The case-ready poultry weigh-price-label operations of tomorrow will rely on automation and robotics, Thomas Swovick, market development manager, Dematic, explained during the Poultry Tech Webinar Series.

Growing interest in claims-based poultry products and transparency in food production, alongside demanding retail expectations, can strain the poultry supply chain. In addition, the e-commerce culture in combination with mass urbanization trends is leading to smaller orders being placed more frequently. The poultry industry is also dealing with a lowered availability of dependable labor.

The current process flow for case-ready poultry operations features a weekly inventory cycle and requires double-triple manual handling in a 28℉-storage room.

“Poultry is one of those first protein areas that is getting a lot of e-commerce adoption,” he said, noting that automation can help enable a successful move to online retail.

Advancements in automation and robotics can slash labor requirements, improve inventory management and support future requirements such as a migration to e-commerce.

Automation for case-ready poultry in use

Swovick previewed an automated case-ready poultry technology currently in use in Italy. 

Robots can retrieve product from multiple levels located within each aisle in the 28℉-storage room. A combination of shelf positions, shuttles and lifts allows for the individual access of specific boxes, trays and pallets.


“Now, instead of handling stacks, we’re handling these as individual entities,” Swovick said. “That gives you a lot of flexibility in your process.”

In addition, production, weigh-price-label subsystems, shuttle aisles and palletizing robots are connected via a connector network, which enables the precise control of containers and eliminates the need for manual handling in an uncomfortable environment.

What’s coming next

For more on the technologies set to advance the poultry industry, join industry-changing innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology experts, investors and leading poultry producers at the Poultry Tech Webinar Series, scheduled for November 2, 4, 10, 11, 17, 30 and December 2.

During the webinar series, industry experts will preview what’s coming next – from prospective solutions to developing technology – for the poultry industry. 

This webinar series is proudly sponsored by: Arm & Hammer, Aviagen, Baader, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cargill, Ceva, Chore-Time, Cobb, Evonik, Marel, Phibro Animal Health, Staubli and Zoetis.

Visit our website for more details on the webinar series, topics and speakers.

Register for free today and join us for a glimpse at the future of the poultry industry.