Word From The Top…Quite literally!

As we head into the final quarter, we are all too aware of the challenges that have faced our industry throughout the year. SF has been working harder, faster and smarter than ever before to offer our customers superior value and return on investment, so that our customers can achieve greater efficiency, accuracy and speed in what has become a more demanding working environment. At SF, we believe that our continuing investment in our company and in our people has enabled our growth not only in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe but also on a worldwide scale. We at SF are optimistic about the future as we approach our30th Anniversary Year and we are constantly looking at how to better meet our customers’ needs. As part of this pursuit of excellence SF’s operation in the UK expanded recently with the company moving to a new premises at St Ives. Our new factory will allow us to diversify into all sectors of the food processing industry in the UK, as well as producing more efficiently and competitively and therefore improving services for our existing customers – read all about our latest developments in the Incoming section of this issue. SF is committed to presenting our customers with innovative solutions and that is why we continue to grow on a global scale. In this issue we reveal our refreshed brand identity which unites our Irish and UK operation sunder one brand as the SF portfolio continues to expand. We also discuss our increased customer focus and SF’s collaboration with Sir Ranulph Fiennes. In Focus this month are some of the latest products available for Processing, Metal Detection, Check weighing and Packaging Solutions as well as highlighting our latest innovations in the Fish Processing Industry inInnovate. One final note from me is a reminder to enter our latest competition on In Touch, Page Twelve, for your chance to win dinner for two at Deane’s award winning restaurant in Belfast, along with an overnight stay at the plush Fitzwilliam Hotel and read all about my recent climb to the top of Kilimanjaro which helped raise €20,000 for Breast Cancer Care Ireland and UK, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who supported this journey.

Until next time…
Seamus Farrell
Managing Director



SF’s Operation in the UK expanded recently with the company moving to a new premises. The new premises has been designed to embrace our core values, professionalism, competitiveness and flexibility, which have been the driving force behind the growth of the company over the past 30 years. The new factory will allow us to diversify into all sectors of the food processing industry in the UK, as well as improving our service to our existing loyal customers in the red meat sector. Speaking about the new factory, Steve Mummery of SF said, “The new facility will embrace the Toyota lean principle of manufacture and will allow us to produce more efficiently and competitively and offer an all round better personalised service to all of our UK customers. The new facility gives us the space to carry out full pre delivery inspections on even the biggest solutions and will also allow our customers to carry out induction and training prior to installation”.

The new factory premises is located in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire and solidifies SF’s commitment to growth within the UK Food Processing sector. The professional SF team has the combined experience of 350 man years in the Food Processing Solutions industry and our skilled team strive to offer all customers excellence through engineering design.


Sir Ranulph Fiennes visits the new SF factory in Cambridgeshire to take delivery of his Water Recovery Treatment System as he embarks on the Coldest Journey on Earth. On 6th December, a team of explorers led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes will set off from London on the world’s first ever attempt to cross the Antarctic during winter. The 2000-mile journey has for many years been considered too perilous and the group will have to overcome one of the earth’s most hostile environments if the are to succeed. During the journey they will expose themselves to temperatures as low as -80c and will operate in near permanent darkness.

The Coldest Journey is an entirely independent adventure and is one of the biggest non-governmental initiatives ever to have taken place. Although everyone on the team is doing so voluntarily and for the thrill of adventure, the actual cost of putting together a venture of this scale is vast. None of this would therefore be possible without the support of all the partners and sponsors..

SF is proud to be associated with this project and the designer at SF who designed the water recovery system for Sir Ranulph Fiennes said it was an honour to be part of the historic project.

Steve Mummery, Operations Manager at SF Engineering, said: “This project has definitely been a talking point. It is an honour and a privilege to be involved. This expedition will be recorded in history forever.” He explained that Sir Ranulph telephoned SF personally to enquire about their services, having heard positive feedback from the British Antarctic Survey, the research centre with which SF had previously worked.


Today technology and globalisation are changing the rules of business. Our new UK facility will allow further improvements to our manufacturing processes which will result in SF producing even higher quality products more competitively. However, as we all know, business is not just about the product… it is also about providing an excellent customer service.

Speaking of SF’s increased focus on service Richard Smith, SF’s Sales and Projects Manager, says “Customers have immense choice; if they are not happy thenthey can take their custom elsewhere. What is more, they will tell other potential customers to do the same.

