Wayne Farms completed a major upgrade and capacity expansion to its Decatur, Ala., prepared foods facility with the installation of a new cooked line and supporting spiral freezer. The new line will produce both steamed and roasted bone-in wing products.
Line 51 joins nine existing production lines there. The 80 positions it adds will bring total employment at the complex to more than 1,100 and enables the facility to increase production by more than 42 million lbs. each year. The line’s twin-drum oven set-up and spiral freezer was designed to serve existing customers and accommodate new business.
“Consumption is up and demand for prepared, easy-to-serve chicken has never been higher,” said Tom Bell, vice president of prepared foods. The cost of the new line was not disclosed.
The line’s new twin-drum oven system improves both processing yield and product end quality by uniformly distributing heat via hot air across the spiral oven’s two rotating tiers. The oven is electrically driven, a more efficient and consistent design than traditional thermal fluid systems using oil and gas.
The Decatur complex produces a variety of chicken entrée, appetizer and menu ingredient items for restaurant, foodservice and retail customers including fully cooked, frozen, par-fried, marinated, sous vide and sausage products.
Wayne Farms, owned by Continental Grain Co., is in the process of being merged with fellow poultry company Sanderson Farms.