US 3376828 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 9, 1968 J, HAGER ET AL 3,376,828
APPARATUS FOR DRESSING BEEF CATTLE Filed Oct. 11, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IS F! g. I A H INVENTORS JOHN L. HAGER CLYDE 0. WHITE April 1968 J. L. HAGER ET AL 3,376,828
APPARATUS FOR DRESSING BEEF CATTLE Filed Oct. 11, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2,
INVENTORS 1 Fig. 2 JOHN L... HAGER CLYDE c. WHITE United States Patent 3,376,828 APPARATUS FOR DRESSING BEEF CATTLE John L. Hager, Northfield, Minn., and Clyde C. White,
Omaha, Nebn, assignors to Northfield Equipment and Manufacturing Co., Northfield, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Filed Oct. 11, 1965, Ser. No. 494,424 3 Claims. (Cl. 1041) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for dressing beef cattle comprising a generally circular rail for moving beef carcasses, located above a fioor having carcass-dressing stations thereon below the rail, whereby an efficient dressing operation may be performed in a lesser area than heretofore.
This invention relates to the meat packing industry and more particularly it has reference to compact, unitized apparatus for dressing beef cattle.
A current trend in the meat packing industry is for the establishment of small independent plants throughout the stock-raising areas. Instead of shipping livestock to large packing centers, it is often more economical to establish a small, local plant in an area. In order that such plants may be run on a profitable basis, it is necessary that both the capital investment and the labor costs of operation be held to a minimum.
In a typical beef cattle dressing operation under the prior art, the carcass, with head and rear feet removed, is suspended by its two rear legs from a trolley-supported spreader which is about four feet wide. The trolley is moved along an exended rail which is supported from overhead girders so that the carcass will be brought into position for dressing operations thereon at various stations located along and beneath the rail. The complete rail, consisting of several straight rail sections, extends around the packing house with some of the rail sections in parallel relation and others disposed at an angle to each other. The respectively adjacent ends of the rail sections are connected by relatively short curved sections. with such a circuitous arrangement of the dressing rail, the various carcass dressing stations are spaced widely apart so that a relatively large floor space is required. Since the stations are widely scattered and with some at least partially concealed from view from the others, a supervisory foreman has difliculty in keeping the operators at the various stations under proper surveillance.
One of the objects of this invention is to provide improved apparatus for dressing beef cattle which will overcome the disadvantages of the prior art by affording apparatus which will be relatively simple and compact in structure, yet efficient in operation with a minimum number of operators.
Other objects are to provide compact, unitized beef dressing equipment which can be installed so as to make the most eflicient use of space in a building; can be installed in an existing building without extensive building alterations; can be operated with a minimum number of supervisory and inspection personnel and will provide greater latitude in the installation and operation of beef dressing equipment.
These and other objects and advantages reside in certain novel features of construction, arrangement and combination of parts as will be more fully described hereinafter and pointed out in the appended claims.
Referring to the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a schematic plan view of beef dressing apparatus embodying the invention.
3,376,828 Patented Apr. 9, 1968 FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the circular rail and supporting means showing a carcass at one station and part of the equipment.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the means for supporting the interrupted circular rail.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in the drawings wherein 10 indicates, generally, the rail supporting means comprising a central stand or pedestal 11 which rests on and is secured to the base or floor plate 12 and is braced thereon by the welded brace plates 13. Extending radially outward from the upper part of the pedestal 11 and secured thereto, as by welding, are the supporting arms 14. Welded or otherwise secured to the outer ends of the respective arms 14, is the substantially circularly shaped band 15. Secured to the approximate mid-point of each arm 14 is a brace arm '16 which extends downwardly and inwardly for attachment, as by welding, to the pedestal 11. The base plate 12 may be secured to the floor by suitable bolts, not shown.
Suspended from and extending around the band 15 is the rail 17. The band 15 and the rail 17 each take the form of a substantially closed circle excepting for an opening or interruption which is indicated at 18. Connected to the rail 17, at the left side of opening 18, is the entrance rail 19 which extends into a conventional slaughter area, not shown. Connected to the rail -17 at the right hand side of opening 18 is the exit rail 20 which extends past the carcass shrouding station H and into a conventional storage cooler, not shown.
