The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global robotics market in the meat industry for 2017-2021. The market is segmented on the type (meat cutting robots, meat processing robots, and meat packaging robots), end-user (cattle industry and poultry industry), and geography (the Americas, EMEA, and APAC).
The meat industry is characterized as a highly unsafe and injury-prone environment for manual workers due to the nature of operations carried out. There have been several instances of workers losing their limbs, arms, or fingers resulting in temporary or permanent damages. As a result, this industry has witnessed a high turnover of labors due to voluntary or involuntary reasons. Labor cost in the meat industry has been observed to account for around 50% of the total variable cost. Also, low availability of labors for the meat industry has added to the woes of business owners.
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Technavio industrial automation research analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global robotics market in the meat industry:
- Reduction in labor cost
- Need for high productivity
- Improvements in quality of cut and processed meat
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Reduction in labor cost
Meat processing and packaging are highly labor-intensive operations carried out by low-skilled workers. As the global meat industry demands a constantly high volume of output with a large number of product offerings, labor requirement is an integral element in achieving the desired operational efficiency.
Bharath Palada, a lead robotics research analyst at Technavio, says, “The use of robotics for various dangerous meat cutting, slicing, and chopping operations can minimize the potential risks to laborers and help businesses retain their trained workforce. Medical treatment cost on the workers incurred by businesses can be controlled and kept in check via implementing robotics within the industry.”
Need for high productivity
Most meat industry owners are concerned with efficiency as their key focus area in business operations. The need to extract the maximum amount of meat from a carcass within a stipulated timeframe is the key criterion for generating consistently strong profits. Optimizing productivity in the meat industry has paved the way for business owners to look at robotics as a strong tool in achieving the desired objective.
“Robots deployed in the meat industry can accurately determine the specific position of bones in carcasses for extracting the high-quality meat. Such robots have around 95% accuracy in locating a particular shoulder joint in order to cut around it rather than through bones. Within the poultry industry, robots can be used for cutting up to 40 birds per minute, which is a highly unattainable task for human workers,” adds Bharath.
Improvements in quality of cut and processed meat
As the meat industry involves a high variability in terms of final product offerings to its customers and end-users, the need to incorporate automation and robotics within the cutting and processing lines is highly essential. The type and quality of meat produced are typically governed by the elements of precision and accuracy in meat processing.
Production of a consistent meat quality, in addition, also enhances the reputation of a particular meat brand. Human workers find it extremely difficult and tiring to match such levels of quality demanded from a consumer-centric product. High demand for meat products forces the industries to operate round the clock, increasing the burden on workers, which can ultimately result in fatigue or injuries.
- SCOTT Automation & Robotics
- JLS Automation
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