Our focus is on a high level of customer service that differentiates us from our competitors. This starts from the initial enquiry where we work in partnership with the customer to understand their needs and to develop the best solution for them, This partnership then continues throughout the project to ensure that the chosen solution is successfully implemented. We have recently increased our project engineering resources, allowing us to improve this area further”.

We at SF are optimistic about the future and we are constantly looking at how to better meet our customers’ needs, through adapting our offering and being more innovative in how we deliver an outstanding assortment of services and products. We are introducing new services to benefit our customers, such as production line audits, that will allow us to identify areas for improvement and offer exceptional returns on customer investment.
Putting Meat on your Process

SF is well placed to be your preferred supplier of red meat solutions. Some of the latest innovative outputs from our centre of red meat excellence include our new Primal Sorter Batch Distribution System and our advanced primal and deboning systems with advanced line and weight control.

Since the Group’s inception SF has been dedicated to delivering improvements to the red meat processing industry. To date the Group has delivered 31 beef halls, 18 lamb halls and 19 pork halls. Within the Group’s core sites it has developed a centre of red meat excellence that brings together the most experienced of the Groups 115 employees to focus on innovation within the red meat sector.

Our new Primal Sorter batch distribution system incorporates both vision and dynamic weighing which allow us to sort by both weight and shape.


Process No 1. In the history of sorting beef, subjective human judgment has been the primary
tool used to determine product yield and quality grades and consequently product value. Objective means of evaluating the attributes of beef, including product yield and quality grades as well as other beef characteristics such as cutability, tenderness and appearance, increase the functionality of a value based marketing system. Advancements in the accuracy and precision of yield and quality assessment using weighing and vision systems have been, and will continue to be, advantageous to all parties along the supply chain – producers, packers and consumers.

Process No 2.Our system remove the operator’s decision and the sorting process is carried out automatically. This is achieved by taking live information from the factory’s production system to distribute the product into the most profitable product order available. When sorted it can be sent for vacuum packing or further processing and can be tracked through an RFID crate control system, eliminating the need for manual intervention until the product reaches its final destination.


Using technology developed for the poultry industry we have developed a range of intelligent conveyors that are faster and easier to clean. We are currently working on a white paper to support feedback from industry of a 30% saving on cost of ownership. In today’s green environment we estimate that the case study will prove a 30% saving on water, labour, chemical, affluent and power. (to be published Spring 2013).
Beef Up Your Protection…
Protect your brand with the unique THS/MS21 multi-spectrum metal detector. This innovative CEIA application uses the most sensitive and accurate detection technology on the market.

Food safety is a constant concern for meat producers and consumers alike. As the way that food is produced, processed and transported changes, the meat industry is faced with new challenges to food safety and quality.


Meat producers in Ireland and the UK have increasingly implemented initiatives to make sure that their food safety and quality issues are addressed. This means moving beyond a single control factor – which has shown to not mitigate risks in the food chain – towards multiple QC approaches, all aimed at reducing the hazard of contaminants entering the food chain.


One of the most important factors is eliminating metal contaminants in meat. To ensure a safe food supply chain from farm to fork, each meat producer needs to integrate the most effective QC application to fit their production, including effective and accurate metal detection.


The THS/MS21 uses multi spectrum frequencies simultaneously to detect even the tiniest fragment of metal in meat. Unlike conventional or three-frequency detectors, the CEIA THS/ MS21 accurately differentiates between product effect and metal contaminants without a reduction in sensitivity. This has proven to be one of the most effective ways to detect metal contaminants in meat.


Tests have shown that the THS/MS21’s detection results are far better than those of conventional metal detectors. It allows producers to prevent food contaminants from continuing down the food chain. This protects consumers, the product and the brand. Gains in sensitivity are dependant upon the product and environment, and the size of the aperture. Sensitivity improvements on a 100mm pipeline machine can be around 0.6mm from 1.8mm to 1.2. On a rectangular machine with dimensions of 400×250 running with 10kg of meat a standard machine would see 7mm s/s and an MS 4mm s/s. The biggest gains are in stability and reduction of false reject at smaller contaminant levels. And coupled with an integrated self-checking function, the metal detector offers a far higher security level to the product on the line.


To ensure that no piece of metal – no matter how small – makes its way to the consumer table CEIA has developed a revolutionary metal detector: the THS/MS21. Using many frequencies simultaneously, the THS/MS21 offers the industry’s highest sensitivity to all magnetic and non-magnetic metals, including stainless steel. Its superior detection qualities and advanced data management ensure full compliance with HACCP and GMP criteria.


