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Moba egg graders are packed with technology. Some designs are worth further investigation as they represent crucial customer value. In this series of articles, we zoom in on these "hidden gems".
Eggs need to be transported point-down in a tray or consumer pack. This orientation takes place at different points in the machinery in various types of egg grader. Moba places orientation relative early in the machine trajectory and this has many distinct advantages:
Firstly, the most important is the fact that the eggs are gripped and carefully rotated. Other brands use systems where eggs collide with bars, pins or rotating disks and there are even machines that let eggs fall through a hole via gravity. Needless to say, keeping an egg under constant control by performing orientation in a gripper reduces the risk of damaging the egg dramatically.
Secondly, orienting the eggs early in the process, means that all subsequent systems in the grader work with the eggs all facing the same way. Since an egg is not symmetrical, this ensures the same physical position for all of the eggs, improving things like crack detection, weighing systems, drying of the eggs and finally, transferring the eggs to transport tracks.
Thirdly, Moba's technology offers a way to combine important functions. In some of the high-end machine families, the orientator is called a "Multidrum" for a reason; it combines multiple features such as:
- Positioning early in the process to dump leaking eggs without any liquid spilling onto the next roller section
The three features of the Orientator result in a dramatic increase in food safety and with fully controlled orientation, losses are reduced compared to alternative technologies. This results in a higher yield for your operation.
Why is an egg packed point down?
Eggs need to be packed point-down in a consumer pack or tray. Ever wondered why? Well, mother nature created the egg to produce a little chick, and while the embryo is developing, it needs to breathe oxygen. For this reason, the blunt end of an egg has an air pocket between the inner and outer shell membranes. This in turn is connected to the outside air via pores in the membranes and shell. These pores are of course microscopic, to prevent penetration by harmful microbes, but compared to the rest of the shell, the blunt side is relatively open in its calcium construction and therefore weaker.
Eggs for consumption are not fertilized and don’t carry an embryo, but the result of this biology is that in general the pointed side of an egg is stronger and shocks in transport are better absorbed by that side, a very good reason to transport eggs point-down.
Another reason is that the air pocket gradually enlarges as the egg gets older since the egg loses moisture in storage. Keeping the air pocket at the top helps to keep the yolk centered within the egg and prevents the air pocket from rupturing, which reduces the risk of the egg spoiling.
The shelf-life of an egg benefits from a point-down position in transport and storage.
Magic: Technology to orient the egg
The story starts with a wide roller shape. We studied this technology in an earlier article, but in short it is the most gentle system to receive eggs from an accumulator or loader and at the same time, position the eggs in a way that the eggs always have the pointed side facing out of the row of wide rollers.
Egg points facing outwards on wide roller section
This phenomenon is used to flip the eggs always facing the same way into grippers that carefully pick up the egg and rotate it with the point in the correct direction onto the next roller section.
The magic takes place: Grippers pick up the eggs all having the same orientation.
It is always smart to combine functions in one unit. That is what gives the Orientator in some machine configurations the name "Multidrum". If multiple actions can be combined this results in fewer egg-transfers and thus better and more gentle egg handling.
During the transition from the first wide roller section to the second narrow roller section, in some configurations (FT and PX equipped with EggInspector) the Omnia can release eggs. This prevents an incidental leaking egg from spilling liquid onto the next roller section, resulting in a whole train of eggs being soiled. Additionally, the PX series can also remove dirty eggs in this position, in a non-destructive way of course, for instance to send them back via a rewash conveyor.
Image of the most advanced Multidrum available for Omnia PX, forms an outlet for both leaking and dirty eggs before the good eggs arrive at the next roller conveyor. This so called "Multi-outlet" creates a true hygienic barrier.
When It Comes To Eggs, It's All About The Big Numbers!
This little chapter is the red line in Moba equipment. By creating the ultimate egg handling equipment, every little step counts. Moba is proud of feedback from the industry that graders very often generate 2% more Grade A eggs compared to others, and we have examples of even higher yield. This "Multidrum" is one of the many steps that make this happen. And again; 2% more Grade A eggs can result in $300,000 extra profit on a yearly basis !!