3 Ways Automation Could Improve Hatchery Operations



3 Ways Automation Could Improve Hatchery Operations



New robotic technologies offer increased efficiency, reliability and better working conditions.

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Robotic and other automated technologies could be key to resolving the operational challenges faced by hatcheries, including labor shortages, worker compliance and consistent job satisfaction, that can negatively affect health, well-being and workplace safety.


“Automation can play a critical role in streamlining and improving operations, while also balancing labor challenges and marketplace pressures,” Roger Chisum, Senior Manager of Automation Systems, Zoetis, explained.


Improved efficiencies

Today’s robots work quickly and with fewer errors than previous manual or mechanical systems.


“If you look at the data on robotics vs. mechanical unloading over the last few years, there’s a pretty significant improvement in chicks per man hours,” Chisum said.

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Improved reliability

Automation offers hatcheries a way to reduce human error and minimize downtime, a benefit for both bird and worker welfare.


“If you get good automation, reliability goes up, so you have less downtime. At the hatchery, it’s becoming more and more critical to have your uptime where everything’s running so you can get the birds out of the building as soon as possible,” Chisum added.


Improved working conditions

Automation can also improve the working conditions of employees who often perform tasks that are labor-intensive and may cause injury.


“Robotics enable workers to not to have to stay in an area that may be wet or is not the most favorable place to be in the facility. This enables them to be in there and then leave because the robots can stay in these conditions long-term,” Chisum explained.

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Ultimately, robotics and other automated tools give poultry producers a way to improve working conditions and reduce employee turnover.

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“By using equipment that’s easier for them to operate, it makes workers’ jobs easier to do day in and day out so they’re going to want to stay doing what they’re doing,” Chisum said. “For me, that’s one of the biggest benefits of automation.”


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