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Robot Lightens Burden on Slaughterhouse Workers

Automating processes to make employees switch from performing manual work to operating a robot will result in a better working environment and more attractive to new generations of operators to the industry. 

Slaughterhouse work is physically demanding and monotonous repetitive work performed at a fast pace is one of the major causes of occupational ill health such as osteoarthritis, back problems and muscle injuries. 

Every week, more than 30,000 pigs are slaughtered at Danish Crown in Ringsted, with approximately 800 employees cutting, pushing, lifting and packing from morning to afternoon as part of a highly efficient process. Therefore, the industry is currently working on improving occupational health and safety at the slaughterhouses. 

Let the robot do the heavy job 

Meat Mover is a robot equipped with a vacuum gripper with a suction cup and a vision system that can instantly provide the robot with images of the product, enabling it to achieve optimum grip when picking up the product. The robot can be installed in different parts of the production line at Danish Crown in Ringsted the robot is located at the end of a conveyor belt in the packing area, where it is surrounded by a safety net.  

The Meat Mover is one of the first in a series of a new generation of automatic systems based on industrial robots designed for this type of task. It was developed for Danish Crown by Danish Meat Research Institute, a part of the Danish Technological Institute.  

Performs the lifting work of five employees 

Meat Mover saves slaughterhouse operators at Danish Crown in Ringsted from having to lift thousands of kilos of meat every day. Specially trained service operators ensure that the robot is operational during the entire production process.  

Every hour, the fully automatic robot lifts up to 1,500 packed meat products such as pork loin and belly off the conveyor belt and places them in a box, which is then removed by an operator. 

Before, five operators would take it in turns every day to stand and pack the products. Now the robot has taken over the lifting work performed by five employees.