Marel launched its fully automatic RoboBatcher Thermoformer at Seafood Expo Global following proof of concept trials in selected factories.
FURTHER refinements as a result of these trials have been incorporated into the machine, which is now on sale.
The robot was among four products launched during the exhibition but it was definitely the ‘star of the show’ judging by the visitors it attracted.
The concept of robot packing is still quite new. There is also a robot box packer, the RoboBatcher, which was too big for even Marel’s giant stand, but which has already been snapped up in a new deal, announced in Brussels, between Marel and fellow Icelandic
Vísir has just installed its first RoboBatcher and the agreement will see the installation of additional robots in the near future.
‘We entered an agreement with Vísir on the joint development of robot box packing last year,’ said Sigurdur Ólason, managing director Marel Fish.
‘After a very smooth installation of the first packing robot, we’re very happy that Vísir is already keen to step up the automation yet another notch.’
The RoboBatcher makes filling orders eas
ier and more efficient by automatically adjusting processing based on which product weights and sizes best match the order requirements.
Marel was also flagging up its FleXicut pinboner and fillet portioner with the FleXitrim trimming line, launched commercially in Brussels this year.
For salmon processors, three new products released this year improve processing results in terms of end-product quality, yield and reduced labour costs: the QC Scanner, the PaceInfeeder for the Filleting Machine, and FleXicut Salmon for pre-rigour salmon processing.
‘All three of the new releases are examples of how we make salmon processing more intelligent – and therefore more efficient, more sustainable, more profitable,’ said Ólason when Marel launched the products at the Salmon ShowHow in Copenhagen in February.
The company also released a new software module earlier this year for improving salmon filleting results.
Innova for Salmon Filleting provides complete equipment control and real-time monitoring to
Smarter factories featuring rapidly evolving processing technology will help fish processors increase their throughput, obtain better yields, and respond to tighter quality and safety requirements, said Olason, in a foreword to Marel’s annual Insight Fish Processing publication.
‘We recognise that there are significant differences in the utilisation of fish and processing methods around the world, but there are some core ‘smart factory’ attributes that lay the foundation for smarter processing, irrespective of factors such as the cost and availability of manual labour, fluctuations in raw material supply, and even the types of products that are being produced.’
Above: The RoboBatcher Thermoformer on Marel’s stand at the expo