Streamlining Meat Processing: The Power of Data-Driven Daily Fabrication Plans

April 15, 2024

Infographic of meat production: from a cow, through processing and packaging, to a customer buying meat.

The meat value chain is very complex, but data-driven production planning and AI optimization of carcass sorting, cutting, and processing can significantly impact profit margins for meat processors.

The meat value chain is a constantly moving set of gears, where isolated decisions have consequences both up and downstream. With variables and parameters creating trillions of possible combinations at any point of time, crafting daily fabrication plans is a critical strategy that can make or break the profit margins for meat processors. In this article, we’ll explore how a data-driven approach to daily production planning and smart optimization of carcass sorting, cutting, and processing boosts the bottom line and sharpens the competitive edge.

Imagine planning your commute in a bustling city where daily road closures, traffic jams, and public transport delays occur. Relying on a static weekly or monthly plan for such a journey would be impractical; you’d need to check traffic updates and plan your route daily to ensure timely arrival. This scenario mirrors the need for production managers in the meat processing industry to create unique daily plans. Just as city commuters must adapt to everyday travel conditions, planners must tailor day-to-day operations to the ever-changing inputs of carcass characteristics, customer orders, and the perishable nature of their product to navigate the complexities of the meat value chain.

What should Strategic Fabrication Plans look like?

Daily fabrication plans shouldn’t be static documents but dynamic, responsive strategies informed by robust data streams across the value chain. Key elements include:

1. Data-Driven Decision Making

Data-driven decision-making is essential for any production manager aiming for the most optimized production. Real-time data feeds into your decisions, enabling you to match output with the current demand, avoiding overstocking and cutting down on waste. But it's not just about the now—this data also helps managers look ahead, forecasting what customers want next and staying one step ahead. By using data to predict and prepare for the future, operations managers can increase the utilization of animals, demand satisfaction levels, and revenue. For instance, according to the state of the U.S. beef industry in 2023, U.S. consumers are willing to pay higher prices for beef. However, the key for cattle producers is to realize their share of the value chain through producing the right cattle for the right market. Völur's AI solution uses data-driven insights and machine learning to provide production managers with optimized production plans to ensure the right raw materials are used in value-added or processed products.

2. Optimization of Carcass Sorting

Regarding carcass sorting, daily production plans must be adaptable to account for the inherent variability in carcass characteristics. By integrating thorough analysis of these attributes into daily plans, production managers can optimize processing to capitalize on market opportunities, ensuring that high-value carcasses go consistently into the highest-value products. The meat industry is increasingly leveraging AI and tech solutions to streamline operations and improve the bottom line. These advancements are particularly impactful in optimizing carcass sorting, enabling more precise and efficient categorization of carcasses.

3. Automation of Daily Plans

Who doesn't appreciate the satisfaction of a job well done with less effort? That's the allure of automating daily fabrication plans. Automation offers operations managers a significant leap toward enhanced productivity and consistency. Automated plans reduce the margin for human error, ensuring a steady output that aligns with set quality standards. This automation translates to more time for the manager to focus on strategic initiatives rather than the minutiae of daily scheduling. It also enables a more agile response to unexpected disruptions, as automated systems can be reprogrammed quickly to adjust to new conditions. In light of recent events such as the alleged sale of fraudulent pork products in the U.K., the automation of daily plans could play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and safety of meat products, further emphasizing the importance of precision in daily fabrication plans in the meat processing industry.  

Automating production planning requires an understanding of the business rules, constraints and goals of the packer. Völur’s solution fully accounts for those, as the AI models are speficically tailored to each customer’s needs.  

Völur Carcass Value Optimization solution ensures optimal decisions, with a full overview of the value chain.

Who should be involved in creating Strategic Fabrication Plans?

In navigating through the complexity of orchestrating daily fabrication plans, production managers must direct a coordinated effort across various departments that include:  

IT and Data Analysts:

  • Maintaining a real-time data exchange to keep optimization models accurate and effective.
  • Ensuring the data flow aligns with the immediate needs of the production schedule.

Procurement Teams:  

  • Engaging in ongoing dialogue to align the purchasing of carcasses with production needs.
  • Validating that carcass selection adheres to the characteristics that drive value.  

Sales and Operations:

  • Providing up-to-date demand forecasts to adjust production plans swiftly.
  • Keeping production aligned with market trends through frequent communication.

How do Strategic Daily Fabrication Plans Enhance Governance within the Meat Processing Industry?

Production managers must craft their daily fabrication plans taking into consideration industry specifics:

  1. Actionability for Production Teams: Daily plans must seamlessly translate into concrete actions for schedulers and operators on the production floor. They should accommodate the operational realities of the production floor, allowing for quick pivots in response to real-time challenges and ensuring the smooth functioning of daily operations.  
  1. Regulatory Compliance: The plans must account for stringent industry standards, aligning with regulatory requirements for traceability and food safety.  

Ready to talk AI-driven daily production planning? Join us at the IPPE Expo to dive into the latest innovations we at Völur are developing that are reshaping the future of meat processing. Uncover strategies to maximize carcass value, optimize sorting processes, and boost your bottom line.  

We look forward to connecting with industry peers, engaging in insightful discussions, and gaining valuable knowledge.