Major Latvian poultry producer starts using robotized systems

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Poultry producer AS “Putnu fabrika Ķekava” has installed a robotic product weighing and packaging line, as well as a robot for loading frozen meat on pallets, the company said January 27.

New robots worth almost €300 000 will contribute to the efficiency of production and improve safety. The investment is expected to pay off over the next three years, the company said.

The installation of robotic systems was completed in December and the last testing of the equipment is currently being carried out. The loading robot is scheduled to work at full capacity in February, while the weighing and packaging systems will start operating in March. After the end of the state of emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, two additional weighing and packaging robotic systems are planned.

Robotic weighing and packaging systems will provide an identical weight for each product package, which is crucial for supermarkets that want to sell products at a fixed price. In addition, modern systems will improve product safety, as the whole process will take place without human intervention.

Weighing and packaging robots will pack up to 15 tons of meat products daily, equivalent to the load of about six employees on the production line.

Andrijs Pranckevičs, chairman of the board of the factory, said that the new robots will help solve the problem of labor shortages.

"The lack of skilled labor has been one of our main challenges for several years, even though we offer competitive pay, modern working conditions, various bonuses and transport. Of course, it will not be that robots will replace our skilled employees, on the contrary, they will reduce the amount of physical work and allow our employees to do more important job tasks that cannot be automated,” Pranckevičs said.

According to him, the introduction of modern technologies in the food industry is unavoidable if companies in the European competition market want to maintain efficiency and sustainability.

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