Deboning represents a particularly labor-intensive operation in the poultry industry. Due to the natural deformation and variation of bird carcasses, automation of the cutting process has proved to be very challenging and has resulted in significant yield losses and bone chips.
How the Intelligent Deboning System Works
The Intelligent Cutting and Deboning System or “smart deboner” uses computer vision and other sensing technologies to recognize and react to size and shape differences of a carcass in order to perform precision cuts that optimize yield (the amount of meat removed from the bone) while reducing the risk of bone fragments in finished product.
The system is comprised of a vision system, a cone line, and a cutting system. The vision system identifies the correct starting position for the cut and a nominal cutting trajectory based on the size of the bird. A standard cone line moves the bird through the work cell. The cutting system employs a 2-degree-of-freedom device that is capable of adapting to changes in the internal bird anatomy while compensating for any body deformations.
Thus, as the knife makes strategic cuts on each bird, the computer automatically adjusts the cutting path in response to the particular geometry of the bird coupled with force feedback to perform a near optimal cut.
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