Automation in primary processing

The meat industry is changing and evolving

M Line MPB 2

With increasing speed, the red meat processing industry is changing their slaughter methods from the conventional manual handling to an automated and robot-driven process.

More than ever, automation is an issue that is very high on the agenda for most meat processors – prompted largely by such as African Swine Fever and Covid-19.

For many years Marel has delivered automated hog kill floor lines, cutting and deboning hall installations and retail packing lines to the meat industry. As a full-line supplier, our state-of-the-art meat processing equipment, systems and software span the entire production value chain, from the receipt of live animals to the dispatch of finished products.

We currently see a run for automation in the meat processing industry. We are dedicated to exactly that – innovation and automation.

Marel2020 806A2022 David Wilson

David Wilson
Managing Director (EVP), Meat

Automation has become a “must”

Marel continues to develop systems and robots for automating the slaughtering process. The latest development is the M-Line, which is a new generation of hog kill floor automation using articulating arm robots.

The latest techniques in 3D scanning are integrated into the M-Line robots, and ensure a high cutting accuracy. The carcasses are scanned several times with the data converted to a precise  movement of the robot and the robotic tools. This action is 100% synchronized with the transport of the carcasses.

The majority of the M-Line robots are equipped with the patented “TwinTool” concept, which results in increased shelf life of the final pork product. In the “TwinTool” concept, each robot has a double-acting tool, meaning that when one tool is in operation, the second tool is being sterilized.

Today M-Line robots are found in several slaughter facilities throughout the world and with more added continuously as the benefits are realized. 

Proven benefits of the M-Line automation program are:

  • Reduction of labor in the slaughtering process
  • Reduction of mistakes causing fecal and/or bile contamination
  • Yield increase
  • Improved shelf life of fresh chilled pork products
M-Line Neck Cutter (MNC) for pig processing line

Real-time data collection

Automated data collection is becoming an increasingly important part of food processing. So in addition to automating the slaughter processes, we give very high attention to our software solutions, which enable much of the required flexibility and provides our customers with the process control needed.

Marel's Slaughter Information System manages the pork slaughter process from the receipt of live animals through to the carcass cooling room. It lets you control, monitor and improve the process in real time. It also ensures full traceability and supports the execution of all quality control procedures.

Coupling automation with intelligent software applications is an essential facet of the solutions we offer. We’ve synergized our software and hardware to create viable solutions that solve real-world problems.

David Wilson

David Wilson
Managing Director (EVP), Meat

The Slaughter Information System collects data in real time and transforms it into reports and dashboards, which allow you to make informed decisions—quickly and with certainty. It also gives a complete  and clear overview of the entire primary process.

The system captures and registers vital information such as kill number, weight, grade, sample information, veterinarian inspection results and yield. This data not only drives speedier decision-making to improve planning and performance but also ensures full traceability of animals throughout primary processing


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