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success story

Pilgrim’s® / JBS

The scope of this project was to upgrade every Foodmate OPTI Thigh Deboner with a Kneecap Remover (KCR) within the Pilgrim’s organization.

Foodmate Equipment

Eighteen (18) OPTI Thigh Deboners with Kneecap Remover (KCR) will receive the upgrade


The scope of this project was to upgrade every Foodmate OPTI Thigh Deboner with a Kneecap Remover (KCR) within the Pilgrims organization. Before installation of the KCR’s, each plant was visited to minimize or eradicate any potential issues during the install. Once the teams were comfortable with back- end planning, it was decided to installation of the KCR units take place over the weekend, minimizing downtime.


To reduce staffing at the trim table and improve yields by reducing over trimming. Many plants that operate the Foodmate OPTI thigh deboners require on average 6-8 trimmers to remove the cartilage (kneecap) left on the meat after deboning and (depending on the trim spec) remove excess fat and potential bone. One of the inherent problems caused by this manual process is over trimming which can create significant yield losses.

By upgrading every machine Pilgrim’s expected to reduce the number of trimmers and to improve yields. Also, by reducing the number of manual trimmers they hoped to improve workers’ health through reduction of highly repetitive motions.


“With the installation of the KCR we have been able to reduce the number of trimmers and the amount of trim generated, thus increasing yield. The KCR is a great addition to a new OPTI Thigh Deboner or to an existing machine in the field. The investment is quickly justified for a quick ROI”, stated Chris Knight, Director of Engineering Services, Pilgrim’s Corporate.

“The project is still in progress, and communication at multi-levels with Foodmate has been very interactive. We have had no issues during installations; so far five plants are completed including Cold Springs. Although it is still a work in progress, to date, 5 of the 18 KCR upgrades have been installed successfully and we look forward to the remaining installations”, added Chris.

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