Meat+Poultry - July 2020 - 54

EXECUTIVE SERIES

"The
world
needs
more
Vin
Volpes."
- TEMPLE GRANDIN

Talking about that opportunity in 2013,
Volpe said: "Jarvis had a skinning knife from
Germany that they couldn't get started. I
was looking for an opportunity, so I took
that skinning knife and went to test it at
Illinois Packing."
As a result of the Jarvis Dehider, removing
the hide required less skill, less manpower and
improved hide quality. Those results put Jarvis
on the meatpacking map. "So, the skinning
knife was right there at the right time and I
was in the right place. That became our core
product. It's still our core product today."
While installing the Jarvis dehider knives in
beef plants, he was honing a trademark piece
of Volpe brilliance, and looking for the next
opportunity. "I would go out on the kill floor
and see people using hand saws, so I came
back and put a circular saw on an air motor."

MECHANICAL SOLUTIONS
Through the years, Jarvis established
a reputation for developing innovative
equipment. Jon Jarvis, fifth-generation family
member and Jarvis Products chief executive
officer, said Volpe had a gift for "identifying
needs and opportunities in the marketplace,
and providing a machine to solve the problem."
A list of Jarvis' industry-changing
equipment includes:
1950s - Dehider knife
1960s - Pneumatic circular saw

54

MEAT+ POULTRY | 07.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

1960s - Pneumatic hock cutter
1970s - Hydraulic hock cutter
1970s - Bandsaw for splitting beef
1980s - Bung dropper for pork
1980s-90s - Automatic pork splitter saw
2003 - USSS1 pneumatic stunner
Each of these had a notable impact on
meat plant operations. They made the work
easier, reduced injury, required less people,
and often improved yields.
Mike Abdul, operations manager for Jarvis
Products, talked about one historic product,
the bandsaw.
"The bandsaws really revolutionized the
beef industry. Prior to that, they were splitting
with reciprocating saws, which were loud,
with tremendous vibration, and slow.
"When we came along with the
bandsaw, all of that changed. Worker safety
improved; the issues with white knuckle
disease disappeared. The noise went down
tremendously, and the speed went up
tremendously. You didn't need as many people
to split with the bandsaw. And with a better
split, yields went up."

LEGACY OF SERVICE
Volpe always knew that superior service would
be important to Jarvis' growth. In his own
words: "In Chicago, I was out trying to sell
dehiders, and they would say 'How much does
your service cost?' I would say 'Nothing.' They
told me I was out of my mind. Now they're out
of business, and I'm still here. Service produces
results, and it's closest to my heart."
He embedded his service-centric
philosophy into the organization. The service
division is an extension of Volpe himself, and
emulates his approach in the 1950s: provide
an exceptional level of service while keeping
a finger on the pulse on developments in the
business. This awareness keeps Jarvis as the
leader in equipment innovation.
Tim Johnson has been a Jarvis field
technician for 18 years.
"Vince not only wanted you to do the
technical part, he also wanted you to pay
attention while you are in there and notice
'are they going to need this, are they going
to need that?'" Despite overseeing a global
organization, Johnson said, "If he knew one of
the techs was in the factory, he made time to
talk to us, because he wanted to know; 'What


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