Marel focused on closing whitefish processing gaps, sells second Flexicut of the week

Fresh off launching four new pieces of processing kit at the Brussels seafood expo, Icelandic manufacturer Marel has said it will be focusing its immediate attention on closing the gaps in its automated whitefish processing line, specifically filleting and deheading.

According to Stella Kristinsdottir, the company is looking into the development of a tilapia filleting machine, which “should probably be ready for the end of the year.”

Although filleting and deheader machines exist as part of Marel’s salmon processing chain, these cannot easily be reconfigured for whitefish due to the intrinsically different biologies of each.

However, Kristinsdottir told Undercurrent the new products introduced in Brussels have already been well received — two companies, Canada’s Icewater Seafoods and now Icelandic processor Isfelag Vestmannaeyjar have each bought Flexicut machines at the show, reportedly worth $1.2 million.

In addition, Marel has signed a long-term contract with Iceland’s Visir for three robotic box packers known as RoboBatchers, of similar value to the Flexicut. Two are to be delivered next year to accompany the arrival of another piece of Marel kit, which Kristinsdottir said was currently in development.

Similarly, Visir is buying a second compact grader from Marel, after trialing Marel’s new machine onboard its vessels, allowing it to cut out significant time from its land-based processing, Kristinsdottir said. Marel hopes Visir’s success will encourage other companies to invest in the unit.


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