Given its strategic location on the north-west coast of Ireland during SF’s early years the Irish operation focused heavily on the primary fish processing industry. Following 30years of vast experience in this area, today SF is proud to offer a vast array of solutions including yield control filleting systems for expensive and delicate fish, automated weighing, packing, labelling, metal detection, xray inspection, label verification and end of line robotic packing. We understand the challenges our customers face in the seafood sector: packing speed(for stickier products), low temperature working, salt corrosion, product fragility and hygiene. SF delivers solutions that are fully integrated for maximum efficiency, have a single-point control and are easy to maintain. At the same time, each installation is tailored to your specifications, product characteristics and spatial requirements.


We all know that cleaner fish means better shelf life and individual yield per person, ensures that very expensive product is processed in a way that maximises profit for the processor. All of these factors enhance the quality of the product that arrives on the supermarket shelf. SF is happy to design and build a line to suit your unique requirements.


The new SF easy clean conveyor system has become a must have for the fish industry. It has the ability to handle product gently and more importantly to create the lowest possible bacterial counts due to our careful belt choice and engineering design. Whether you are looking at a single conveyor or an integrated conveyor system covering the entire production process, we will provide the precise specification to suit your product.


Ishida’s fresh food weighers are a revolution in the weighing of fresh and sticky products. For the first time, manufacturers and processors of fish and seafood are able to automate their weighing processes thereby reducing labour demands and improving speed, accuracy and efficiencies.



SF’s extensive experience of labelling fresh foods enables us to utilise state-of-the-art technology in ways that provide unmatched speed, accuracy, consistency and reliability. The WPL Series of weigh-price labellers maximise production throughput, efficiency andflexibility, plus they also optimize label presentation. They are simple to operate and easy to clean, yet save valuable time, space and money. These machines can handle a wide variety of products and pack types. They are also suitable for both top and under-labelling. All models are ideal for busy production environments where fast product changeover is essential


Ishida X-Ray inspection can be used at any stage in your production process to tell you with the greatest accuracy and reliability when foreign bodies are contaminating your product, helping you and your customers to avoid potential medical and legal problems. Of equal importance to your brand, X-ray inspection can detect product defects ranging from misshapen pieces to cracks, lumps or voids. X-ray inspection can also be applied to checking product or piece weights of products.


We can now offer fast, accurate but gentle packing of trays weighing up to 2.5kg into cases and Euro crates. Using high-speed delta robotics, its handling of individual trays is so fast that pre-collation is unnecessary. Individualtray-handling gives absolute freedom in choosing the number of packs per layer and per case, and the arrangement of packs in any layer.



Boost productivity and line efficiency with the new Ishida DACS-G Checkweigher This competitively priced innovation offers unbeatable check weighing accuracy and speed. SF Engineering introduces the new multi-range weighing IshidaDACS-G Checkweigher. This flexible model offers improved accuracy and speed, better protection with a user-friendly interface and an advanced hygienic design.


The DACS-G Series uses unique technology to deliver unbeatable checkweighing accuracy and speed. Data management via computer and easy-operating controls boosts productivity and line efficiency. What’s more, the DACS-G is very competitively priced, allowing customers to upgrade their production at a reasonable cost.


Suitable for use in meat, dairy and seafood processing applications and other demanding environments, the new D-HOP-LC high-output digital load cells feature enhanced sensitivity over conventional models. The load cell’s rigid design allows weight to stabilize more quickly, ensuring faster weighing speeds. This multirange checkweigher also allows different conveyor sizes to be mounted on the same frame. The customer can replace these easily, if needed.


Ishida’s highly sensitive and durable electromagnetic balance weighing sensor has a maximum capacity of 600 packages/min and a minimum graduation of 0.01g.With higher possible conveyor speeds, the DACS-G delivers a possible output rate that is about 40% higher than other models. The system is ideal for check weighing pharmaceuticals, industrial products, and other products requiring accurate high-speed inspection.


The new control panel gives you an intuitive system, including a newly developed full-colour screen and command dial button. The new interface reduces production loss due to operator errors and also reduce straining costs. The command dial signal lamp even enables the operational status of the system to be easily monitored, even from remote locations.


Ishida’s hygienic design is compliant with HACCP and GMP standards. Exchange of conveyors for cleaning or for belt replacement is done without tools in a matter of seconds. The stainless steel open frame design with circular pipe legs prevents dirt, product buildup and provides convenient access for cleaning.

