Novel technology for automated beef carcass scribing

December 4, 2023


Intelligent Robotics Pty Ltd



Prior to the IR-SCRIBE automation, Beef Scribing was a skilled manual task which required the use of a hazardous circular cutting saw. This operation involved the risk of operator injuries and inaccurate cutting of the high-value beef carcass.

Intelligent Robotics Pty Ltd, with the support of AMPC’s investment into advanced manufacturing, developed an AI-driven automated beef scribing system using Photoneo 3D cameras MotionCam-3D, called IR-SCRIBE, being installed at Kilcoy Pastoral Company’s processing plant in Kilcoy, Queensland Australia.




Beef scribing by Intelligent Robotics and Photoneo

Before cutting begins, each side of beef passes before a series of Photoneo MotionCam-3D imaging cameras. MotionCam-3D was selected to capture highly accurate 3D point cloud images even during the movement of the beef carcasses on a conveyor and the varying size and shape of the beef sides.

Vision processing and AI then identify the key features of interest on the carcass, which define where the robots need to make their incisions.

The first robot performs the two spine cuts, before the cameras measure again before the second cuts are made to maintain millimeter-accuracy.

The IR-SCRIBE robotic scribing uses Photoneo 3D cameras and AI to find where each cut needs to be made, which is critical for boning room success. This gives downstream process workers the right pattern to follow in order to optimize carcass yields.

The end customer said: “It will give us the accuracy we need from a yield perspective, product specifications, and product consistency. Our customers will open a meat carton and notice the difference.”



MotionCam-3D allowed the end customer to scan carcasses in movement and with millimeter precision, which was a request in order to keep the line speeds and improve the accuracy of the cuts.

The IR-SCRIBE system using Photoneo MotionCam-3D cameras provides significant cost savings when compared to alternative X Ray based systems, and results in high accuracy as well as high yield recovery from the beef carcass. 

The benefits include improving yields, greater consistency in scribing operations, and most importantly – assisting worker safety. 

Intelligent Robotics Pty Ltd’s electrical engineering manager Jonathan Cook said his company is passionate about engineering novel solutions to add value and improve safety.

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