Norwegian company Hofseth International AS has a long tradition in fish processing. Each year, they produce approximately 25,000 tons of salmon products which are consumed all over the world. Around 95 per cent of their products are exported, with their largest market being North America.
They see their ability to quickly adapt to market and customer requirements as one of their unique strengths. And Marel’s portion cutting equipment plays an important role in helping them to do this.
An increase in customer demand meant they needed to be able to cut with very high levels of accuracy whilst running at extremely high speeds.
Their existing Marel portion cutters were only four years old, but they saw the potential profit that could be gained from the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter’s increased capacity, higher precision, and innovative software.
Finn Olaf Stokkereit, Technical Manager at Hofseth, first saw the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter at the Boston Seafood Show.
Seeing the machine in action at the trade show, really opened my eyes to its full potential. Its innovative portion cutting technology means it can process higher volumes and reach greater accuracy levels than anything I’ve experienced before., Finn Olaf Stokkereit, Technical Manager at Hofseth -
An agreement was reached for Hofseth to test an I-Cut 130 PortionCutter at one of their two modern production facilities in Norway. The trial delivered immediate results and the company decided to invest in three portion cutters, which were installed in both their factories in Ålesund and Syvde.
Marel specifically developed the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter to enable salmon processing companies to keep pace with the constantly escalating demands from retail and food service customers.
“Just three months after installing the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter in Ålesund, we were able to significantly increase monthly throughput,” says Stokkereit. “We saw 1,150 tons of raw material per month – something we have never achieved before.”
But it’s not just throughput that’s important in salmon processing. A vital part of supplying retailers with fixed-weight packs is being able to supply an exact weight without the risk of it being under-weight, while also ensuring give-away is kept to an absolute minimum.
“We are selling our products in fixed-weight packs, with a specific number of portions in each,” says Stokkereit. “With the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter, we can now hit this fixed weight more precisely than ever before, reduce the give-away considerably and increase our yield. This has given us an incredibly fast return on our investment.”
One of the main attractions for Hofseth when purchasing the I-Cut 130 PortionCutter was its advanced software. The numerous innovative cutting patterns and features combine to maximize raw material utilization and profits.
“The software is very user-friendly and easy for our employees to operate. The flexibility of the cutting programs gives us the options to better utilize raw material, ensuring that more of each fillet is used for our more valuable products,” says Stokkereit.
“The I-Cut 130 PortionCutter Quick Weight Adjustment feature has also helped to increase the accuracy of our portion cutting,” Stokkereit adds. “This feature makes it possible to readjust target weights during production without stopping the machine.”
Not only was customer demand increasing, there was also a requirement for portions cut at a 45 degree angle. The I-Cut 130 PortionCutter is one of the few machines available that can do this.
“Our customers in the US have a specific requirement for portions cut at a 45 degree angle, as this gives a larger coverage of the plate. The I-Cut 130 PortionCutter gives us a real competitive advantage in being able to offer this,” says Stokkereit.
“We are always looking for new markets and products and we need to respond quickly to new trends in the industry and to customer demand,” Stokkereit explains.
“Marel continues to deliver the equipment that helps us do this. We also truly value Marel’s local presence, support, and service.”