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Six way cutting automation for goat and sheep


6 (and 12) way cutting of sheep and goat carcases is a common processing approach to size reduce the carcase into product lines or stock keeping units (SKUs). 6 way cutting is a repetitive physically arduous and particularly dangerous activity due to the operator's proximity to the cutting bandsaw blades.  Automation of this process improves supply chain productivity, improves workplace safety performance and support workforce sustainabilty in the face of skill shortages.

Research & Facilitated Adoption

The initial project covered P.PSH.0205 the first feasibility trial, stage 1 of a robotic 6-way cutting system conducted on site at Norvic Food Processing, Wodonga. The main focus of the trial was to prove that the cutting method is viable without bone shatter and to test cycle time requirements.

This was follwed up by a Stage 2 project, including carcase split trials (P.PSH.0525). The objectives of these carcase splitting trials were focused on the development of a circular knife/saw with an integrated guidance mechanism.  Once developed the goal was to test and trial this saw to ensure the concept will perform as required prior to exposing any individual processor to the risk of installing a system that has remaining unanswered design, operational and reliability questions.

Outcomes & Adoption

MDC funded project P.PIP.0382 was completed with a processor and is in production.  An ex-ante cost benefit analysis is available under project P.PIP.0387, and has now been updated to include an ex-post review of the commercial viability of the system.


Title Size Date published
1.2MB 01/08/2013
577.4KB 01/08/2006
903.7KB 01/07/2011
1.7MB 08/11/2016


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Wodonga Abattoir 6 Way Cut Automation
15/11/2013 30/03/2016
CBA on Automated 6-way breakup of goat and mutton Wodonga Abattoir and MAR
01/07/2013 30/08/2013
9495Q3 - 6 Way Cut Stage 2 & Carcass Split Trials
18/10/2009 27/07/2011
Automated Six Way Cut - Stage 1
28/02/2006 20/08/2006

This page was last updated on 31/07/2018