Canada's food processors have long used assembly lines in which human workers do most of the actual work, but that's finally changing. New robotic systems can spot fruit or nuts that are sub-par and can perform complex tasks such as butchering meat according to precise specifications. "There has been a run more recently to automation and to more productivity," says Peter Fitzgerald, general manager of Fanuc Robotics Canada. "There was a lag, but now it's starting to catch up."

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