GERMANY, Frankfurt Industrial robots are found today in almost all areas of meat processing - from slaughtering through to the packaging of meat and sausage portions.
In rapid pick & place operations robots can pick up a wide variety of meat and sausage products from belts and insert them precisely in packaging trays, achieving in some cases up to 240 pick & place cycles per minute. In smoke house operation, robots can hang and relocate the smoke bars with strings of sausages more accurately and quickly.
The advantages include staffing reductions and, above all, significant gains in hygiene through the elimination of manual interventions and higher good product proportions, as manual handling results unavoidably in damage to the sausages in some cases. Robotic automation in slaughtering and cutting remains one of the greatest technical challenges. Yet here, too, economical and above-all high-performance solutions can be found.
The range of applications extends from the pinching of necks and front hooves, rectum trimming, opening the abdominal wall, cutting the aitch bone and breast bone through to the splitting of pigs. This is made possible by sophisticated 3D scanners used to determine the topology of the slaughtered animals. The control software uses the resulting data to evaluate and generate the required cutting paths for the robot. For boning, however, the robots perform camera-controlled cutting based on vision software.
Source: fleischwirtschaft.com; Frankfurt daily