Technology 4.0 is transforming poultry processing

Recent advances in technological and engineering tools and materials, such as advanced sensors and sensing devices, data processing and machine learning methods, provide effective tools for the poultry industry to optimize yield and material usage on the poultry processing line, to track the flow of materials through the entire farm-to-fork process, and to make real-time stress-based decisions in material flows, manufacturing operations, and energy consumption, creating capabilities beyond what independent, disconnected operating environments can provide.

What is 4.0 technology?

The first industrial revolution began with the invention of steam and hydraulic engines. The second industrial revolution came with the mass production and use of electricity, which was followed by the third revolution with the introduction of automation and electronics. Each of these technological advancements has dramatically changed production methods in all fields, including poultry farming.

However, the rate of adoption of each technological advance varies based on cost, infrastructure availability, cultural adaptability, and the amount of training required. We live in the era of the fourth technological and industrial revolution (i.e. technology 4.0) which involves the fusion of various technologies including robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, autonomous systems, nanotechnology, quantum computing and a fully interconnected Internet of Things.

Application in Poultry Processing Plants

Technology 4.0 can improve poultry processing efficiency and optimize material yield through the integration of cyber-physical systems and wireless communication technologies that track poultry production in real time to provide data production at different stages of the production process. Transporting live poultry from producers to the processing plant is the first step in receiving raw materials.

Once the birds are manually hung on the production line, a count must be made. A low-cost hardware system combined with an intuitive analytics dashboard and the Internet of Things can be used as a suitable tool to determine the exact production line count and pace. In addition, after evisceration, during which the giblets and feet are removed from the bird, the material yield will be calculated, the weight of each bird and the production line data will be generated automatically.

Specialized software in the production line will be able to do bird selection, manage flexible distribution and minimize waste. The cutting and boning stages are essential to optimize material yield. The speed and pace of each employee manually cutting the breast and thighs and the amount of product packaged and labeled according to each order can be monitored using real-time monitoring systems.

Challenges faced by 4.0 technology

Technology 4.0 is reshaping the contours of the poultry industry, therefore, it faces several new challenges. The increasingly competitive dynamics and the easier market entry of new competitors are among the most critical challenges of the 4.0 technology era. Additionally, digital connectivity involves data sharing and a high level of transparency that expose poultry processors to the risk of cyberattacks and industrial espionage, as well as the challenge of securing rights and access to data.

Additionally, Technology 4.0 is expected to have a huge impact on the roles of employees in poultry processing plants. Employees must be qualified to handle the new technological concept and have adequate personal qualities (such as a willingness to learn), social and interpersonal skills (such as creative problem solving in social contexts), as well as action-related (such as the ability to find practical solutions) and domain-related skills (such as an understanding of network technologies, as well as data analysis and processing). However, finding people with these skills is a major challenge and potential barrier for the poultry industry.

Upcoming technology and futuristic vision

With the anticipated digital transformations, called the fourth technological revolution (4.0), several emerging technologies are paving the way for a more advanced vision of the future. 5G technology is one of the key future elements of communication and data transformation due to its ability to support 1,000 times capacity gains, connections with at least 100 billion devices and a individual user experience from 10 to 20 GB with extremely low latency and fast. response time.

The deployment of 5G networks is planned between 2020 and 2030. The processing of data from different types of sensors, such as those described above, requires the development of new data processing techniques. To meet this need, there will be a sea change in machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to make them more efficient in data processing and decision making.

Biosensors, hyperspectral cameras, and sensing arrays are just some of the recent advances in sensing devices. Additionally, technologies such as automation, cloud computing, and augmentation should not be ignored as new and emerging technologies. It is further worth mentioning that machine vision and computer vision are the advancements that underpin many emerging technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and smart sensors. Computer vision uses machines, sensors and data processing algorithms to “see”, analyze and make decisions about the environment.

Computer vision will have a huge impact on many fields, including agriculture and animal science. It is especially useful for problems where the human eye is needed to assess the situation. Thousands of artificial vision and computer vision applications have yet to be discovered and are expected to be investigated and developed in the near future.

Robust Monitoring

The application of Technology 4.0 in poultry processing plants increases the processor’s ability to optimize yield and material usage on poultry processing lines, to track the flow of materials throughout the process , make decisions based on real-time information and ensure high standards in poultry processing plants. The use of 4.0 technology increases production efficiency, lowers operating and labor costs, and provides reliable and accurate data for management and planning purposes. However, to develop a robust monitoring system in poultry processing plants, it will be necessary to collect a combination of data from large-scale studies using multiple sensors.

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