WICHITA, Kan. – Cargill officials announced the company’s investment of $5.5 million at its case-ready plant in Hazleton, Pa. Automated steak-trimming equipment and a new automated product line includes a box-making, weighing and labeling system that the company says enhances efficiency and improves ergonomics for its 640 workers. Centralized performance monitoring of the equipment is ensured by the integrated network of equipment at the 230,000 sq.-ft. plant, which has been operating since 2002. 

“These investments will allow us to improve production by a low double-digit percentage increase in volume,” Mike Martin, director of communications, told meatpoultry.com in an e-mail.

“We always strive for excellence and this new equipment will enable us to improve our performance,” said Aaron Humes, complex manager at the Hazleton facility.  He added that the automated technology improves ergonomics for workers by eliminating processes that were previously done by hand.  “This investment will allow us to remain competitive and show what we can do to benefit our customers and their meat cases.” 

Earlier this month, Cargill announced plans to invest $2.3 million to install ground beef production and packaging equipment at the company's Wyalusing, Pa., beef processing plant.