Recent advances in technology and engineering tools and materials, such as sensors, advanced sensors, data processing, and machine learning methods, provide the poultry industry with powerful tools to improve yield and use of materials on the poultry processing line, to track the flow of materials throughout the entire process from farm to fork and make decisions based on Real-time constraints in material flows, manufacturing processes, and energy consumption, creating capabilities that go beyond what can be offered by unconnected autonomous operating environments.
What is technology 4.0?
The first industrial revolution began with the invention of steam-powered machines and hydraulic machines. The second industrial revolution came with the mass production and use of electricity, followed by the third revolution with the introduction of automation and electronics. Each of these technological developments significantly changed production methods in all areas, including poultry.
However, the rate of adoption of each technological advance varies based on cost, availability of infrastructure, cultural adaptation, and the amount of training required. We live in the era of the fourth technological and industrial revolution (i.e. Technology 4.0) that involves the fusion of different technologies, including robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, autonomous systems, nanotechnologies, quantum computing and the fully interconnected Internet of Things.
Application in poultry processing plants
Technology 4.0 can improve poultry processing efficiency and improve material productivity by integrating electronic physical systems and wireless communication technologies that track poultry production in real time to provide production data at different steps of the production process. Transporting live poultry from the producers to the processing plant is the first step in receiving the raw materials.
After the poultry is manually hung on the production line, the counting must be done. A low-cost hardware system with an intuitive analytical dashboard and the Internet of Things can be used as a convenient tool for determining the exact number and rate of a production line. In addition, after evisceration, where the offal and legs are removed from the bird, the material yield will be calculated, and the weight of each bird and the data from the production line will be generated automatically.
Specialized software in the production line will be able to select birds, manage flexible distribution, and reduce waste. The cutting and stone removal steps are essential to improve material yield. The speed and cadence of each employee who manually cuts the breasts and thighs, the quantity of packaged products and labels according to each order can be monitored using real-time monitoring systems.
Technology 4.0 Challenges
Technology 4.0 is reshaping the profile of the poultry industry, and therefore it faces many new challenges. Increasing competitive dynamics and facilitating the entry of new competitors into the market are among the most important challenges in the era of technology 4.0. Moreover, digital connectivity means data sharing and a high level of transparency that puts poultry manufacturers at risk of cyber attacks and industrial espionage, along with the challenge of securing data rights and access.
In addition, Technology 4.0 is expected to have a far-reaching impact on employee roles in poultry processing plants. Employees must be qualified to handle the new technological concept and have appropriate personal qualities (such as a desire to learn), social and interpersonal skills (such as creative problem solving in social environments), as well as action-related (such as the ability to find practical solutions), and relevant competencies. domain (such as an understanding of network technologies, along with data analysis and processing). However, finding people with these skills is a major challenge and potential hurdle for the poultry industry.
Upcoming technology and future vision
With the expected digital transformations, referred to as the fourth revolution in technology (4.0), many emerging technologies are paving the way towards a more advanced vision of the future. 5G technology is one of the key future elements in communications and data transformation due to its ability to support 1,000 times capacity gains, connections with at least 100 billion devices and a single user experience from 10 to 20 GB with extremely low latency and fast response times.
5G networks are expected to be deployed between 2020 and 2030. Processing data from different types of sensors, such as those mentioned above, requires the development of new data processing technologies. To meet this need, there will be a radical shift in machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to make them more efficient in data processing and decision making.
Biometric sensors, hyperspectral cameras, and sensor arrays are just some of the recent advances in sensors. In addition, technologies such as automation, cloud computing, and augmentation should not be ignored as new and emerging technologies. It is also worth noting that machine vision and computer vision are the developments that underpin many emerging technologies, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and smart sensors. Machine vision uses machines, sensors, and data processing algorithms to “see”, analyze and make decisions about the surrounding environment.
Machine vision will have a tremendous impact on many fields, including agriculture and animal science. It is especially useful for problems that require the human eye to assess the situation. Thousands of applications for machine vision and computer vision are yet to be discovered and are expected to be the focus of investigation and development in the near future.
The application of technology 4.0 in poultry processing plants increases a processor’s ability to improve productivity and material utilization in poultry processing lines, track material flow through the entire process, make decisions based on real-time information, and ensure high standards in poultry processing plants. The use of technology 4.0 increases production efficiency, reduces operating and manpower 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 range of data from large-scale studies using multiple sensors.