Restaurant Robotics Technology

KUKA Robots Used on Insect Farm in Denmark

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KUKA has announced that six of its robots are at work on the largest and first commercial insect farm in Denmark. The company ENORM Biofactory breeds black soldier fly larvae there and uses them to produce protein feed – for fish, poultry or pets, for example – as well as insect oil, which can also be used as a food supplement for various animals. The aim is to utilise insects as a climate-friendly source of protein for the future.

In a factory building in the heart of Denmark, 50 kilometres southwest of Aarhus, a literally moving spectacle can be observed day after day and almost 24 hours a day: Millions of fly larvae munch their way through their food in countless boxes, while the containers are constantly moved, stacked, emptied and filled by quietly whirring KUKA robots.

“The larvae of the fly can feed on almost all organic matter. That’s why we can feed them with waste products from the Danish food industry that would otherwise be disposed of elsewhere – and turn them into high-quality feed protein for livestock farming,” says Jane Lind Sam, COO of ENORM. Insect production is a prime example of a sustainable circular economy with minimal impact on the environment and climate

The containers used in larvae breeding are extremely heavy and need to be filled, emptied and stacked quickly. Finding the best solutions for this was the task of Rolf Tange and his team. Tange is CTO of the Sealing System Group, which has been using KUKA technology for its customers for decades.

“We knew that the flexible Hygienic Oil robots from KUKA would be perfect for ENORM’s insect farm,” says Tange. “In the first stage, the larvae grow in 30 to 40-centimetre boxes,” he explains. After seven days, they are then transferred to larger boxes measuring more than one square metre. And at this point at the latest, the robots are an indispensable aid to any human: “There are 50 kilos of liquid food in there, then 70,000 larvae are tipped on top,” explains Tange. “Not even the fittest worker could manage that weight.”

The six KUKA robots fill a new box every seven seconds, i.e. 500 per hour – 20 hours a day. The system is cleaned in the remaining four hours.

Source: KUKA

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