During the height of the pandemic, meat-packing plants experienced devastating COVID-19 breakouts among their workers. Even the plants that didn’t experience infection breakouts still had to shut down. There was no practical way to social distance in the heavily hands-on work environment.
Not surprisingly, plant managers turned to the robot industry for help. There are plenty of robots working in food and beverage. The automation industry has figured out effective ways to wash down equipment and track goods to meet regulatory requirements. In those applications, the goods getting moved around tend to be standard in size, weight, and texture. It’s easy for a robot to move standard cartons of salad greens. But meat?
Yet, where there’s a will there’s a way. Where there’s a need for automation, there are innovative companies ready to give it a shot.
The video shows how a pork facility and a lamb facility deployed robots to meet the need for automation. A warning: the video is graphic. We’re talking meat here.