Some might be asking this question simply because hide sorting has traditionally been a very time consuming and old-fashioned process. Many places that were sending hides off to be processed would simply take the hide and throw it on a bench scale. They would take the weight and then inspect it for any sort of deficiencies or grading issues before throwing some salt on the hide, folding it, and sending it elsewhere to be worked on.
There has to be a more efficient way to sort hides than that, right?
This is the question we asked ourselves when we designed the best hide scale on the market and a sorting operation to go with it.
Normally, in a hide plant, the hides are suspended by two wheel trolleys that roll along the channels of an I-beam overhead. For weighing purposes, many places are currently cutting a section of that I-beam in order to separate it from the rest. It is then attached to a scale, so trolleys and hides can be weighed as they cross over that I-beam section. It makes sense when you think about it, but it is a fairly inaccurate method because that wasn’t the I-beams intended purpose and all sorts of outside factors can influence the weighment.
This led us to make our hide scale as an upgrade. The hide scale is a heavy duty scale that makes use of special trolleys which pivot upon entering the scale. The trolley pivots out of center with the carcass in order to isolate the carcass weight as it passes over the scale. This gives it incredibly accurate readings that surpass any other conventional methods for weighment.
With that accurate weight information, the hide is graded at a manual grading station by a user who is inspecting for defects, thickness, and type of hide. With all of that information together, the system can make a decision on where the hide should be sorted to. Once the hide reaches its intended location, whether that be a bin or some sort of brine chill, a mechanical lever pushes the trolley J-hook up until the hide simply slides off and falls into the correct spot.
The system drastically reduces any sorting issues due to poor weighments and automatically handles your hides with ease.
The sorting of animal hides is often a labor intensive job. In today’s world, efficiency is one of the important keys to any business’s success. Management needs and wants to do its best to keep a healthy workforce and eliminate the possibility of workplace related injury. Although we have automated hide sortation to some extent, people are still the key components in the process. We have simply removed a great deal of the manual lifting, carrying, and placement.
With our Hide Sortation System, hides are placed on hooks on a specifically designed chain driven trolley.
The hides are lifted and move past a grading station where they are identified according to a series of specified characteristics and the respective buttons are pressed by the grading individual. For example, hides may be identified initially by brand (native,butt,collie), sex and/or breed buttons.
- Native = No Brand on hide
- Butt = Brand on hide located roughly within 16 inches of tail end
- Collie = Brand on hide roughly above 16 inches of the tail end
Additionally, there are normally different weight ranges with respective buttons to press.
Depending on predetermined needs, the system can be set for the specific drop locations according to the parameters required. One such consideration may be the thickness of a hide as well as the breed of the animal hide.
Simply stated, the grading individual presses buttons on the control panel which determine and assign the associated drop location for the hide. Our specifically developed industrial controller associates the respective elements as well as the hide location according to a distance encoding wheel. As a result of these activities and according to prescribed settings, the hides are released and readied for shipment and subsequent product processing.
Our Hide Sorting System removes a great deal of physical labor, increases throughput efficiency, and subsequently provides the strong component of worker safety.
More goes into the process of hide sorting than you would probably think.
After a hide is cleaned, washed, and dried, it needs to go through a series of checks and verifications that bring it to its final destination and determine what it will be used for.
The first step a hide goes through in our version of hide sortation is the grading station.
Here, a grader performs an inspection to determine the grade of the hide and has to check several things:
- Does it have any defects?
- Does it have any holes?
- Does it have a brand and where?
All of these end up being important questions for the hide’s value and its treatment later on.
He is given a panel that lets him input all of these specifications with general ease.
After the grader completes his task, the hide moves on to the next important sorting phase: the weighment.
All of the hides are treated and priced mainly by weight and their lack (or excess in a bad case) of defects.
The hide passes over an in-motion monorail scale, and the weight reading that this takes is linked to the previous information.
When both of those criteria have been logged, the system waits until it reaches an appropriate drop to match its data and a lever tilts the hook holding the hide up, so it then drops off of the hook and into a tub, combo, or other container.
From there it is moved to a vat or location to be treated and progresses onward.
This might seem like excessive detail to go through for every hide, but it is all very important information.
With the weight measurements, one or two pounds could spell the difference for several hundred dollars of premiums.
An intuitive system like this helps you make the most of your operation, helping you to hit the premiums and to avoid the less profitable hides.
Look into it if you have any sort of hide operation.
Most people don’t realize that virtually every piece of an animal harvested in the beef and pork industry is utilized in one form or another in a variety of products.
Society as a whole, gives very little thought to where leather comes from in producing that leather couch or piece of clothing.
This is where hide sorting comes into play.
The fact of the matter is that a leather product begins with an animal hide.
With that in mind,animal hides are initially sorted and classified for determination of value.
Sorting of animal hides for dollar value in a hide plant is often a dirty and labor intensive operation.
Hides are sorted according to quality/damage, brand presence, weight (thickness) and the amount of the hides.
We have developed an excellent method of automating the sorting process.
Rather than a great deal of manual labor and data entry, individual hides are placed on a chain driven trolley specifically designed for effiency of the process.
As the hides move along, they pass a grading station where an individual visually identifies, quality/damage, and brand presence/type by pushing the respective buttons on a data entry control panel.
From this station, the hide trolley passes to a dual channel rail scale.
Wheels on each side of the trolley support the hide trolley as it passes over the independent load cells of the two channel scale.
The capacity of this scale is 500 x 0.1 lb.
The summed input from the two cells is provided to the weight indicator.
This info along with the other previous control data is gathered by a computer program in a specific Windows® Embedded-based system stripped of unnecessary programs and activities.
Thus, the system gathers individual weight and control data, and associates it with the hide location as identified by an encoding wheel after passing the scale.
As a result of these activities and according to prescribed settings, hide drop locations are initiated by the Automated Hide Sortation System, and hides may be dropped into containers or raceways for associated tanning/sorting applications.
Hide plants can reduce their labor costs, improve the ergonomics for their workers, and maximize profits with our Hide Sortation System.
Here’s how it works:
Push Button Grading
A hide on an overhead chain passes by an operator at the grade station.The operator makes a selection from the choices presented on the grading panel, such as native, butt, coloy, bull, vow, or one of several special grades important to your operation.
With the press of a button on a panel, the initial grading is complete.
Automatic Weighing and Distance Encoding
The hide proceeds to a dynamic scale (our WeighMore® In-Motion Monorail Hide Scale would be a great choice) which determines the weight of the hide while in motion.A switch is then activated to begin tracking the travel distance of that hide.
Based on your weight parameters for each grade that is stored in the system’s computer, the hide continues to its designated drop area.
Hides that do not meet any of the defined parameters continue on the conveyor chain and can be deposited in the raceway or a general drop.
As a drop tub nears its capacity, a warning light is activated alerting the fork lift driver to get there soon.
When a tub becomes full that drop becomes unavailable and the beacon light signals that it is time to change the tub.
As soon as one tub is cleared and an empty tub is in place, the fork lift operator can re-activate that drop through a touchscreen display.
Performance reporting can be sent to an office where display equipment allows management the ability to review production reports in real time.
Typically, plants like to track grand total, tannery totals, and raceway totals by grade and weight range. Our system will maintain a 30-day file of information on-board for retrieval in case of a network failure.
Additionally, if you allow us to have access to your network through the internet, our ability to support and help you maintain your system can often be done remotely…without the time and expense of a site visit.