Growers flock to Copenhagen for X-rays, waterjets

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After several years of high-salmon prices, fish farmer cash holdings and budgets have swollen. Fish processing outfits, too, await new winnings.

“The demand is still high for new tech that can lift production up efficiency-wise,” Marel’s Scandinavia head of sales, Aasmund Haga, told SalmonBusiness.

Aasmund Haga

Seafood heads
In all, some 420 guests came to Marel’s Salmon Showhow, the company’s annual tradeshow and conference at one of its own Copenhagen locations. As they pressed their way through the showroom, SalmonBusiness spotted process company bosses and the directors of outfits like Leroy Seafood Group, Arnarlax, Austevoll Seafood, KB Food, New Zealand King Salmon, Bakkafrost, Hofseth, Marine Harvest and Labeyrie.

As with other industries, digitalization and robotization is high up on the agenda. Both of these have been Icelandic Marel’s long-time focus areas.

“There’s been a development. The salmon industry has been innovative for many years,” Haga said.

X-rays and waterjets
Has there been a brain drain into robotization from classical mechanical solutions?

“The development of new technology is high up there for us. That’s what we have to do if we want to still be here tomorrow,” Haga said, adding, “Demand is highly dependent on swings in the salmon price.”

Haga said Marel’s seeing special interest in vision and x-ray tech, along with waterjet cutters for salmon, a technology already seen in the whitefish fishery.

“X-rays are used to find the bones. Waterjets are used to angle the cut. Knives make straight cuts,” he explained. All of these are used to increase a salmon’s saleable value.