Access to a continuous, reliable workforce is a key challenge for many seafood producers today. This can result in delayed or canceled contracts, especially during the peak season, and can lead to a reluctance to expand the production scale.
Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods has solved this problem by investing in an I-Cut 130 PortionCutter from Marel. This has enabled the processor to increase its orders, while fully meeting its customers’ requirements on product size, quality and uniformity.
Cutting pangasius into portions manually is very labor and time intensive, and is very difficult to do consistently. As Hang Quoc Dinh, Sales Manager at Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods, explains, it is almost impossible for workers to judge the weight of portions to an acceptable level of accuracy, so each portion needs to be weighed before and after manual cutting.
The overall result is a high error rate, low productivity and uneven cuts. Before the installation of the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter, the company was not in a position to accept large orders, nor any orders requiring a low error rate (from 20-25gr/portion). Now, all that has changed.
After testing the I-Cut 130 and calculating a fast return on investment, Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods decided to invest in the machine to raise productivity and as a solution to the shortage of skilled labor. With high-speed cutting (up to 1000 cuts per minute) and high precision, the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter vastly reduced the need for manual cutting and freed up a third of Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods’ skilled workers for other tasks.
Once the I-Cut 130 was installed, the results in uniformity were immediate, with almost no errors. This enabled the company to become more competitive, and with a large number of skilled workers now able to undertake other tasks, it was easy for Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods to expand its product range and use the portion cutting machine for both straight cuts and to slice pangasius fillets at a 45° angle.
Since installing the I-Cut 130, the company has received good feedback from its customers about the quality and consistency of the products. Japan, for example, accounts for 20-30% of Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods’ total production of pangasius portions and the Japanese market is particularly demanding.
Japanese people often calculate their diet precisely, by weighing each component of a meal in order to calculate the nutritional value appropriate to specific age groups. This is why they have strict requirements for precise and uniform product weight. The I-Cut 130 helps ensure the company’s strong position in the Japanese market.
Pham Thi Man, Technical Manager at Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods, estimates that an I-Cut 130 PortionCutter can do the work of up to 60 skilled workers on the cutting line. She says that it also helps to ensure a safe work environment, as it is easy to operate and clean, and to adjust the cutting angles of the blades, which are safely positioned out of reach. It is simple to program the I-Cut 130 to measure the void ratio of each pangasius fillet for cutting into fixed weight and fixed length portions and steaks.
The I-Cut 130 PortionCutter is designed specifically to meet the processing needs of larger companies. It is the ideal solution for cutting fresh, boneless fish into portions of fixed weight and/or fixed length. With a low loss rate of 0.05%, Dai Dai Thanh Seafoods has reduced costs significantly, and reduced the pressure on workers as well. The company is more competitive, has increased its orders and can more easily meet its customers’ demands for high accuracy and high quality.