Automated Boning Room

Automated Boning Room System

SCOTT® has long nurtured a vision of developing a fully-automated end-to-end boning room that will optimise product yield, minimise waste, increase food safety and reduce operational costs. Planning to achieve this end-result started in 2001 with the development of the world's first hindquarter boning robot. Primal cutting, x-ray and forequarter systems followed in subsequent years. Today SCOTT Group offer a fully automated system for processing "bone-in" lamb products. SCOTT research & development programmes are ongoing in the industry.

SCOTT manufacture both stand-alone machines and fully integrated systems that transfer products from one machine to another.

primal system
forequarter system
middle system
hindquarter system
The Automated Boning Room x-ray forequarter primal hindquarter middle

 X-ray Grading System

The patented X-Ray system is designed to determine the skeletal structure of a carcass and determine the ideal cut points for separation of the Forequarter, Middle and Hindquarter. Recently work has been undertaken exclusively for Silver Fern Farms in New Zealand, in providing added value to our customers by using the x-ray data to provide more information about the carcass composition.

This project is being done in a number of stages with the first stage delivering the weight of each primal. This is now available outside of New Zealand. Work is also underway on the second stage to determine the lean meat, fat and bone proportions within each Primal making it possible to optimise product management, payment to suppliers and manage yields through a boning room.

 X-ray Primal System

The X-ray primal system can produce the primal cuts from a carcass including forequarter, middle, loin and hindquarter at a rate of up to 12 carcases per minute.

The system uses an X-ray camera to scan the skeletal structure of the carcass, identify the most profitable cut positions, then cut the carcass to within 2mm of accuracy. The cuts are made with two counter rotating circular blades which create no saw dust. Not only does this eliminate band saw waste but it is considerably more accurate than a band saw operator, so that loin and rack yield is maximised.

The X-ray system can also be configured to provide real time measurement of the yield from each primal, making it possible to optimise product management from more than just carcass weight.

 Forequarter System

The forequarter system is made up of a robotic arm which grasps the forequarter, and processes neck chops, knuckle tip, shank, atlas and vertebra split. Cut accuracy is higher than can be achieved with a human band saw operator and it removes the safety hazard involved with band saw operation.

 Middle System

The middle system is comprised of several stations that can be configured according to the customer's requirements. The stations conduct the following operations:

  • Removing Spinal Cord: The middle is automatically loaded into the machine which locates the spinal cord holes at either end of the saddle section then, with a combination of vacuum and compressed air, removes spinal cord materials to a vessel.
  • Splitting Station: This splits the loin from the rack and features a yield maximising scallop cut which can't be performed by a band saw operator. There is no band saw waste.
  • Flap Cutting: Flaps are accurately removed to the precise distance specified from the edge of the eye meat. The distance from the eye meat is automatically measured for each saddle.
  • Chining: This chine bones the rack saddle, with cutting blades adjusted according to the size of each individual rack. Automatic adjustment here can add up to 5 grams of yield per carcass.
  • Splitting: The rack saddle is split perfectly down the spinal cord hole.

 Hindquarter System

The hindquarter system uses a robotic arm to automatically cut the leg from the aitch bone. This system achieves consistently higher yields than is possible with manual boning.

 Knuckle Tipper Unit

The knuckle tipper automatically removes the knuckle tip from the hind leg. This product removes a dangerous band saw operation from the boning room, improves yield, and provides a high quality bevelled cut on the bone.