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Customer Story: Family-owned Abattoir and Meat Processing Plant –
Townsend Butchers

Customer Story: Townsend Butchers

Background of the Company

Townsend Butchers Inc. is a family-owned and operated meat processing plant and butcher shop located in Simcoe, Ontario. Townsend Butchers started in 1972 as a local source for fresh high-quality meat and poultry. Their butcher shop offers a full deli section with most of their products being made in house.

Townsend Butchers also provides custom abattoir services. This service is vital to the local meat industry because it provides an avenue for farmers and producers to get their high-quality meat products to local markets.

The Challenge:

Townsend Butchers was looking for a full end-to-end food traceability solution. This fully integrated software and hardware solution needed to manage their entire process, from live animal receiving to full finished goods production, and inventory management.

The Approach:

Townsend Butchers and Carlisle Technology agreed the solution needed to be as simple as possible. The approach meant Carlisle Technology would implement only core software functionality that was “out-of-the-box.” This approach utilized the following applications from Carlisle’s Symphony Software Suite

  • Animal Receiving
  • Carcass Processing
  • Work in Progress Tracking
  • Raw Material Receiving
  • Piece and Carton Labeling
  • Sales Order Fulfillment
  • Warehouse Management and Inventory Control

The Solution:

Townsend Butchers decided to implement Carlisle Technology’s Symphony Software Suite. Symphony’s manufacturing and warehouse management software offers complete production control, inventory management, sales order fulfillment, and detailed internal traceability. Carlisle Technology’s plant-floor software, iCap, was implemented for product weighing and labeling. The following is a breakdown of how the solution was implemented across the plant.

Boxed Meat and Dry Goods Receiving Area:

All raw material and boxed meat coming into the plant is received through the Symphony Mobile Client. Symphony Mobile operates on a Honeywell mobile computer. Symphony Mobile is used to scan received products that have a GS1 label. If the product being received doesn’t have a GS1 label, the product information is keyed into Symphony on the mobile computer. A barcoded label is then printed from a nearby wireless printer, and the label is attached to the received product.

Harvest Area:

Townsend Butchers starts their kill-floor data-collection process at the Hot Scale. At the Hot Scale, there is a PC station running Symphony’s Harvest Data Capture Module. The PC station is connected to an overhead monorail scale to capture each animal’s hot weight. The user enters the vendor’s or farmer’s information, including the order number, the animal’s RFID ear tag, and any receiving comments.

The animal is then slaughtered. Depending on the animal size and type, the carcass may be cut into two halves. If the carcass is cut in half, each half goes on the scale separately. Symphony reads the weight from the scale and prints a carcass tag for each half. Once the carcass is weighed and tagged, it is moved to the cooler.

Cut Floor:

Carcasses are issued into production batches from the carcass cooler. This process includes scanning the carcass tag with a mobile computer and moving the carcass onto the Cold Scale to capture the cold weight. Symphony Mobile (operating on the mobile computer) receives the cold weight from the scale indicator, and it records the weight against the carcass ID. Then the carcass is issued to a production batch. All the cuts that come from the carcass are associated with the same production batch as the carcass for traceability. Intermediate products, like ground meat or partial carcasses, are labeled and returned to inventory to be used in later batches.

Spice/Raw Material:

Raw material and spices are labeled upon receiving. This allows Townsend Butchers to scan their raw material and spices into production batches for traceability. Townsend Butchers also has visibility into their raw materials and ingredients for inventory control and re-ordering 

Packaging Area:

An iCap station is located in the packaging area. Townsend Butchers packages each product as an individual piece. Each piece either gets a standard GS1 label, or it gets a weigh-price label. The labeled pieces are then scanned into a case using a mobile computer. Once the case is full, a customer shipping label is printed and placed on the case.

Office/Shipping Area:

Townsend Butchers uses the Symphony’s Warehouse Management Module for their sales order fulfillment. From a single dashboard, users create new sales orders, release orders to be picked, and print invoices and shipping paperwork. Using mobile computers on the plant-floor, operators can see and pick orders that are ready to be shipped. The office can view the picking progress for each order in real-time.

Carlisle Technology: Our Expertise

Over the years, Carlisle Technology has steadily responded to the needs of the food industry by adding product features, application configurability, scalability, and ERP System integration. Today, Carlisle’s focus is on full-featured, plant-wide, integrated software and hardware solutions that meet the needs of the Food Processing Industry from receiving to shipping and order fulfillment. Carlisle Technology provides and supports fully integrated plant floor data collection and inventory solutions, which enable full internal traceability as well as process visibility. Due to Carlisle’s broad expertise, maintaining or improving productivity during the data collection process is a key consideration in all our systems.