8.0 MSU Design Reviews And Engagement
Box 6. Key Findings from engagement with MSU Designers
There are a range of options on the market ranging in cost from £310,000 up to almost £1million dependent upon the species processed. Typically, the throughput of the MSU is constrained by chill capacity.
Four MSU suppliers were engaged with to determine costs, throughputs, technical capacity, etc and to feed into the market viability and cost benefit analysis work. The table below summarises the technology providers engaged with.
|Company and Location||Comments|
|Kometos Finnmodules, Finland||Kometos have indicated that they have sold a number of MSUs in Sweden, Latvia, Estonia and Kazakhstan.
This company provided the MSU used in the Swedish case study referred to earlier in this document and have provided detailed information on multi-species MSUs, with a range of configurations.
|Abachem Engineering, England||Cost information plus drawings and specification have been provided for the following three options: (i) cattle; (ii) sheep and pigs; (iii) cattle, sheep and pigs.|
|AES, England.||Drawings and design data (schedules of items) provided for different scales of modular* and mobile slaughter units, for different animal species. Cost data has been provided.|
|Fisher UK, England||Have provided information on chilling units, for use at the docking station sites.|
|Dawson Group - Scotland office, manufactured in England.||Cost estimates (capex and rental) provided for modular* units rather than mobile units which can easily move to different locations.|
The following sections provide an overview of in terms of the designs and costs associated with the companies mentioned above. The detailed information provided has not been included in this report for commercially sensitive reasons and the cost data has been anonymised for the same reasons.
8.2 Summary of Design Options
8.2.1 Mobile Slaughter Units
Kometos commented that their basic rule of thumb is that if there is capacity to have a throughput of 15 cattle, the MSU can then process 30 pigs or 40-50 sheep in a same space, in one slaughter day – processing the same animal species only over the course of one day. Chilling space is what determines the throughput and capacity limits.
It was commented that the pig dehairing machine is a challenge. Creating the required quantity of warm water requires a significant amount of energy and finding the space for the plant is challenging. In effect they have said that in practice this does not work.
The Kometos trailer width would need consideration, at 3.1 metres, which is 0.2 metres wider than the maximum for normal loads (2.9 metres). See the figure above for reference. The cattle carcases are chilled as quarters and the sheep as whole carcases.
ABA Chem provide MSU designs and manufacturing for sheep, pigs and cattle and have reported to have sold over 10 MSUs (all sheep and pigs, no cattle). The african market was commented to be growing. It was stated that it is much easier and cheaper to process sheep and pigs, if looking at cattle need to be aware of height and width restrictions which mean that the systems need to be hydraulic, which significantly increases costs. Both of the options (cattle and sheep/pigs) have one storage container for waste, therefore all categories would need to be mixed. There is a separate container for blood, however this is not collected hygienically and therefore the separate collection is for ease.
8.2.2 Chilling Units
Fisher UK provided information on a chill unit design for location at a docking station (figure below). This is able to store 30 cattle and 30 lambs (similar to 10 cattle for space) per location. The rail is at 550mm centres which may be tight for beef quarters (depends on the species) e.g. if they are large continental breeds this may have to reduce down to 4 rails (from 5) at wider centres. The unit requires a 3-phase power supply to run the refrigeration system.
8.3 Summary of Costs
Table 5 provides anonymised capital cost information from two MSU design companies, for the following:
- MSU (tractor trailer), all species + chill trailer
- MSU (tractor + trailer), all species + chill incorporated (no separate chill trailer)
- MSU (Tractor + trailer), sheep and pig + chill incorporated
Table 6 provides the same anonymised capital cost information from one company, but for two small, modular fixed slaughterhouses (for comparison purposes with MSU costs) and for an MSU option, for the following:
- Modular smalls (e.g. sheep, pigs) slaughterhouse
- Modular, low throughput cattle, sheep and pig slaughterhouse
- MSU (tractor + trailer), all species + chill incorporated
|Criteria||Company A||Company B|
|MSU, all species + Chill Trailer||MSU, all species + Chill incorporated ||MSU, Sheep and Pig + Chill Incorporated||MSU, All species + Chill Incorporated|
|Throughput Per Day (8 hours)*||15 cattle, or 30 pigs, or 40-50 sheep (throughput constrained by chill capacity)||>15 cattle, or 30 pigs, or 40-50 sheep||15||3|
|Number of operatives||6||3||3||2 - 3|
*Limited by chilling infrastructure
|Criteria||Modular Smalls (e.g. sheep, pigs) Slaughterhouse||Modular, Low Throughput Cattle, Sheep and Pig Slaughterhouse||MSU, All Species|
|Cost||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
|Throughput Per Day
|Capacity: circa 20-50 smalls per day
Storage capacity of the cold store: circa 8 – 10 carcases
Average Weight of the live animals: 100 – 150 Kg
|160 head beef per annum approx. 3/ per week
1200 head lambs per annum approx. 20/week
300 pigs per annum approx. 5/week
3 - 4 cattle per hour.
However, the cold store capacity only holds 4 - 6 carcases.
|Number of operatives||3 workers||3 workers||3 workers|