Redefining smart standards in bone detection

The continuous development of SensorX

Marel Sensorx Technology

Chicken breast and thigh fillet as well as further processed products made from them are becoming ever more popular. Consumers, retailers and further processors are, however, becoming increasingly intolerant of bone remnants in deboned meat. To protect their hard-won reputation, processors, further processors and retailers want to be sure that the deboned products, which they are delivering to the consumer, are in fact completely bone-free.

Marel launched SensorX, its bone detection machine, in 2007. In that time, much has changed. Globally, the quantity of chickens deboned has grown significantly and labor is now both more expensive and less available. The machine too has undergone continuous development and there have been major advances in what SensorX can see and how it interprets this information.

Today, SensorX can pick up bone fragments down to 2mm. The machine will detect over 99% of bone remnants and will also see hard foreign material such as metal, stone and glass.

Lowest level of false positives

At 3%, SensorX has the lowest level of false positives of any detection equipment on the market. This is due to the smart algorithms used, which increase the rate at which bone fragments are spotted while reducing the number of false positives. False positives mean unnecessary additional labor, as all deboned meat rejected by detection equipment has to be checked. There is also the risk of over-trimming, which impacts negatively on yield. Too many false positives also mean that data generated by the equipment cannot be relied upon.

SensorX Poultry unique reject mechanism


The systems are easy to operate. Calibration is automatic. The software of SensorX has recently been updated to give a single program for all sizes and types of products. Unlike traditional methods used by most bone detection systems, SensorX offers automatic adaptation based on product thickness. Instead of requiring manual program switching for each product type, SensorX maintains high performance by adjusting the bone detection level to the thickness of the specific product being scanned. This innovation eliminates the need for constant program changes by operators. All this happens completely automatically and always gives a perfect result. There is no longer the risk of human error.


Marel designs its equipment to be robust to withstand production pressures in high-volume, multi-shift poultry processing plants. Motors, sensor, scrapers and rollers have recently been uprated to give a longer service life and lower cost of ownership.
Operator safety has not been forgotten either. The latest SensorX systems sport new covers and a new safety system, which fully meets the latest safety at work legislation.


Marel has chosen SensorX as one of the first pieces of equipment to receive SmartBase software as standard. This software provides both historical and real-time information on the state of the equipment and how it has performed. Besides giving fully comprehensive production data, SmartBase also informs on technical issues such as key temperatures, calibration and sensor run time. This information is presented on an integral dashboard but can be accessed at any time and from anywhere, laptop, web browser, tablet or phone. Any issues with the equipment can therefore be identified and remedied with a minimum of delay without having to stand in front of the machine.

Sensorx Overview Turkey


SensorX is a fine example of Marel’s practice of intelligently linking equipment to provide synergy: the solutions are more than the sum of their individual components. This is why SensorX plays a crucial part in the entire breast fillet distribution process. It is not only there to guarantee bone-free products, but also to add weight and positioning information to the dataset of each product. The distribution system, including Innova ProFlow Breast Meat, uses the data generated by SensorX to assign each individual fillet to its best possible destination, ensuring a seamless match with order intake. In this way, SensorX significantly enhances the synergy among all systems and software connected to the breast fillet distribution process.

As more and more products are deboned, retailers and fast-food manufacturers become ever more demanding and labor becomes ever more expensive and less available, the future for detection equipment is bright indeed. Data-driven equipment will become smarter at spotting contaminants, which could include the wood, cartilage and plastic contaminants not picked up today. Efforts will also continue to reduce the number of false positives still further.



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