Q&A: Antoine De Bie describes Steen's deboning unit

Learn more about Steen's ST-850 Turkey Deboning Unit
calendar icon 3 July 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

Our editor recently spoke to Steen's Key Account Manager, Antoine De Bie, about their ST-850 Turkey Deboning Unit - how it works, what makes it unique and its built-in safety features.

Antoine De Bie, Key Account Manager at STEEN

Tell me about the ST850 Turkey Deboning Unit.

The ST850 is a versatile machine for deboning various turkey parts - both male and female, thigh, drum and prime-wing. The machine is designed in a way that you don’t need to change settings too much between products. This is highly appreciated in the market as there’s no stress resetting the machine for optimal yields. The ST850 works with eight pistons, resulting in a 37 piece per minute capacity. At the same time, the ST850 needs only one operator to feed the machine.

What are the key features of the ST850 Deboner?

As noted earlier, the ST850 is suited for deboning the three parts of the turkey, meaning thigh, drum and prime-wing. And every product requires a different approach. STEEN has designed the machine so it will debone in two stages:

  1. The first stage is to release the tendons in the drum and prime wing.
  2. The second stage is the deboning itself.

After the deboning, the meat will be taken on to one build-in conveyor belt while the bone travels further also to be taken to a conveyor belt.

What makes the ST850 Deboner unique from other units on the market?

The ST850 runs on air pressure, making it softer to debone. This eventually results in fewer chances of bone breakage, optimizing yields. On the other hand, wear and tear is also significantly reduced. Everyone loves avoiding downtime, right?

What safety features are incorporated?

There are a couple of safety features in this machine. At STEEN, we distinguish two different safety modules. The first one is pretty straight forward. The doors and operator-side safety switch are all magnetically activated. As soon as someone opens a door or touches the spring-loaded safety, the machine will stop itself, preventing operators from getting their limbs into a moving machine.

The second feature is rather more a safety for the machine itself. The machine requires air pressure and thus certain pneumatic systems. In case the compressor of the facility stops working or the machine is cut off from the air supply, the machine will stop itself. You can compare it with a car running low on fuel and starts to stutter. The stuttering can cause damage to the machine internally.

What sustainable practices does the ST850 Deboner incorporate?

Over the years, we developed the air pressure systems to ensure less air use. This results in lower operating costs and lower electricity bills. The cylinders have been modified to ensure that they will last longer during production and are therefore more sustainable.

What’s the most important thing you want people to know about Steen?

For over 60 years, STEEN is a family-owned company, and we are very proud of it. Our machines are being designed, developed, tested and manufactured in Belgium. Not a lot of companies still have the integrity that we have. Our goal is to work 60 more years in the same way.

To learn more about STEEN, click here.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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