Mayekawa, a robotics company based out of Japan, developed an ultra-high speed pork thigh deboning machine. This machine is capable of deboning 500 pork thighs in one hour.
The machine is called HAMDAS-R and is capable of withstanding the freezing temperatures that prevail in meat processing units.
HAMDAS-R consists of a knife placed at the end of a flexible robotic arm. There are springs on both sides of the blade, which recreate human wrist movements. The springs help the knife get a feel of the bone contours and the meat ‘grain’, thus increasing overall efficiency.
HAMDAS-R takes the help of X-rays to scrutinise the structure of each ham placed on the production line. By using X-rays to detect the joint structure, the control system of HAMDAS is able identify eight markers to get very close to the bone and mark the areas in the pork thigh to cut with high accuracy. Hence, meat wastage is minimised greatly.
The HAMDAS-R machine in action
X-rays also help the machine distinguish between right and left legs. HAMDAS-R has already gained popularity in Europe and countries such as Brazil, US and Germany are looking at installing the machines in their meat processing units as well. Mayekawa is also applying this machine for deboning other types of meat.