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Automated Traceability System
February 1, 2015

Automated Traceability System

For four generations the Schonwetters have been involved in the food business in New York State. From the deli and import shop started in Brooklyn to the meat and cheese distribution company the family owned, to Bilinski’s Sausage where current family ownership make the world’s best organic and natural sausages in Cohoes, NY.

Bilinski’s have stayed true to the founders 1929 vision of making the best sausages from the best ingredients. At the same time, Bilinski’s has taken all their delicious old world recipes and refined them to fit a modern healthy lifestyle. Bilinski’s has pioneered a line of all natural and organic chicken sausages that better reflects the way the current Bilinski family eats – healthy, flavorful, and simple.

The fact that all organic sausages are prepared by hand and require a number of different ingredients, can pose difficulties in keeping track of individual amounts used and that correct quantities are weighed to ensure a consistent final product. SG Systems has extensive knowledge and experience in the area of formulation control, meat traceability, order processing (piurchase orders, production orders, sales orders) and inventory management (raw ingredient and finished product).

Automated Traceability System

The Automated Traceability System installed at Bilinski’s provides traceability from receiving ingredients (chicken, pork, spices etc.) through to the shipping of GS128 barcode labeled finished product inventory. Along the process are 4 Stainless Steel NEMA4X Touch Screen Terminals connected to weighing platforms (of differing capacities), barcode readers and label printers which enable the manufacturing plan to be communicated with the production team. The system has virtually eliminated time consuming SQF paper based production and meat traceability records.

The formula for particular products are entered into the PC/Server via the Automated Traceability System software. The Automated Traceability System allows management to enter and determine the exact recipe characteristics, including individual ingredient tolerances and how the products are added. For instance, recipes may be a mixture of weighed spices and bulky meat based ingredients – both of which are weighed to tight tolerances (enforced by the system) to produce a consistent taste and texture to the sausage.

Automated Traceability System

Automated Traceability System

The Automated Traceability System calculates the amounts of individual ingredients needed and downloads the order to the relevant station, providing an effortless formulation process, with the large screen prompting the operator throughout as each correct amount of ingredient is added. The system will not allow the operator to continue if the incorrect ingredient is selected or if the wrong amount is added. Detailed quality control instructions relating to product characteristics are also flagged to ensure adequate HACCP / SQF requirements are met. The system provides essential quality control covering ingredient movements, required quality attribute questions and a strictly controlled rework policy provided by the USDA.

Once the final product has been cooked and packaged, the finished boxed product is weighed and labeled to ensure weight tolerances are adhered to. Once the GS1 formatted label has been applied (providing ingredient declariation, USDA logo, GS128 symbolody plus desired customer text), the finished product inventory system is then updated to provide real-time visibility of exactly how many boxes have been produced with their indiividual weights (fixed weiight or catch weight specification).

The final piece of Automated Meat Traceability System is a customer sales order processing system. This software enables customer specific orders to be aotomatically imported from the customers NECS accounting software into the system and then the orders are sent to the shipping terminal and handheld computer for the operator to allocate and pick inventory. Quality control questions covering the pre ship revieew and final shipping are captured prior to the bill of labeling being automatically printed.

The end result is an Automated Meat Traceability System which can trace an ingredient through the manufacturing process to a finished product. In the event of an ingredient recall, Bilinski’s can provide their customers with the assurance that they have 100% visibility of which ingredient has been used, how much and which used.

SG is a company who pride themselves on thinking outside of the box to deliver solutions to eliminate meat traceability paperwork and provide customers with a return on investment. The team at Bilinski’s are forward thinking, innovative and appreciate that traceability can be turned from being a headache into something which can be used to deliver real business value. Above all though, they make an excellent organic sausage!

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