Moy Park with its headquarters in Craigavon, Northern Ireland specializes in the production of fresh prepared foods at the Craigavon site. The company was an early adopter of GEA MultiDrum breaders. This technology has provided the opportunity for both product innovation and productivity step change across the company’s extensive range of coated chicken product made just the way customers like.

Customer profile

Gea Moy Park homestyle chicken

Moy Park is Northern Ireland’s largest private sector business; it employs 13,000 people, and is one of Europe’s leading poultry producers. It controls three generations of chickens, processes up to six million birds every week and has around 40 million birds on the ground in 800 local farms. This allows Moy Park to control the quality of the product throughout the manufacturing process. Its coated product produced across the wider Prepared Foods Business Unit and with homestyle, textured coatings are sold to both retail and foodservice customers.

“We look across the world, building appropriate relationships and testing with technology providers to understand what will work best in our business.” Ian Dunn, Head of Process Development, Moy Park

The challenge

Gea Moy Park homestyle chicken

Moy Park is a local company that uses local ingredients and is proud to produce high quality products for its retail customers. But Ian Dunn, Head of Process Development, is on a constant quest to develop new products, reduce give away, reduce waste and improve yields. He said that the company is always trying to improve its operational performance, maintain product consistency, reduce costs and add value.  This, he said, can be achieved by keeping at the forefront of technology and increasing the use of automation. 

“We are always looking to automate as many parts of the business as possible to take away the more mundane roles and to leave more interesting roles for people so any enhancements in automation that bring operational benefits would be key for us.” Ian said that he had worked with drum breaders in the past, but with mixed success in terms of appearance and the eating experience. 

“The MultiDrum ticks all our operational boxes.” Ian Dunn, Head of Process Development, Moy Park

The right performance

Gea Moy Park homestyle chicken

GEA has supplied Moy Park with a range of preparation, forming, coating, cooking and bagging equipment for over 30 years in a spirit of mutual trust and respect in which both companies can experiment, innovate and flourish. It was back in 2012 that Ian Dunn was first introduced to the GEA MultiDrum breader. “It was just a prototype but we kept a watchful eye on it,” he said. “When it had completed testing we acquired one machine; we now have eight MultiDrum breaders across our business.”

Ian said that a key element in the decision to work with GEA was the strong technology center in Bakel. “It helped us to work in a very quiet environment, not disturbed by normal operational demands, where we could benefit from the experience of the GEA technology team to help us concentrate on new processes and to see how with raw materials and ingredients react to produce quality innovative products in an effective way.” Specifically, the MultiDrums help Moy Park create the homestyle, texture coating they want while achieving high productivity, consistent quality and maximum uptime as the machines can be recharged with breadcrumbs without stopping and product lines can be switched quickly. “They tick all our operational boxes,” said Ian. The complete line includes a preduster, aligner, a coating line, a second MultiDrum for the texture coating followed by flash frying and onto the spiral chiller.  All equipment is supplied by GEA. “The MultiDrum gives us the opportunity to produce the style of products consumers would typically see in a fast food restaurant, to cook at home in the oven,” said Ian.

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