The cutting of oven prepared OP ribs is a repetitive and hazardous process due to the close proximity of the bandsaw operator and the cutting blade. This initiative aimed to develop semi-automatic cutting aids. The benefit to the supply chain is more consistent products, and increased workplace safety which supports labour supply sustainability.
There are significant yield and operator safety issues associated with the manual processing methods for deboning beef O.P. Ribs (aka Cube Rolls). In 2011, Scott Technology (Scott) in collaboration with JBS Australia (JBS), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and the Australian Meat Processing Corporation (AMPC) developed a Striploin Saw by modifying an existing bandsaw with a triangular cutting path (using three wheels) rather than the typical oval cutting path (using two wheels).
This configuration allowed for the striploin to be cut at the best angle possible for meat recovery and hence not only increased operator safety but also provided an increased return in yield. This standalone machine approach was easily justified when striploins are being processed day in and day out for 8 hours of each shift.
While a common (off the shelf) bandsaw is typically used to remove the chine bone and thus produce OP Ribs, this poses a significant OH&S risk. A solution needed to be developed that enabled an operator to undertake the task in a safe manner (and ideally increase yield) whilst not being able to justify a dedicated standalone machine (aka the striploin machine) or be permanently fixed to an existing bandsaw that then make the bandsaw redundant for other tasks when not being used for OP Rib processing.
The above work was carried out under project P.PIP.0324, and the associated cost benefit analysis report is shown below.
Under the above project, JBS and Scott Technology devised a simple bandsaw prototype attachment (BCR1) that would enable operational staff to safely produce OP Ribs and arguably increase yields when compared with utilisation of a standard bandsaw alone, trials indicated that the device needed further improvement. This upgrade (BCR2) was carried out in 2015 under a new MLA Donor Company project (P.PSH.0726).
During production trials, site management were satisfied that the BCR2 was a significant improvement over the BCR1, the machine is easier and faster to operate and all of the modifications added value and functionality. However, site management expressed their growing interest in BladeStop technology which now competes with the safety advantages provided by the BCR2. For the BCR concept to remain viable, it must evolve to operate in conjunction with BladeStop and provide value by improving yield over and above baseline BladeStop operations.