Minneapolis-based Cargill, Inc. invested $5.5 million in new equipment technology in its Hazleton, Pa., case ready meat packaging plant to increase efficiency and improve product quality and ergonomics for workers.

New equipment ranges from an automated product line dedicated to making specific products to an integrated network to centralize monitoring of equipment performance and production, including a new automated system for weighing boxes and labeling products, automated steak-trimming equipment and equipment to automatically construct shipping boxes.

“Our team of 640 dedicated people takes a great deal of pride in producing excellent meat products that meet our customers’ expectations and provide consumers with wonderful protein-rich eating experiences,” says Aaron Humes, complex manager at Hazleton. “We always strive for excellence and this new equipment will enable us to improve our performance, while also providing better ergonomics for workers by having a machine produce items that were previously made by hand. This investment will allow us to remain competitive and show what we can do to benefit our customers and their meat cases.”

Established as part of Hazleton’s Humboldt Industrial Park in 2002, Cargill’s 230,000-square-foot facility produces meat products packaged and ready to go directly into retailer meat cases throughout the Northeastern United States.