Automated raw hide cutting from Feltre19 December 2005
Tannery automation specialists, Feltre, have devised an automatic system for cutting fresh or salted hides. RawCutter was launched on the company's stand during the Tanning Tech show in October. The RawCutter is able to cut up to 200 hides per hour using a mechanical conveying mechanism combined with laser guided cutters. The machine can be set up in four modes to either cut the full length of the bellies or cut across the full neck. RawCutter is quite a large machine and takes up approximately 6.3m (length) x 4.1m (width) in floor space and is 2.8m high. Two operators load the hides on to the conveyor where laser lights guide the cutting area on the hide which is placed with the hair side up, folded down the backbone. The light guides are adjusted by the operator using joysticks located at the side of the conveyor. Depending on which cutting system the tanner prefers (full neck or bellies) the conveyor then moves the hide up and down, left and right cutting along the laser line. The machine can first cut the bellies and then the shoulders or first the shoulders and then the bellies. Following the cutting operations, the cut shoulders, croupons and bellies are automatically loaded on to separate collection areas for further grading and processing. Cut pieces can also be removed manually. RawCutter is controlled by a computer mounted on the machine with appropriate software which controls the settings etc. Feltre also produce other cutting machines for tanned hides know as WBCutter or limed hides using the LimeCutter system.