Valka Newsletter - Issue 1 - April 2012
ValkaNews Efficiency, Innovation, Perfection
X-ray guided Cutting machine
Great improvements in yield and throughput
Doubled production without increasing staff
New Quality System at HB Grandi Valuable overview of the production quality
New Approach to Whole Salmon Packing Valka’s innovative, high-tech whole salmon grading and packing system doubles production at the Finnmark facility of Mainstream Norway Mainstream AS, one of the largest salmon farming companies in Norway, installed Valka’s new hygienic whole fish grading and packing system in September of 2011. Automated Whole Salmon Grading and Packing “We needed to automate both grading and packing because of increased volume for the future and decided to work with Valka and First Process on the project,” says Knut Larsen, Processing Manager at Mainstream Norway AS. “The main benefits are that we have been able to double our production as we hoped and we do not need more people to do that. The system is also hygienic and very easy to clean, which is an added bonus.”
150 Tons a Day With 8-10 Workers The new grader has more automation than seen before and its capacity is 150 tons daily with only 8-10 employees. This hygienic, effective system gently and accurately grades salmon into variable or fixed weight boxes using advanced new algorithms.
More efficient production easier to manage “The new system is a big change for us,” says Larsen. “The system selects the correct pieces for each box and then automatically ices the content, closes the box and puts into pallets. It has made the entire production more efficient and easier to manage.”
Hygienic and Easy to Clean The entire construction of the Valka whole fish grading and packing system
is based on the latest in hygienic engineering making it easy to maintain the highest QC standard, Cleaning is easy and efficient, taking far less time than with many similar systems.
main benefits are “ The that we have been able to double our production as we hoped and we do not need more people to do that.
Full Software Control The RapidFish production software comes with the system. It oversees the grading and packing process as well as monitoring the efficiency of the gutting machines, enabling the production manager to have total control of the process. In addition, Mainstream installed the RapidFish
order handling module to automate the order process.
HB Grandi hf.
Efficient Order Handling
puts the RapidFish Quality inspection software into operation at their Pelagic fish plants
Sondre Bo Bratlien, Europe Logistics Manager for Mainstream Norway uses it daily to handle orders and create accurate daily prognosis for the sales side of things. “The system is very efficient and it makes the issuing of documents needed for our customers easy,” says Bratlien. “Everything from taking out packing lists and orders to entering data into our ERP system works well for us.”
Full Data Access For Customers Mainstream’s customers have full access to their data on the system at all times with their own username and password, and receive automated E-mail and SMS text notifications on order status.
Automatic Notifications “Our customers know immediately when their order is ready.,” says Bratlien. “They have been very happy with our level of service through the new system. The software not only allows us to stay on top of our production and order handling, but also provide excellent service to our customers.”
Last winter, the Icelandic processor HB Grandi hf. expanded their usage of the RapidFish software system and put the quality inspection module into operation for their pelagic plants at Vopnafjordur and Akranes. The quality system has been used for this season and has been valuable for the plant‘s workers in their daily jobs. „The RapidFish quality inspection system has been a success„ reveals Thorgrimur Kjartansson the Quality manager for HB Grandi‘s pelagic operations. „The system is working really well and is surprisingly easy to operate as well. We emphasized on being able to start using the system for this season which we managed to do. The main objective with the implementation was to have an over-all overview of the company’s pelagic products quality “. The RapidFish Quality system is configured to inspect either whole tray or individual fishes and the worker operates on a touchscreen interface. The system integrates with Marel scales and automatically receives the weight signal. System users can effortlessly define new inspection or parameters for an inspection. An option in the application is to define constraints or limits for the defined parameters and as well the users can receive notification via e-mail or a text message if a limit is reached. “The project implementing progressed also quite well and all cost was according to the plans” added Thorgrimur.
A good partnership “First Process and Valka have been very easy to work with, we’ve had great rapport in solving any issues that have come up in the adjustment phase and things have gone well,” says Larsen. Bratlien agrees: “It has been a good process. We have a good relationship with Valka. The system meets all our needs and includes features that are an additional bonus for us in our work. Our needs have been met successfully and our commutation has been good, swift and successful.”
Plant Manager Magnus Robertsson with Þorgrimur Kjartansson Quality manager
Increased product value with new X-ray guided cutting machine Formal testing results of Valka‘s new X-ray guided cutting machine indicate great improvements in yield and throughput for trimming and portioning of fish fillets. Icelandic firm Valka ehf. has designed a new X-ray guided water jet cutting machine for trimming and portioning of fish fillets. The prototype machine, which has been in development for some time, was recently formally tested for both accuracy and throughput under the supervision of by Syni Laboratory Service. The results indicate substantially less cut-off from the fillets and great increase in the throughput.
Increased automation gives less cut-off and enhanced throughput With the combination of X-ray and 3D image processing together with robot controlled water jets this new machine can locate and cut out pin bones
and portions with exceptionally high accuracy. The prototype machine has been developed in collaboration with the Icelandic processor HB Grandi hf. and intended for removal of pin bones in red fish fillets. The testing was focused on with three topics mainly. First one was the cutting accuracy, i.e. the fillet yield after cut-off. Second point was counting of the remaining bones and the final one was the machine throughput. Two fillet sizes were processed during the test runs, total of more than five hundred fillets. To sum up, the testing results allow for being optimist. The yield in the test was about twice as good as with manual cutting and a total of 94% of the fillets were totally bone free. The number of bones in the total amount of the cut fish was only about 0,6 bones/kg which is well within most packing requirements. A second x-ray machine can then be placed behind the line to ensure that all fillets produced on the line are completely bone free.
Evident efficiency According to these result it can be assumed that the loss in cut-off is half of what can be expected when the fillets are cut manually. Assuming there are only 2-3 people feeding the machine the throughput is as well much more than when done by hand. The product value is furthermore expected to be substantially greater and thus the machine efficiency is evident. Valka will now deliver the first machine built as a component into a complete processing flow line, expected to be running at HB Grandi’s facilities in Iceland in the beginning of June. Further testing of the machine for different species such, as pollock, cod and salmon will be continued. With similar results this technology could suggest a breakthrough in the fish processing industry.
First issue of the Valka Product Catalog The 2012 issue of the Valka Equipment and Software catalog has been released. Last year was a breakthrough for Valka ehf in many ways and numerous new products were designed and released. The catalog, which will only be published in English for now, introduces the Valka product range and includes detailed product information. Aimed for assisting customers in choosing the right product for their needs, the catalog will remain a convenient reference source throughout the year. The catalog is available on request from Valka and local distributors. As well an electronic version can be accessed on the company’s website.
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