According to the Australian Banana Growers’ Council, de-handing of bananas is a labour-intensive process that could be transformed via Industry 4.0 technology.
Now, Brisbane’s ARM Hub, Hort Innovation and North Queensland banana farmers have teamed up to help deliver the Banana Industry Strategic Investment Plan by adopting ‘continuous improvement and automation technology’.
QUT Robotics engineer Dr Chris Lehnert, QUT designer Anthony Franze and ARM Hub mechanotronic engineer Troy Cordie have been working with North Queensland banana growers to identify opportunities to incorporate robotics and automation in de-handing.
“As we aim to address the National Manufacturing Priorities for Food and Beverages, we must ensure we are taking action at a grassroots level by addressing the challenges for our farmers,” Dr Lehnert told Food & Beverage Industry News in a recent story.
“The banana industry and the Australian horticulture industry at large can significantly benefit from incorporating Industry 4.0 technology into their processes. And technology advances so quickly, it is timely to take a closer look both at current practices and the technological developments over recent years that could potentially make a difference.”
The ARM Hub team will report to Hort Innovation, growers and North Queensland stakeholders on potential technologies and suggested next steps.
Dr Lehnert also leads a CRC project developing a mobile platform to transport robots around industry partner P’Petual Holdings’ Brisbane-based production facility.
Source: ARM Hub works with banana farmers to automate the industry I Food & Beverage Industry News
Lead image: QUT’s Dr Chris Lehnert (in dark blue shirt with white stripe) with North Queensland banana growers and project partners. Dr Lehnert is part of the ARM Hub team working with North Queensland growers and Hort Innovation to identify opportunities to automate aspects of banana production. “The banana industry and the Australian horticulture industry at large can significantly benefit from incorporating Industry 4.0 technology into their processes,” says Dr Lehnert. Image credit: ARM Hub