Processing

Processing of hides into wet blue is completed in several stages utilising process (tanning drums) and machine operations. 

Loading

Fresh Chilled Hides are delivered daily – usually early in the morning. As soon as they arrive they are loaded into our process drums to begin the first stage of “Soaking”.

We use a large excavator unit fitted with a special grab attachment to pick up the hides and load into the drums. Once the hides are loaded we close the door and begin the processing.

Drum processing

Soaking

Raw hides are first soaked to remove dung, blood and dirt. The hides arrive chilled for short term preservation so we also use the soaking stage to adjust the temperature to 22°C.

Liming

Our process uses Sodium Sulphide and Calcium Hydroxide (Lime) to form a highly alkaline solution that attacks and removes the hair from the hide. This solution also penetrates the hide and removes unwanted interfibrillar proteins within the hide structure.

Fleshing

Our Through Feed Fleshing Machines are of the latest technology and remove any excess animal fat remaining on the hide after Soaking and Liming. The fat is captured and sent to our oil recovery plant where it is converted into Tallow (beef fat). The tallow can be used in the production of biodiesel, industrial cooling oils and to fuel some types of steam boilers for energy generation.
Machine supplied by Perisco

Drum processing

Deliming

Chemical process using mildly acidic salts to neutralise and enable removal of the chemicals used in liming. Also during this stage a process known as "bating" is completed - bating is the use of enzymes to further remove unwanted proteins from the hide.

Pickling

Use of strong acids and salt to reduce the pH of the hide to a level suitable to enable the next and final stage - chrome tanning.

Tanning

Once the hides are pickled we use basic Chrome Sulphate to tan the hides. The chrome bonds to the structure of the collagen completing the tanning effect and preserving the hide permanently. The hide is now referred to as Wet Blue. Further chemicals are added to inhibit mould growth and the hides receive a final wash to remove any loose chrome solution. The wet blue hides are then removed from the process drums ready for the final stage of Samming.
Collagen and Chrome Tanning

Samming

The final stage of processing is Samming. A large through-feed machine uses rollers and felts to remove residual process water from the wet blue hides. During the process the hides are punched with a unique batch number giving full traceability on each and every hide back to its original source abattoir.
Samming machine