New robot can pull ribs from pork bellies

dtiDMRI has developed a robot that can pull single ribs from pork bellies. It will eliminate some of the physically demanding work at slaughterhouses.

The Danish Meat Research Institute, DMRI, at the Danish Technological Institute has developed a robot that can automatically pull individual ribs from pork bellies. Slaughterhouses will now be able to automate a physically demanding task currently performed by slaughterhouse workers, who manually loosen the ribs from the pork belly before it is further processed for the Japanese and Korean markets.

”There has long been a need for this equipment, because it eliminates several physically demanding job functions, thereby increasing productivity and improving the working environment at the slaughterhouses,” says Carsten Jensen, Product Manager at DMRI, Danish Technological Institute.

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In the single rib equipment, the pork belly initially passes through an x-ray scanner, and the scanned 2D image is analysed and processed on a computer. Orders are then sent to an industrial robot, which moves a special tool down to the pork belly ribs and loosens them three at a time, until all 12 ribs have been loosened. The concept received an enthusiastic response at the IFFA trade fair in Germany last year.

DMRI and the recently merged Frontmatec, Tandslet, have signed a cooperation agreement on the final development, sale and service of the new state-of-the-art robot, which is expected to be implemented on the first slaughter line in 2018.

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”The development is a good example of DMRI’s new development strategy, which focuses on the development of standard platforms. The strategy also ensures that the final product is tailored to the individual slaughterhouses, thereby making the technology relevant for many customers. The development is now far more user-driven, so it will be possible to achieve both faster development times and synergy in relation to the business partners’ resource consumption,” says Carsten Jensen.

Andreas Jensen, Managing Director at Frontmatec, Tandslet, and Carsten Jensen, Product Manager at DMRI signed the cooperation agreement between Frontmatec and DMRI on 17 March 2017.