Hook-Assist CBA and Feasibility for Future Modifications
In 2005 MLA and AMPC embarked on the process of investigating ‘cobotics’ as a technology that may address some of the OH&S issues faced by the meat processing industry. A ‘co-robot’ works collaboratively with operators by amplifying human effort, as opposed to conventional automation systems that replace operators.
Industry was engaged throughout the development process that produced the Hook Assist platform prototype. There was great potential for the technology subject to addressing a number of functional refinements during off-line trialing of the prototype system. At completion of the development stage in 2010, Scott Technology won the tender to handle the commercialisation process. Beef scribing was identified as one possible extension of the Hook Assist platform. The proposed solution was considered to have the potential to reduce the OH&S issues associated with manual beef scribing,
increase cutting accuracy and provide an improvement in processing speed. It was intended to trial the prototype system at line speeds in commercial boning rooms to familiarize operators with Hook Assist and identify and build additional capabilities and applications from the base technology. One
aim of these trial installations was for the industry to work with AMPC, MLA and Scott Technology to identify further applications the platform technology could be extended to address