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The aim of this project is to achieve a demonstration of a robotic system to be developed for the butchery of pork carcasses into primals. The knowledge gains will help the development of a production machine after the project end but the full specifications of such a machine will be reached within the project time scale.
The project has achieved results in the following areas:

Transport and fixturing of pork carcasses
Vision system and sensing
Cutter path generation
Robotics for meat cutting applications
Cutter tool implementation
Integration of the above for trials.

The meat industry can, for the first time, make use of 'skilled' robotic technology in a variety of tasks. The technological aspects of the work have been significant and the effort to date has demonstrated the feasibility of the robotic devices for meat cutting. The research has indicated that speeds of up to 450 carcasses per hour may be reached by utilising a multi-robot system which allows manual labour to be redeployed in other parts of the plant. Early indications suggest that a pay-back of 2-3 years may be achievable based on the productivity and yield improvements. The research demonstrator has shown that the original targets of speed and payback could in fact be exceeded in some of the butchery applications.

The project has demonstrated that the major gains would be achieved in improvement of quality, yield and productivity as well as work conditions and safety.
The programme of work will examine the products and the processes of butchery aiming to define automation solution based on developments in the following fields :

- Artificial vision for the recognition of carcasses for the purposes of cutting

- Sensors and cutting devices for robot guidance. Automatic handling and fastening for automatic manipulation of carcasses for cutting of primals

- Software for control and real-time optimization of the cutting process with the use of an integrated robot system

- Modelling to support decisions and strategies for automatic handling, manipulation and cut-up of pork.

The proposed system will be the first butchery machine to be developed and demonstrated in an industrial environment.


Intelligent Decision Systems SA
Paseo De La Castellana 93
28046 Madrid

Participants (4)

Banss Maschinenfabrik GmbH und Co KG
Industriestraße 4
35216 Biedenkopf-eckelshausen
Frigorificos Andaluces de Conservas de Carne SA
Plaza Del Prolongo 2
29580 Malaga
Hitec SA
Poseidonos Avenue 18
17674 Kallithea Elassonos
University of Bristol
United Kingdom
University Walk
BS8 1TR Bristol