Red Meat R&D: One of Australia’s first AI-driven automated beef scribing systems installed

Beef Central, 27/03/2023

WELCOME to the regular series of articles focusing on red meat R&D, presented by Beef Central and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation. These items highlight a range of projects designed to enhance the efficiency, productivity, product quality and safety of Australian red meat sold into the domestic market and around the world.

All have the ability to help underpin Australia’s unrivalled reputation as the world’s premier export of quality beef, lamb and offal. Links to previous articles in the series appear below.


Intelligent Robotics Lead AI Vision Engineer Andrew Martchenko with a beef scribing robot at AMPC’s Innovation Showcase

THE Australian Meat Processor Corporation’s investment into advanced manufacturing has resulted in an automated beef scribing system being installed at Kilcoy Global Foods’ processing plant near Kilcoy in southern Queensland.

The system installed earlier this month has a small footprint, and operates on artificial intelligence, guided by camera-based carcase scanning.

The system works by first stabilising the carcase. An artificial intelligence system then analyses an image of the carcase and instructs a robotic cutting saw on where to make the appropriate cuts.

While automated scribing saws are becoming more common in lamb processing, AMPC chief executive Chris Taylor said the installation was one of the first AI-driven automated beef scribing systems in Australia.

The benefits include improving carcase yields, greater consistency in scribing operations and most importantly assisting worker safety.

“The system will be trialled over a 12-month period to determine whether the technology can achieve the necessary performance benchmarks,” Mr Taylor said.

“We are upbeat about this investment, which could deliver significant returns to the processing industry and look forward to seeing the results.”

The project involves the design and manufacture of the system which is able to perform the four scribing cuts required for their operations. It also includes testing and installation.

The system is heavily focussed on the principles of artificial intelligence. This technology relies on building data to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the operation of the equipment. Accurate scribing cuts are extremely important due to the high-value of primals located within the rib structure.

The industry has trialled other beef scribing applications in the past, using DEXA systems.

Kilcoy Global Foods president Jiah Falcke said the adoption of the new AI beef scribing system was an example of the modern practices being adopted in the industry to improve efficiency, safety and yield.

“We are thrilled to have this technology at our plant. Its implementation has been driven by our leadership team for a number of years and its successful adoption reinforces our position as a leader in the beef industry,” he said.

“Prior to automation this was a skilled manual task which required the use of a hazardous circular cutting saw. We will now be able to extract more value from the carcase while improving workplace safety and contribute to labour supply sustainability,” Mr Falcke said.

AMPC is working with Intelligent Robotics on the investment.

Intelligent Robotics electrical engineering manager Jonathan Cook said his company was thrilled about the opportunity to develop and deliver this exciting technology to the Australian red meat industry with the support of AMPC and Kilcoy Global Foods.

“We are passionate about engineering novel solutions to add value and improve safety for our meat industry customers, and it’s great to see all the hard work come together in bringing the IR-Scribe system to life at Kilcoy’s processing plant,” he said.


About the Australian Meat Processor Corporation

AMPC is the research and development corporation for the red meat processing industry in Australia. As the research, development and marketing service provider for processors, AMPC runs programs of activity that are funded by processor levy payers, private contributions and the Australian Government. AMPC’s mission is to drive world-class innovation, adoption and strategic policy development through genuine partnerships built on trust.


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