APGS - Automatic Pork Grading System

APGS - A robot system that replaces the human grader in the repetitive and tedious task of manual grading of pork carcasses. Currently, only grading of fat/lean thickness is performed. Automatic grading can be performed, as the carcass moves along the abattoir line, for fat/lean thickness, PSE (paleness, softness and exudativeness) characteristics, and marbling content of a fresh pork carcass.

APGS - A robot system that can perform the grading in several ways: (i) invasively, by the insertion of a grading probe, at a designated spot identified by ultrasound technology; (ii) non-invasively, using ultrasound and infrared technologies; or (iii) a combination of both. Manual fat/lean thickness is generally done using invasive grading. Non-invasive grading ensures consistency and that no cross contamination occurs between carcasses.

APGS - A robot system comprised of three sub-systems:

-     Robotic Subsystem carries the Sensing and Probing Subsystem which scans the pork carcass, as the carcass moves along the conveyor line, to locate the designated spot for probing (invasive or non-invasive) and perform grading.

-   Clamping Subsystem automatically clamps the pork carcass as it enters the grading station and presents the carcass at a constant position and orientation, during the grading operation.

-     Sensing and Probing Subsystem uses a dual echo ultrasonic technology to detect the probing site and perform the probing.