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Ongoing project

Study to review automation of banana de-handing (BA21005)

Key research provider: Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub

What’s it all about?

This short project is examining whether automating banana de-handing is feasible. It will provide the banana industry with an understanding of how automation of de-handing could be of benefit and what would be required to progress towards automation.

To understand the challenges and opportunities for the integration of robotics and automation, the research team will conduct a ‘time and motion’ study to survey banana processing in an operational processing facility.

A feasibility report will be provided that communicates the challenges and immediate opportunities around automating banana de-handling, as well as a proposed plan for potential next steps (such as proof of concept, technology demonstration, design workshops etc).

The findings will be presented to the banana industry via an open invitation workshop to be held in North Queensland (details will be provided through the Australian Banana Growers’ Council communication channels).

The project team reports progress in the following areas:

Time and motion studies of the banana de-handing process has been undertaken on five farms, along with two semi-structured interviews with a farm manager and banana de-hander. The study was conducted over three days and collected important data on the banana de-handing process and helped to inform future processes.

Research was undertaken into existing banana de-handing processes which included a review of several patented mechanical de-handing solutions. Investigations concluded that there are no known commercial-ready solutions that can be immediately deployed to automate banana de-handing in Australia. However, development of an automated robotic de-handing solution is being researched further.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund