Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Environmental Engineering
Maria G. Solano - New Mexico State University
Co-Author(s): M. Solano, D. Ochoa, D. Valles-Rosales, and E. Delgado, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
In our time, the demand of organic products is rapidly increasing, especially meat. This project focuses on analyzing the current processes that take place at Tierra Del Sol Slaughter house facility located in Fort Hancock, TX. The facility produces lamb and goat organic meat, and operates three main areas: slaughtering, processing and cooking. The main problem of focus is the current slaughtering process of the facility. Process standardization, time studies, cost-benefit analysis and value stream mapping of the three areas are the methodologies applied in this research. Once the process and production schedules are analyzed, the main objective is to reduce production costs in order to increase profit, and process optimization while complying with USDA standards. The optimization of the processes will have no significant effect on the quality of the product, but it will have a significant effect on production rates for the company. Moreover, technical visits were made regularly and consisted of the evaluation of the facility, the detailed studies of the processes and operations carried out at the slaughterhouse. During these visits, interviews were conducted with the workers and inspector, detailed observation of various processes, data and measurement collection. The first approach to analyze the data was to elaborate a Value Stream Map of the process, which contains representation of the steps of the process and their respective times, and it is the most essential and more powerful tool that contains all actions and process steps, value-added and non-value added, which are required to create a product or service. This tool helps the identification of waste and improvement opportunities. Once the process is understood and root causes are clearly identified, a statistical analysis of variance (ANOVA) is to be performed using the data collected (30 animals), to test for differences in processes between each animal. The total processing time per animal ranges between 31.5 to 58 minutes. The data has been collected in separate intervals (days), because the facility slaughters different number of animals different days. Same method to collect the data was applied for each time. Idle time refers to the time the carcass/animal is idle before entering the next step of the process. It is noticeable that some processes are constant through different animals, while others are not. It is believed that this is due to the rotation of the workers. One of the biggest factors by which the process may be affected is that they do not have a standardized work. The overall slaughtering process is to be standardized and optimized by the end of this research, and to the extent of this study several observations are made and resources utilization is analyzed, and each detailed step of the processes and methods used to slaughter animals at Tierra Del Sol. It is believed that if, workers are arranged and stationed at the steps they are better at, the process will flow in a more efficient way rather than how it is currently being done. The ultimate goal of this analysis is to find the optimal work flow for the slaughtering process at Tierra Del Sol with minimal waste of any type. Overall, optimized processes and productivity, higher efficiency, improved water utilization and cost reduction of the facility are preliminary outcomes from this research.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): USDA
Faculty Advisor: Delia Valles-Rosales, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I contributed in every step of the work done, since I am working with one other graduate student and two faculty members.