Marel has launched a salmon trimming robot, which it claims can perform more quickly, consistently and continuously than a master trimmer working at peak performance.
The major feature that makes these achievements possible for the ITM2 Trimming Robot is an advanced vision system.
This calculates the most profitable cut configuration based on weight, shape and/or colour grade parameters, before trimming loins, belly sides and fillet surfaces at high speed.
The unit improves yield by delivering uniform trimming tailored to the seafood processor’s specifications, Marel said.
The ITM2 is designed for seamless integration into pre- or post rigor fillet processing lines and could be used in tandem with Marel Innova yield monitoring software.
The combination enabled processors to monitor raw material use at each processing step, maximising yields and production efficiency, said Marel. In addition, by using the software, processors could keep line shutdown to a minimum and improve traceability, the company said.
“If I see that the weight percentage trend for any trim category is increasing, then we just make corrections to reduce trim and increase yield,” said Stian Otterlei, manager, filleting department, at Austevoll Seafood, which has installed the scheme.
After the firm took on the ITM2, its labour requirements dropped significantly and capacity improved dramatically.
“We’re packing more with fewer people,” said Per Kristian Bjånesöy, production and technical manager for Norway-based Austevoll Laksepakkeri.
He argued that the reduction in labour requirements as a result of the increased automation had been offset by the fact that the new equipment had boosted productivity.
“Because of increased output, and because now we also have more by-products to pack, we haven’t had to lay anyone off,” he said. “We’re very pleased.”