18 Months on and the TN4200 is Exceeding Expectations at Tulip Boston
The Wiltshire ham is celebrated throughout the United Kingdom for its moist and tender meat that delivers an abundance of rich flavors. It is commonly regarded as the UK’s finest ham. One of its most skilled purveyors, Tulip Ltd, resides in the small port town of Boston on the east coast of England.
A leading food producer supplying the retail and foodservice markets, Tulip is owned by The Danish Crown group. The company turns out an impressive variety of food creations from fresh pork, bacon, and cooked meats to sausages and canned meats.
“Nobody else in the UK does Wiltshire ham the way we do,” says factory manager Buster Peeling. “We’re a natural product with a unique process.” Tulip offers Wiltshire ham with honey and other flavorings, as well as a mini-Wiltshire in smaller diameter.
From Hand Work to Automation
Tulip Boston had reached a crossroads of sorts. Because their Wiltshire ham production process does not use tumblers or phosphates to assist with binding, achieving consistent product compression is challenging. The system they were using to form their hams was antiquated, requiring multiple stages of physi- cally demanding manual labour.
Clearly, it was time for a change. According to area leader Stuart Clarke, “We needed an automated solution to remove the manual work. Also, we wanted more consistency in the product.”
Tulip found the answer in the TN4200, featuring a servo-powered compression breech for packaging whole muscle meats. “A key reason we chose the TN4200 is the size of the machine. It is small and compact. The competitor’s machines are far bigger, if you’re restricted by the size of the room like we are, you get a better machine in half the amount of space,” Buster Peeling explains.
A Solution that Works
The physically demanding manual handling has been elimi- nated. A single operator places the ham sections into the five inch diameter breech and the machine takes over from there, compressing the ham into consistent lengths and diameters in netting or plastic casing. Stuart Clarke most appreciates the product consistency from the TN4200. “To be able to reproduce time and time again is fantastic.” Area leader Colin Graves adds, “It’s so easy to use. Just put the product in, close the door, and it comes out the same every time.”
Case Study: Tulip Ltd, Boston UK
Consistent product compression from the TN4200 brings other efficiencies such as improved slicing yield. Paired with a pre- fixed diameter netting, the TN4200 achieves consistent diameter across the entire length of the ham. As a result of this newfound uniformity, Tulip has also experienced an increase in slicing yield.
Labour and efficiency savings have been significant. Although the factory is not a high production environment, he has also noticed considerable time savings: “The process time has been reduced by one-third compared to our previous operation.”
Overall Impressions of TIPPER TIE and TN4200
Stuart Clarke is also pleased with the versatility of the TN4200. Although purchased specifically for Wiltshire hams, he sees potential for other products. “There is scope there and we’re looking forward to running new products in the future.”
Factory manager Buster Peeling gives high marks to TIPPER TIE for innovation, product quality, problem solving, and technical support, “On the installation, you stayed with us for two weeks.” He also praises the after sale service from Bryant Ltd., “These boys are all over it.” When asked about recommending the TN4200 to others he replied, “It’s a competitive edge for me! But, seriously, yes, I would recommend it.”
His satisfaction is evident as he sums up the TN4200, “Reliable. Consistent. Easy to use!”