THE NETHERLANDS, Dongen. In December 2020, Marel’s manufacturing site in Dongen released its 3,000,000th poultry processing shackle since production began in 1987.
A shackle may seem a simple metal hook, but in fact, it is a truly essential component in the poultry industry. A shackle in an overhead conveyor is like a freight car on a railroad, responsible for the safe transportation of products from one point to another. It’s a cleverly designed construction, fit to hold the legs of all thinkable chicken species and sizes around the world.
For Marel – Stork at the time –, Hugo van den Elshout took up the job to construct the shackles in 1987. Back then, the production was mostly done manually on an anvil, like in a blacksmith shop. That process has evolved significantly in the last three decades. Today, advanced machinery, including a hydraulic press, a bending machine and a welding robot, is used to produce shackles.
The production of shackles started in 1987 and the milestone of the first million pieces was reached in 1998. In 2011, the 2,000,000th shackle was produced. On average, about 90,000 pieces per year leave the factory, some 350 shackles on a daily basis. In top seasons, this number can increase up to 550 shackles a day. For the production of 3 mill. shackles it took some 1,950,000 kg of material. When stretched out, all of the used material would extend for more than 3855 km.