Robots Coming To Canada And What It Means for Meat Processing Professionals

When the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation created a machine that extracts meat from crabs in 2017, industry stakeholders saw the future of robots working alongside Canada’s meat processing professionals.

Since then, industry players have created cattle-handling robots, meat-cutting machines, and meat-loading robots. Evidently, the robotic process automation sector in Canada is fast-paced, and the government is doing its part to accelerate the growth. 

How The Canadian Government Is Spearheading Robotics Innovation In Meat Processing

In March 2019, CAAIN invested CA$ 5 million in a beef and pork primary processing automation and robotics program to help meat processors quickly adopt robots in their plants. 

Moreover, last year, the federal government gave CA$150,000 under Innovative Solutions Canada to each meat processor to advance their automation and robotic technologies.

These efforts enable meat manufacturers to ramp up production, increase workplace safety, and solve labour shortages

Other benefits meat manufacturers will accrue include automation of inspection, optimised management of conveyors, and prediction and prevention of contamination. 

While there are fears that manual labour will be replaced, technical professionals like food quality supervisors and mechanical engineers, among others, will retain their jobs, and new roles will emerge. 

Let’s keep you apprised about some benefits you stand to gain working with robotic process automation in the meat processing workplace.

Jobs are available now in the meat processing industry!

Increased Productivity

On average, workers globally spend 4 hrs and 38 minutes weekly doing redundant work that could be automated.

Thankfully, robots take care of these manual, repetitive tasks that cause you to burn out, leaving you to do more creative tasks that machines can’t do. 

When the role of a technical factory worker is enhanced, they have greater job satisfaction and give more energy to their duties. 

For instance, QA engineers can rely on robots to predict food contamination, assisting them in making decisions that save the business thousands and even millions of dollars in food waste. 

Shallow Learning Curve

Previously, learning how to program robots was like pulling teeth, and manufacturing professionals would spend months upskilling to remain relevant in the manufacturing workplace.

Still, this steep learning curve just got shallow.

You no longer need serious programming skills to set up and operate robots.

Seemingly, configuring today's robots has a low technical barrier, and many interfaces are user-friendly, allowing you to quickly give the robot instructions for performing menial tasks.

Current programs have enhanced drag-and-drop features that allow non-programmers to program their machines.

That being so, as a robotics novice, you can learn and install robotic process automation in a few days. 

It’s easy and fun!

Error Reduction

To err is human, and meat processing professionals can make costly mistakes.

Say the food quality supervisor needs to refer to a list of specifications of the meat products featuring ingredients, size, colour, dimensions, and defects tolerance, among other details. 

When they are exhausted, it’s easy to miss one of the details, resulting in poor-quality batches. Yet, you can program robots to undertake precise application paths and parameters, promoting operational reliability, consistency, and repetition. 

Consequently, products are manufactured with precision, and the resulting items are uniform and high-quality, making your job easy-peasy. 

Replacing manual operations with innovative meat processing technology that is robots inadvertently reduces errors, making the work of technical operations smooth sailing.

Better Skill Set

With the deployment of robots in the meat processing workplace, some skills have become pertinent. 

Whether a maintenance engineer, operations manager, or quality supervisor, you need critical thinking skills to grasp the sophisticated robotic systems you work with, like mechanics and sensing. 

Over and above that, you need critical thinking abilities to help you leverage the power of robots in your plant’s processes. 

Programming and complex problem-solving skills are other abilities you could gain if you decide to change your career and become a robotics technician or AI maintenance engineer.

Improved Safety

On average, there are 945 work-related deaths in Canada’s factories every year because of safety issues. 

Granted, working with blades and lifting heavy things on the factory floor leads to severe accidents in the workplace, and technical workers are not excluded. 

Every so often, technical operators fall victim to factory floor spillages and savage machines.

Notwithstanding, robots move the needle on safety, as some autonomous floor-cleaning robots ensure the factory floor remains dry. 

Furthermore, safety systems in robots safeguard programmers, engineers, maintenance personnel, and operators by restricting their contact with dangerous machinery. 

Thanks to presence-sensing and mechanical-limiting sensors and devices, you’re out of harm's way when dangerous equipment is in use. 

When you approach hazardous machinery, it will sense your presence and slow down or quit the process entirely until you move safely away from the equipment.

Employee Wellness

Robots coming to Canada’s meat processing workplace reduce burnout and result in happier employees. When machines take over repetitive and dangerous jobs that grind down your nerves and make you feel flat, you’re left with more engaging, creative tasks and decision-making roles. 

You have more time to partake in advanced educational opportunities and leverage workplace wellness programs into the bargain. 

To top it off, robots limit or remove your presence from hazardous factory environments, like cold freezers and wet factory floors, improving your health and well-being. 

QTalent Meets Robotic Process Automation

Robots are a cog in the food processing industry machine. They don’t replace workers, they replace manual jobs with technical positions. 

Some new jobs you can expect to see on the QTalent job board include robotics technician, automation engineer, automation consultant, and a plethora of other roles. So, factory workers should cast their nets wide by upskilling. 

At QTalent, we help you weave first-rate benefits, superlative workplace culture, and remarkable compensation into the fabric of your technical food manufacturing career. We connect you to food processing employers whose culture, location, compensation, and benefits package are transparent, right on their profile. 

Without a hitch, apply for jobs with a bespoke profile and a unique resume you can send to multiple employers with zero changes. 

Sign up today, and happy hunting!

Elton Mwangi


Elton has been a writer and has contributed his expertise to the HR industry for the last 5 years. He's passionate about working with companies that utilize HR technology to improve the employee experience and the future of the workforce. He starts his morning with a cup of joe and the latest article from HR Morning and SHRM to equip his audience with quality blog content.

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