The IRB 360 FlexPicker from ABB Robotics offers greater flexibility in a smaller footprint while maintaining speed and accuracy

Efficiency is the name of the game. Meat and poultry processors are always on the lookout for ways to streamline whether on the frontline where product is being broken down and processed, or at the end of the line in packaging. For processors, saving time and workers’ efforts can mean saving money – and that’s always a game changer.

Processors continue to search for ways to improve line speeds, get greater throughput, improve accuracy and enhance worker safety.

“In the last decade, the need for greater efficiency has become a key focus of meat producers,” says Alan Spreckley, Global Industry Segment Manager Food & Beverage for Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB Robotics. “This need for greater efficiency is making robot automation increasingly more important in this industry.”

Robotics and automation equipment manufacturers are doing their part to offer processors these improvements. They’re providing carcass splitters, deboning systems, and high-tech cutting and slicing equipment. On the packaging end, automation and robotics are leading the efforts to speed up the processes on the back end in case and tray packing and warehouse distribution.

“Robots are playing a much larger role in meat processing operations thanks in large part to their ability to perform the dirty, dangerous, delicate and dull operations meat packing plants are renowned for,” Spreckley says, “while improving food safety and sanitation by eliminating human contact with food product.”