Silver Fern Farms has introduced X-ray technology into its lamb processing systems.
It is the latest step in a plan by the meat processing company to have a fully automated lamb cutting and boning operation in its meat plants.
In a joint venture with the Dunedin-based company, Scott Technology, Silver Fern Farms has installed New Zealand's first X-ray grading system for lamb processing at the Pareora plant, near Timaru.
Chief executive Keith Cooper says it supports a robotic lamb processing technology that Silver Fern has developed for its own plants and is also selling to other meat companies.
He says the aim behind the new technology is to match lambs that farmers are supplying to market specifications.
Mr Cooper says the X-ray grading technology will also be installed at the Finegand plant in South Otago and at Takapau in Hawke's Bay during the winter.