KANSAS CITY — Manufacturers of equipment for use in grocery meat departments are finding demand for their labor-saving products going up as many retailers struggle with finding enough employees.  

Troy, Ohio-based Hobart Food Equipment Group, a top supplier of meat saws, mixer-grinders, slicers, choppers, tenderizers and other meat room products, is focused on innovation and continuous improvement, said Megan Pettit, the company’s food machines marketing specialist.

“We strive to develop and build meat room products that will make the butcher’s job easier,” Pettit said.

Hobart’s latest innovation is an integrated pusher feature for its meat saws. The pusher, which Pettit said is often misplaced, is a key tool used by meat saw operators, and Hobart’s new pusher design is built right into the saw, meaning it’s always ready to use and is a great tool in cutting down primal cuts of meat.

The feature, which can be fully removed for cleaning or flipped out of the way when not in use, is available on Hobart’s larger 6801-IP saw and, later this year, will be added to Hobart’s popular 6614-IP smaller footprint model.

The integrated pusher on the Hobart 6801-1P meat saw facilitates the use of the pusher and makes it convenient when cutting down primal cuts of meat.

More and more people are preparing their meals at home instead of dining out, Pettit said. That means that they’re relying more heavily on their local grocery store or butcher to provide the meat for their meals. Hobart’s new Portion Scale Slicer — a slicer and scale all in one — is helping to speed up the deli line and can also speed up the prep for grab and go operations.

Nearly a century of industry leadership

Saws, grinders, forming machines, tenderizers, stuffers, vacuum tumblers and vacuum package machines are among the machines Countryside, Ill.-based Hollymatic makes for use in grocery meat departments.

The company’s legacy in the meat industry goes back nearly a century, said Sam Pantano, vice president of national accounts.

 In the 1930’s, Harry Holly patented the first patty-forming machine, which became a staple in the industry.  In keeping with the mindset of its founder, over the next 80+ years, Pantano said, Hollymatic has pursued its goal to innovate and improve processing equipment.  Today, the company offers solutions for processing various proteins and alternative products.

Despite that illustrious past, Hollymatic, Pantano said, has its eye firmly fixed on meeting its customers’ needs in the present and innovating great products for the future.

“We’re always looking for ways to innovate and improve processing equipment for the industry.  While innovating, we have a strong focus on quality, safety and sanitation.”

One example of Hollymatic’s commitment to innovation is its Defender series, which offers the latest technology with a focus on operator safety, Pantano said.

The Defender 16-4000 was designed with patented state-of-the-art and innovative technology to provide features and benefits not available on other meat saws.

The machine’s Exclusive Visual Glove Detection System utilizes a camera to detect special colored gloves worn by the operator. Upon detection in a predetermined zone, the system activates a processing and braking mechanism to stop the blade in less than .04 seconds, thus greatly reducing unintended or inadvertent contact with the blade.

The Defender PC 1500 is designed with patented innovative stopping devices. Special conductive gloves are worn by the operator, and in the event the glove inadvertently comes in contact with the blade, a state-of-the-art electronic braking mechanism will activate, stopping the blade within 15 milliseconds.

Meeting labor challenges

“Butchers and meat department employees are continually looking for a safer, more efficient way of processing products,” Pantano said. “Butchers are also looking for reliable equipment to ensure that they are able to have the product selection for their customers.”

Hollymatic’s patty machines have dominated the small to medium patty production market for over 75 years, and its mixer/grinders are now available in tandem with auto-feed first grinder, to provide a complete meat grinding system.

“Our unique construction enhances product output, resulting in more profitable production of all your ground meat products,” according to the company.

Hollymatic saws, meanwhile, are competitively priced, high speed, high yield saws that offer significant safety features, including a quick stop brake that stops the blade within one second of shut-off to dramatically reduce risk of injury, as well as safety interlocked doors and double-flanged wheels.

The company’s Hi-Yield 16-5000 represents the new generation of meat saws. Designed with the end-user in mind, it’s the easiest saw on the market to clean without complete disassembly, according to the company.

“Its uniquely designed soft start ability provides maximum energy efficiency, its maintenance-free braking can stop the blade in one second and the innovative design makes this the right saw for meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and more.”

Weight-controlled, high-speed cutting

The Falcon Evolution precision portion cutting machine from Shelton, Conn.-based Treif combines high-speed cutting with extremely high throughput.

Based on nearly 20 years of experience in the area of cutting precisely weighed portions, Treif developed the Evolution to offer unbeatable speed, due to optimization of the individual processes, according to the company.

Other benefits of the Evolution include:

  • Revolutionary and unparalleled openness;
  • A premium-hygiene design for easy and thorough cleaning;
  • Accurate weight control; and
  • Operator-friendly and intuitive software interface.

Equipped with a 4D camera system and featuring a 1.25” taller chamber, the Evolution offers weight-controlled bone-in and boneless portion cutting and it maximizes output with nearly 100% yield with each cut.

Keep up with the latest in the meat & poultry category.