CALL US TODAY to arrange a visit with one of our technical experts on:(IRE) +353 71 9163334(UK) +44 (0) 1487 740131or email us
New: Flex Line Tray Sealer
Introducing the QX-775-Flex – a smart Ishida tray sealer that delivers flexibility and intelligent control, ensuring high quality pack and product presentation.


SF are delighted to announce that we will host an open house event to showcase the new Ishida QX-775-Flex.This will give our customers an opportunity to have hands-on demonstration of the equipment and get expert advice on packing and sealing solutions. Call us today to register your interest:(IRE) +353 71 9163334or email us at:

Ishida Europe has launched a brand new state of the art version of its market-leadingQX-775 tray sealer. The new QX-775-Flexcombines a compact design with high speeds for MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging)trays of up to 15 cycles per minute, along with maximum hygiene and high quality pack and product presentation. The upgraded model suits any product type including ready meals, meat, poultry, fish and salads. The system is also compatible with a variety of packaging applications including standard MAP, skin pack and shrink film applications.


You can now rely on quick and easy changeovers. Operators simply change films and tools using automatic and quick release features. This is particularly useful and efficient for ready meal applications where product range and production volume scan fluctuate.


The tray sealer’s intelligent control system includes autoset features for integrated film coding and gas mixing and analysis, allowing one-button product changeovers. Its servodriven motion delivers accurate and consistent tray handling at high speeds in order to maximize product throughput. The servocontrolled film drive ensures smooth handling of the film and accurate printing for integrated coding systems.


Features include the ability to disable a sealing head in the event of an error, allowing the traysealer to continue running and automatically adjusts the tray feed to suit. The smart belt system alerts operators to out of-spec packs or misplacements, so corrections can be made with no damage to product or sealing tool. An integrated gas mixing system creates MAP packs, while a gas analyser within the tool samples the gas at every cycle and automatically stops the system if the wrong mix is detected.


The QX-775-Flex’s open design allows easy access for cleaning and maintenance. In particular, self-draining curved surfaces, the absence of exposed cables or motors and easy-to- remove belts and conveyors allow a fast and comprehensive wash-down. Quick-release belts and conveyors also minimise downtime for product changeovers. The tray sealer offers a high return on floor space through its compact design and high output capability. It can also be easily integrated to form part of a complete packing line.


The QX-775-Flex forms a central part of Ishida’s recently introduced Flex Line tray packing system, which enables a variety of individual units including tray denesters, multihead weighers, fillers, foreign body detection systems, checkweighers, seal testers, label inspection and end of-line handling modules to be easily integrated to meet your precise requirements.



Renowned Belfast restaurateur Michael Deane visited SF Engineering along with his maître’d Alain Kerlock for a unique look at the other side of the food business.

The food industry is a vast arena and Deanes and SF are at different ends of the food spectrum, each catering to their own discerning customer. Still they both belong to the same ‘food chain’. SF provides processing equipment and system design to the very people who provide Deanes with their high quality premium produce.

The guests toured SF’s design and manufacturing facilities, exploring the manufacturing process of equipment that makes up food processing systems, gaining an insight into the very systems that the producers are using.

Since opening his first Deanes restaurant in1993 chef Michael Deane has focused on providing the best quality and the best value eating out experience possible. Armed with dedication, the highest culinary standards and a flair for award winning flavour combinations, Deane won his fist Michelin Star in1997. He held the star for 12years, the longest ever in Ireland.

“Thankfully our dedication to sourcing the best local produce and demanding the highest standards of cooking and presentation continues to please customers at home as well as those visiting from abroad and that is the only secret toour success.”


Seamus Farrell of SF Engineering recently fulfilled a personal life goal by reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Seamus made the journey in order to raise vital funds for a charity very close to his own heart: Breast Cancer Care: Ireland and UK.

Like everything at SF, this adventure included a terrific team effort, with the 115strong SF Team getting involved to help exceed the target amount of €20,000 raised.

Speaking of the support and commitment of the SF team, valued customers and suppliers Seamus Farrell said, “I was overwhelmed by the support and generosity of everyone who contributed to the success of the climb and who were in the forefront of my mind when things got really tough”.


Answer the following questions and enter our competition to win dinner at Michael Deane’s award winning Howard St. restaurant in Belfast and a night at the Fitzwilliam Hotel.


Send your answers quoting the reference ‘InSync Competition’

Talk to SF Engineering Now

Call us now at +353 71 91 63334 or +44 (0) 1487 740131 or email or to discuss your requirements with us. Alternatively click on the Request a Callback button below to arrange for one of our team to contact you.