Case Study: Miller Poultry
Miller Poultry 17-year-old strapping machine still going strong at over 39 million cycles
Miller Poultry, a family-owned poultry processor in Orland, IN, has grown steadily since entering the chicken processing business in 1974. Today, with its own hatchery, feed mill, and processing plant, the Company provides clean, high-quality fresh chicken to loyal consumers in its local region. With the family name on the product, and positioned as a high-quality alternative in the poultry market, the quality and security of the packages it ships is an important aspect of the Company’s image and success. EAM-Mosca and Mosca strapping systems are proud to be a part of that success.
Miller-EAM-Mosca’s Long History
Miller Poultry purchased its first Mosca strapping machine in 2001, replacing an older strapper. This machine, a Mosca ROMP4 operator-cycled bottom seal strapper, was the only strapping machine in the plant at the time. The success of the first purchase is proven by the fact that as Miller has grown, it remained loyal to Mosca equipment when investing in their packing lines.
Today, Miller Poultry has six Mosca machines for a variety of applications, including three bottom seal units and three stainless-steel side seal models. The three standard blue painted bottom seal strapping machines operate in a cold but dry environment. It’s worth noting that while the original strapper has been repainted, company representatives say it still runs as good as new. The other new stainless-steel units were purchased for use in an ice packing process. Water and ice drainage were unavoidable, making both corrosion resistance and side seal configuration the best choice.
Impressive Results in a Demanding Environment
In an industry where strapping machines are considered almost a throw-away asset, Miller Poultry has done an impressive job of keeping its fleet of equipment in good operating order, completing most of their own preventive maintenance.
The strapping machines average 800,000 cycles per year per machine, high numbers for operator cycled processes. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that the original ROMP4 machine purchased in 2001 is still going strong. While conducting a preventive maintenance service call in December 2018, the first in over six years, it was discovered that the original ROMP4 had accumulated 39,509,574 cycles in 17 years, averaging an impressive 2.2 million cycles per year! The fact that it was running reliably when the EAM-Mosca tech arrived, requiring only routine maintenance before going back into line, was eye-opening. A further testament to Mosca’s commitment to delivering high-quality and high-performing equipment.
Machine Longevity Runs Counter to Some Industry Practices
The experience at Miller Poultry is different from the norm at other firms in the industry. Where some of the larger poultry processors tend to purchase low-cost machines and replace them in a few short years, the experience at Miller Poultry is the opposite. A high-quality machine combined with regular maintenance and cleaning, along with taking the time to cover the equipment during washdown, is a realistic way to achieve the lowest cost of ownership while maintaining the high productivity levels required in a fresh poultry packing operation.
The combination of quality equipment and care is further supported by relatively low replacement part costs, even with five of the six machines between 12 and 18 years old, and all machines running millions of cycles.
From 2016 through 2018 the Company only spent about $1500 in parts per million cycles executed across all machines. An excellent result in an industry where 5 figure annual parts expenditures per machine per year are expected and 12-year-old machines are typically long retired.
Oldie but Goodie
Miller Poultry now has three generations of Mosca machines. These include both powder coated and stainless-steel cabinets, with bottom sealers and side sealers, featuring both heat seal and Sonixs ultrasonic sealing technology. While Company Managers are pleased with the performance of all their Mosca strapping machines, they have an obvious affection for the original 17-year-old ROMP4 machine.
The Miller Poultry story of family involvement, high-quality product, and process ownership throughout the organization, is a winning one. EAM-Mosca is delighted to have been and continue to be a part of it. We look forward to helping to keep the original Mosca strapper, and the rest of the fleet, running smoothly for many years to come.