How artificial intelligence is transforming meat processing

The industry must continually evolve to stay competitive and meet the growing demands for efficiency, quality, and sustainability. We understand this critical need for innovation in the meat processing industry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is at the forefront of this evolution, offering transformative solutions to optimize every aspect of meat processing.

Posted on Jul 10 ,00:05

How artificial intelligence is transforming meat processing

Why AI is essential in meat processing

The meat processing industry faces numerous challenges, including the need for precise cutting, quality control, labor shortages, and the demand for sustainability. AI addresses these challenges by automating complex tasks, ensuring consistency, and improving overall operational efficiency. Here are some key reasons why AI is becoming indispensable:

  • Precision and efficiency: AI systems can analyze data with high accuracy, making precise cuts and identifying optimal processing techniques. This enhances yield and reduces waste.
  • Quality control: AI-powered vision systems can detect defects and ensure that only the highest quality products reach the market. This capability is vital for maintaining brand reputation and customer satisfaction.
  • Labor efficiency: By automating repetitive and labor-intensive tasks, AI reduces the dependency on human labor, which is particularly beneficial in addressing labor shortages and reducing operational costs.
  • Sustainability: AI can optimize resource use and reduce waste, contributing to more sustainable processing practices. This is increasingly important as consumers and regulators demand more environmentally friendly operations.

Example applications of AI in our solutions

  • Gender detection: AI improves processing efficiency and product consistency by accurately segregating carcasses based on gender. This is crucial for producing the best quality output from the M-Line robots in pork evisceration.
  • Pelvic bone detection: In the DeboFlex Primal Cut system, AI models detect the pelvic bone with precision, optimizing cutting processes to reduce waste and enhance yield.
  • Shoulder blade detection: AI helps accurately identify and cut around the shoulder blade, improving the final product's quality.

These trends indicate a broad move towards leveraging AI to not only improve operational efficiencies but also to enhance sustainability and product quality across the meat processing industry.

Standardizing AI across Marel

Anton Heiðar Þórólfsson, AI team manager at Marel, emphasizes the importance of standardizing AI applications across the company: “Initially, various innovation teams independently developed AI solutions. Now, the AI team aims to unify these efforts to ensure consistent and efficient AI integration across all Marel solutions. This standardization helps us deliver reliable, high-performing solutions tailored to your needs.”

Anton also highlights our use of advanced imaging technologies: “We utilize x-ray and hyperspectral imaging to see beyond what people can see, processing this data with AI to enhance precision and insight in our operations.”

AI in primary cattle and pork processing

Many processors have asked how they can leverage AI in their operations. Pulkit Vijay, an Innovation Manager at Marel, shares: “We use AI in vision systems for different applications like grading, conformation, fat class, sex detection, back fat thickness, and primal lengths and widths. For primary cattle processing, we use AI to cross-check measurements and define areas for these measurements using deep learning technologies like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). Our AI models are trained with thousands of images to make accurate decisions and predictions, providing you with reliable and efficient processing.”

Digitalization and AI projects at Marel

Sander Haverkate, Team Lead Vision Engineering, adds: “We are working on various digitalization projects to provide better insights into process data, predictive maintenance, and process bottlenecks using AI. For example, we are developing cloud connections and integrating with AXIN for M-Line, where we see significant potential for AI solutions.”

The first AI features in a Marel machine for sale were implemented in the FleXicut in 2018. Since then, these features have continued to develop and expand. Marel solutions improve product quality and operational efficiency, and ensure more sustainable and profitable processing for your business. We focus on delivering the best technology to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

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