Positioned along and on the inner and outer sides of the vertical plane of the rail 17 are the units of beef dressing equipment 21 located at the several spaced beef dressing stations. A conventional beef dressing operation is performed progressively upon a carcass M at each of the successive stations as the carcass is moved from station to station along the rail 17. Located at each of the stations is the conventional beef dressing equipment 21, such as platforms, air operated knives and a hide puller, necessary to perform the dressing operations at the respective stations.
In a beef dressing operation, for example, a beef carcass with head and rear feet removed is carried by the conventional spreader and trolley onto the entrance rail 19 and thence onto the rail 17 to the first dressing station, indicated at A, where are performed the usual rump and bung operations. The carcass is then moved to station B where the front feet are removed and the front, shank and neck are cleared, thence to station C for the side clearing operation and thence to station D for the hide pulling operation.
At the next station E, the rail 17 has a short section of straight track which can be dropped so that the carcass can be lowered, turned and eviscerated. This rail dropper section is conventional and is not shown. From station E the carcass is moved to station F for the operations of splitting and bruise trimming. Preliminary inspection of the carcass is usually made at a location between stations E and F and final inspection is made at station G. If a carcass is to be retained for a more critical and further inspection, it is moved onto the conventional retain rail 23. From station G the carcass is moved into the wash and shrouding area indicated at H and thence onto the exit rail 20 and into a cooler, not shown.
In one successful embodiment of the invention, the rail 17 and its supporting band 15 form a substantially circular configuration having a diameter of approximately 20 feet and a circumference of about 60 feet. The supporting stand 10 and the band I15 are of welded steel structure and the rails 17, 19 and 20 are also formed of steel. The structure is such that the rail 17 is about 11 feet above the level of floor 24 which is formed with a circular drain or gutter 25 located below and coextensive with the rail 17. For optimum efficiency and performance, the dressing rail' 17 should have a substantially circular configuration of about 2025 feet in diameter.
With apparatus embodying the invention and having a rail diameter of 2025 feet, it is possible to dress up to about 30 beef cattle per hour. For this operation, a minimum number of operators, one at each station, are needed. Since all of the operators are visible from practically any station, it is possible for the foreman to oversee all operations with a minimum amount of walking. Hence, a socalled working foreman can act both as an operator and as a supervisor. A single oflicial inspector can perform his duties from a location between station E and F and then step over to station G for the final inspection.
The floor space required for the beef dressing rail of the invention is reduced to a minimum because of the etficient use of the space along the substantially circular rail. The rail may be carried by floor supported means such as the central pedestal or stand, for example. With such as arrangement, the dressing rail may be readily installed in an existing building with a minimum amount of building alteration. Since the invention embodies a compact, unitized beef dressing apparatus, additional units may be installed if larger dressing capacity is required. The dressing units are independently operated so that the number of units in operation will depend on the number of beef cattle available, Hence, the invention afiords greater flexibility in the installation and operation of beef dressing apparatus than is possible with prior art apparatus.
Under the prior art practices, beef dressing operations are carried out with the carcasses moving on relatively long, straight sections of rail which run in an extended, circuitous path around the packing house. By the use of the invention, it has been found that the amount of floor space required for a given dressing capacity will be about 30% less than that repuired under conventional prior art practice. The beet carcass is moved along rail 17 by conventional means, not shown.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the objects of the invention have been attained by providing new and improved beef dressing apparatus. Various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention as pointed out in the appended claims.
1. An apparatus for dressing beef cattle comprising a floor having an upright standard secured thereto, means supporting a circularly-shaped band susbtantially above the floor in a generally horizontal plane, said supporting means including arms connected to said band and standard, said band having a rail coextensive therewith and said band also having an interruption forming an opening, said rail continuing to said opening and projecting in a radial direction therefrom forming substantially parallel spaced entrance and exit rail sections, circumferentially spaced beef-dressing stations on said floor below said circular band, and carcass-carrying trolleys movable on said rail sections and rail to and from said beet-dressing stations.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said entrance rail section passes through a cattle-slaughter area and said exit rail section passes through a carcass-washing and shrouding area.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said arms extend radially from the standard and an angularly-disposed brace member is connected to an arm and to the standard.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 243,809 7/1881 Sparrow 17-1 621,116 3/1899 Mandel 171 1,480,232 1/1924 Trimble 104-126 1,773,540 8/1930 Moss 105150 ARTHUR L. LA POINT, Primary Examiner.
J. E. BABER, D. F. WORTH, Assistant Examiners.