Customer story

Partnership takes portion cutting to the next level

02 Sep 2014

By working closely with Marine Harvest on the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter, Marel has developed a machine with unrivaled accuracy that has become the industry benchmark.

Marine Harvest ASA is one of the largest seafood companies in the world and the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon. The company employs more than 10,000 people and is represented in 22 countries. They supply sustainably farmed salmon and processed seafood to more than 50 markets worldwide. They recently updated their portfolio of portion cutters by purchasing five new Marel I-Cut 130 portion cutters for processing facilities in France, Belgium and Poland.

Extending boundaries through innovation

Guy Vandenbroucke, senior Project Manager in Europe at Marine Harvest, saw a demonstration of the I-Cut 130 at the Seafood Expo in Bruxelles in 2013. He was impressed by the innovative features and shortly after Marine Harvest decided to buy five machines. “The I-Cut 130 is the only portion cutter that can meet all our requirements and enable us to deliver the new products our customers are asking for,” he says.

Marel enjoys a long-standing partnership with Marine Harvest, and during the months that followed, we worked closely with them to further develop the I-Cut 130’s innovative features. The partnership has resulted in a market-leading portion cutter that goes beyond expectation and takes portioning to the next level. By listening to our customers and responding to their feedback we aim to continuously extend the boundaries of food processing performance. Our goal is to provide customers with solutions that give them an edge over their competitors.

Unrivaled accuracy and reliability

In many countries, retailers and food service companies are moving away from selling products of variable weight. The demand for products of consistent weight and dimensions is increasing. To respond to this growing trend, Marine Harvest decided to invest in new, advanced equipment.

Accuracy is key to meeting our customers’ needs for products of consistent weight and dimensions, and we found that the I-Cut 130 provides the best technology to do this. The portion cutter is more accurate than anything Marine Harvest has seen before. So investing in this has opened doors to producing fixed-weight products, where accuracy is the key selling point.

- Guy Vandenbroucke, Senior Project Manager in Europe, Marine Harvest
 

The new advanced 200 Hz camera technology on the I-Cut 130 has given impressively accurate results for Marine Harvest. Guy Vandenbroucke explains, “We have experienced a much lower standard deviation between portions. It’s as accurate as it can get now. Any deviation detected seems to be related more to imperfections in the texture or density of the raw material rather than the portion cutter. And not only is it accurate, it is also very reliable.”

State-of-the-art technology raises processing performance

Marine Harvest considered many factors to ensure optimal performance of their equipment and premium quality of the products produced.

One of the most important areas for them, as for all processing companies, is to constantly optimize the use of raw materials to increase yields and minimize waste. “It’s about making the right cut and using the optimal portion of the raw material in the most valuable pack. The innovative cutting patterns of the I-Cut 130 mean that we are very close to the theoretical optimal product utilization,” Guy Vandenbroucke says.

The built-in TrimSort on the I-Cut 130 helps improve processing efficiency. He continues to explain, “This is truly innovative. The TrimSort effectively separates the tiniest pieces of trim from the product. Trim portions are normally difficult to separate with a classical air-reject system or a grader, but are now easily removed from the ready-to-pack products via a separate conveyor. We run high volumes, so this type of processing improvement is very valuable to us.”

The intuitive software and user-friendly touchscreen makes daily operation easier than ever before, and there is no need to have a super-user for day-to-day operation. Another huge advantage for a multinational company such as Marine Harvest is that the software is available in 18 languages. Guy Vandenbroucke confirms, “The I-Cut 130 software puts Marel way ahead of its competitors.”

Minimizing impact on the environment

Marine Harvest is aiming to become a global leader in sustainable seafood production. They have therefore benefitted greatly from a water-reducing feature on the I-Cut 130. “We are using 50 per cent less water during operation of the machine. It adds up to huge savings for our large production facilities and has obvious benefits for the environment,” Guy Vandenbroucke says.

Marel is committed to providing sustainable value for customers by reducing waste by-products and increasing processing efficiency. The innovative software with new cutting patterns allows for almost 100 per cent utilization of raw material which reduces waste.

The noise level of the I-Cut 130 during operation is also considerably lower than Marine Harvest has seen on any other portioning equipment. This is a great benefit for the operators and provides employees with a more comfortable working environment.

A bright future ahead

Marine Harvest is now considering installing more portioning machines in their processing facilities around the world. Guy Vandenbroucke concludes, “We have strict targets on processing efficiency and return on investment. With the I-Cut 130 we have hit our targets: accuracy, yield, throughput and quality. It’s clear that the I-Cut 130 is now the benchmark in the industry. The partnership is of great benefit to everyone involved and we are very keen to continue this collaboration with Marel in the future.”