The Duravant family of operating companies serve the food processing, packaging and material handling segments.

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success story

Gerber Poultry – Kidron, Ohio

The main goal was to increase production, improve product flow through the plant, reduce labor; increase A grade pack out and reduce double handling.

Foodmate Equipment

Poultry grading, distribution and OPTI Flow Cut-up System drip line out of the chiller to a weight transfer system to distribution line with vision grading. Three (3) buffer transfer machines to three (3) retail frame cut up lines, multiple WOG drops and one 8/9 piece cut up line.


The scope of the project was to provide grading and cut-up for 220 birds per min out of the chiller. From the chiller, the birds are introduced to a distribution line where the birds are weighed and graded and then distributed to the appropriate WOG drops or cut up lines based on weight and grade.


The main goal was to increase production, improve product flow through the plant, reduce labor; increase A grade pack out and reduce double handling.


From conception to execution, Foodmate used a team approach in close collaboration with the customer. Due to the size of the project, there were multiple integrators involved so it was very important to remain flexible in all stages of the project. This was a major investment for Gerber’s with a lot of new technology and several partners/integrators, so Foodmate Engineering, Projects, and Service teams all worked collaboratively to minimize any potential gaps.


Gerber Poultry reported that all objectives and goals have been met. Especially the improvement in product flow and reduction in double handling. Gerber’s management is very pleased with the entire project and would recommend Foodmate US to others in the industry. To allow for minimum downtime the project was installed during multiple phases and the project has evolved during each phase. But the end result is that the system is functioning as promised and the investment is meeting all expectations.

When we asked how was the interaction with Foodmate team members throughout the project, Gerber Poultry reported that communication and interaction were good before, during and after install. “The entire project was very smooth. It started up with no downtime” stated Matt Shoup, General Manager. “We chose Foodmate largely because of the type of company Foodmate US is – not so large that the customer doesn’t know who to call, with a flat organization, flexibility, and ability to respond to all service and parts needs immediately”, added Matt.


The plant eliminated 2nd shift Choice Department which was 9 employees – now on 2nd we run with 1 department 33 employees. Savings of around $243,360 but if you add back the 4 people on 1st shift to do wings we actually cut 5 positions $135,200 to bottom line. “As a company we are running more lines and have basically the same staffing and putting more lbs through. We almost doubled our production now through the cut-up lines. You have to consider the waiver also going from 140 to 175 has helped. This has made a difference with having product to run through the machines with 140 bpm, we were struggling to run them all before.” stated Becky Rhodes, Vice President Production/Operations.

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