it was easy to adapt the change control feature to Danish Crown’s requirements (slaughtered in, born in, reared in, etc.).
Facts about Danish Crown Holsted
- 380 employees
- Slaughters: 4,500 cattle per week. This corresponds to about half of all livestock slaughtered in Denmark each week.
- 110 cattle can be slaughtered every hour.
- About 10,000 quarters are disassembled each week. This is 500 cattle per day.
- 500 tons of beef can be minced every week. This corresponds to 600,000 of the packs of mince sold in supermarkets, which makes up about 60 per cent of the beef mince consumed by Danes each week.