August 11, 2020
FISK Seafood invests in new production line by Marel
FISK Seafood and Marel reached an agreement last year for FISK Seafood's purchase of a new white-fish production line by Marel, set to be operational by end of summer 2020.
In preparation for the production line's operation, Marel sent a team to Sauðárkrókur, Iceland, to meet up with Ásmundur Baldvinsson, production manager at FISK Seafood, who is overseeing the final stages of installation, Marel said in an August press release.
"So much has been revealed to us in the recent months and years as to why we need to be on our toes regarding food production technology, both to improve production quality and, importantly, the working environment of employees," said Baldvinsson.
FISK Seafood is one of Iceland's largest fisheries with operations spanning the whole value chain, from fishing and aquaculture to processing, sales and export.
The company's spacious, first-class facility in Sauðárkrókur employs 70 people. Fresh catch, cod and pollock are cut into whole fillets before being lightly salted and frozen at the facility. They are then exported to mainland Europe where it is a sought-after delicacy in hotels and restaurants. The new line is specifically tailored for processing whole fillets, which comes with clear upsides, according to Marel.
The line is also designed to increase throughput and sort the fillets into more size categories, which help improve flow and organisation.
"We should be able to sort all the fillets before freezing with the new system instead of having to sort some of them after freezing as it stands today" said Baldvinsson. Freezing of similar sized fillets is better for the product and shortens average freezing times and saves energy, Marel said.
The operation processes 11,000 tonnes annually, doubling the amount produced eight years ago. This milestone was attributed to the employment of Marel's equipment and software.
The new line will maintain the same number of workstations even when considering future future plans for expansion. Cleaning of the workstations will be easier due to a open space design, which ensures water can easily pass through without remaining static on horizontal surfaces. Visual information flow on monitors at each workstation and simplify decision-making and action.
More volume is expected to increase overall freezing time but with increased automation and improved flow in the earlier stages of production, work hours can be better utilised and production increased with the same number of people.
Additionally, quality control at the FISK Seafood facility is fully executed with the Innova software from Marel, which will keep track of all production data. This will save time as well as making all information available in one place and in real-time.
The primary processing part of the system is comprised of equipment from Curio and Marel and has three de-headers and two filleting machines from Curio which follow the most rigorous safety standards.
Marel and Curio partnered in October 2019 when Marel signed a deal to acquire a 50% stake in Curio ehf, along with an option to acquire the remaining 50% of shares in four years.