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LEAP V forequarter ovine cutting (bone in)


The lamb forequarter is a primal component of the carcase requiring a series of bandsaw cuts to separate the neck, separate the shanks, and splitting to produce the square cut shoulder portions.  At processing line speed in the lamb boning room, this is a repetitive and physically demanding task.  

Hence MLA funded a fully automated cutting solution as part of the LEAP series of modules that feature the flexibility of a robot and servo controlled bandsaw, which will deliver to the supply chain a more consistent product, increased workplace safety by separating the operator from the cutting blade hazard, and contributing to labour supply sustainability.


Project A.CIS.0034 conducted an ex-ante study of the LEAP V concept so as to scope out options for an automated machine to break up the shoulder primal of ovine carcasses. The concept included cutting of neck, brisket and shank, and splitting of the square cut shoulder. The scoping exercise considered the variability in the shoulder primal from a range of carcase weights.

Project P.PSH.0520 developed a working prototype of a LEAP V machine operating at 2-4 carcases per minute, capable of processing the main bone-in cuts of the carcase forequarter as follows:

  • Knuckle tip removal
  • Neck Cuts
  • Shank and Brisket Removal
  • Vertebrae splitting

Project P.PSH.0738 LEAP V developed a production prototype and factory trialled under this. A processing site for full production trials is now being pursued.


The prototype was successfully built, and discussions are under way with Scott Technology and processors as to proceeding further via a facilitated adoption project.

Project P.PIP.0764 was going to install an Automated Forequarter system in an Australian lamb processor, however the project was withdrawn by the processor.  The system will be installed at another Australian processing site.  



Title Size Date published
2.0MB 01/06/2014
4.7MB 01/07/2011
587.3KB 01/01/2013
605.0KB 04/11/2016


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Optimize the LEAP IV and V smallstock automation technologies
01/03/2011 31/12/2012
CBA for LEAP II, IV and LEAP V automation technologies
05/12/2011 09/08/2013
LEAP V Single Cell automated bone-in Forequarter system
01/08/2009 25/03/2011
Leap V Forequarter system - Further development (yield/speed)
20/04/2015 30/06/2016
Automated FQ cell (AL Colac)
15/02/2016 23/08/2016

This page was last updated on 31/07/2018