Factories involved in meat manufacturing take fresh meat from the abattoirs and processing plants and use it to make products like pies, sausages, bacon, ham, and frozen meals. The raw meat can be processed in several ways such as curing, mincing, adding flavorings, and various other techniques to produce their products.
Meat processing is heavily dependent on labor, with workers accounting for 15% of company costs. This also depends on the type of production. For example, there may be many workers in an assembly line for curing and cutting into specific shapes. However, for marinating poultry, a huge vat could be used for a large batch of meat.
There are increasing labor shortages, high worker turnover, and wages are also rising in the industry. Furthermore, regulations to improve food safety, worker conditions, and animal welfare have also led to higher costs. However, despite these concerns, the meat processing market is relatively stable - between 2016 and 2020, the production volume of meat worldwide has increased from 317 million metric tons to 328 million metric tons.
Automation in the meat manufacturing industry is well underway. Machines in a chicken processing plant use laser scanners to produce a 3D image of the specific cut (Fillet, thigh, drumstick, etc.) Then the computer controls an ultra-high-speed, rotating blade that cuts the specifically weighted portions. These automated systems are less prone to errors, but they could incur a higher cost than errors made by humans.
Where IndustrialML comes in
- Remote monitoring of the machine in the above example’s conditions let a manager know how many cuts are made. Predictive machinery maintenance can indicate how many cuts are advisable at the current operating level before changes need to be made.
- IndustrialML has a seamless audio communication system for manufacturing that would be well-suited to meat processing factories. Alerts can be generated and sent to an operator’s headset to be notified immediately when there is an issue on the production floor. Having to spot a red light or check notifications on a phone for an alert could lead the operator to miss something crucial.
- Finally, a camera feed is beneficial for monitoring the consistency of meat products so that no expired materials make it to the end of the production line.