KWS Manufacturing

Inclined Screw Conveyors & Truck Load-Out Conveyors to Convey Offal Meat & Feathers Mountaire Farms Chicken Processing Plant

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Plant Location

Mountaire Farms
Lumber Bridge, NC

General Description

Lumber Bridge, NC is home to the largest chicken processing plant in North America, owned by Mountaire Farms. This plant processes 560,000 chickens every day and no portion of a chicken is wasted.

Once the edible portions have been separated, the remaining parts are sent to an offsite rendering facility to be processed into protein meal and used in a number of other products such as dog food. Generally, the material to be rendered is divided into two groups. One is feathers, which are a very high density protein source. The other is referred to as offal, or meat portions that are not harvested for consumption. The offal category includes certain organs as well as any other portion of the chicken that will not be used. Often times, as is the case in Lumber Bridge, these categories are kept separate throughout the process so that they don’t need to be separated at the rendering facility.

Mountaire Farms had an issue with an existing inclined belt conveyor for transferring material from a rotary screen to a truck load out system. The existing belt conveyor was very inefficient causing a loss in capacity and spillage of materials. KWS replaced the existing belt conveyors with screw conveyors designed to handle the capacity and that were totally enclosed, eliminating the issues with spillage.

Inclined Screw Conveyors & Truck Load-Out Conveyors - Mountaire Farms - KWS

Design Parameters

  1. Product Type: Offal (Meat) & Feathers
  2. Material Density: 40 to 50 Lbs. per Cubic Foot
  3. Capacity: 1,200 Cubic Feet per Hour
  4. Duty: 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per Week
Inclined Screw Conveyors & Truck Load-Out Conveyors - Mountaire Farms - KWS

KWS Advantages

Mountaire Farms asked KWS to improve the design because material was constantly falling back on the inclined belt conveyors and causing inefficiencies in the system. The KWS Ag By-Product Manager was assigned to the application and thanks to over 35-years’ experience in the industry, was able to easily identify the problems and offer long-term, cost-effective solutions.

With the experience of the KWS design team and the high quality equipment built in Burleson, Texas, KWS vastly improved Mountaire’s offal/feather truck load-out room. Mountaire Farms was confident they were working with the right manufacturer throughout the process, knowing that they had ready access to the KWS team of Mechanical and Professional Engineers at any time. Thanks to the inclined screw conveyors, the material is contained within the screw flights and is conveyed much more efficiently. The truck load-out system is easy to operate due to the heavy duty KWS pneumatic slide gates with bronze-bushed rollers.

Special Features

KWS designed two inclined screw conveyors to transfer the offal material up to two horizontal screw conveyors to be loaded into trucks. The inclined screw conveyors used half pitch screws that were close coupled & clocked in order to eliminate hanger bearings. 304 stainless steel troughs were used for corrosion resistance and then fitted with mild steel liners to prevent galling between the stainless steel screw flights and troughs. The horizontal load out screw conveyors were each fitted with three discharges spaced evenly along the length with KWS flat pneumatic slide gates. The slide gates can be opened or closed in order to evenly fill a standard bulk truck. The material of construction for all of these conveyors was 304 stainless steel to prevent corrosion due to the high moisture content of the application.


"Equipment is running well, no issues. The meat and feathers don’t roll down the conveyor like they used to."

Jim Zuniga, Maintenance Manager – Mountaire Farms

Inclined Screw Conveyors & Truck Load-Out Conveyors - Mountaire Farms - KWS
Meat Scraps,Offal,Feathers

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