09/05/19

Marel’s Software KnowHow

On 3-4 April 2019, 125 participants joined Marel at Progress Point in Copenhagen for the Software KnowHow.

During the two-day Innova Food Processing Software conference, participants had the opportunity to meet new and existing Innova users across the food processing industry to share their experiences and knowledge and attend breakout sessions with live demonstrations, presentations, and customer stories.

The Software KnowHow opened with a presentation from Hjalti Thórarinsson, Innova VP, speaking about the importance of data and the future of it. René Kjaer, Innova Sales Director, and Patrick Cruysen, Innova Director of Product, joined Thórarinsson in introducing the Innova Food Processing Software and explaining how it optimizes food processing.

From obtaining fast and reliable information, to extensive tracking of key performance indicators and full production control, Innova is set to transform the food processing industry for the better.

We want to be open, transparent, and we want to make sure that we are developing the right product for you., Hjalti Thorarinsson, VP of Innova -


Thórarinsson announced changes to the Innova Lifecycle Support (ILCS) with a new partnership program to insights about Innova’s roadmap, as well as the ability to vote on features to directly impact where Innova is going.

The second level provides for a more deep-dive approach where both Innova and the customer dedicate resources to improvement. The third level is a technical collaboration that provides both greater insights and solutions. More information regarding these changes will be available this summer.

Hjalti Thórarinsson giving his keynote presentation at the Software KnowHow
Hjalti Thórarinsson giving his keynote presentation

Breakout Sessions

One of the key concerns the food industry has encountered is consumers wanting to know where their food comes from, what is in it and whether it is safe to eat. Our breakout sessions sought to alleviate this concern by elaborating on the capabilities of the Innova.

Part of this whole user conference, this KnowHow, is trying to be very transparent about the good and the bad., Michael Parrish, Innova Product Manager -


Safety and traceability

Michael Parrish, Innova Product Manager, and Kristín Gróa Thorvaldsdóttir, Innova Program Management Lead, explained how Innova has advanced traceability functionality that gathers data on the full production process from intake of raw material to dispatching of shipments. All of the collected information is stored and users can access and search through all portions of it later if necessary.

Performance management

Sigurdur Jónsson, Innova Training Manager, Nick Saharan, Innova Software Sales Global Manager, and Ian Smith, EMEA Regional Manager, spoke about how Innova can improve overall performance for food production. During this session, they gave a live demonstration on creating a dashboard, and provided information on how Marel is taking steps to ensure customers will receive expert level support regardless of their location.

From receiving to dispatch

Coen Janssens, Innova Sales Lead, along with Danny Sudlow and Geir Thráinson, Innova Product Specialists, gave a live demonstration of the process Innova takes from receiving to dispatch; this included an in-depth view of Innova’s label customization.

Digital Transformation

Marel is looking towards the future, and that future is digital based. Ólafur Andri Ragnarsson, Futurist, introduced this presentation by asking participants to think about how technology is involved in our futures. From moving away from collecting and storing data using pen and paper to doing so digitally, to analyzing the data collected in order to find ways to improve.

Rene Kjaer, Sales Director of Innova, spoke about how Marel is implementing automation into factories with Innova. Then Patrick Cruysen, Director of Product Innova, and Michael Parrish, Innova Product Manager, presented Marel’s roadmap for digital transformation and explained how Marel wants to use that data to make proactive decisions instead of reacting. An example given was analyzing when a machine's lifecycle would end based on previous data in order to preemptively replace it and keep production optimal.

Danny Sudlow giving a demo on the receiving to dispatch process at the Software KnowHow
Danny Sudlow giving a demo on the receiving to dispatch process

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual and augmented reality is a large part of Marel’s future. Haukur Hafsteinsson, Embedded Software Engineer, explained how Marel has begun to use virtual simulations to test product prototypes before building physical versions. The use of virtual reality allows Marel to provide customers with a preview of what their factory would look like and what their production numbers might be with new equipment without having to set the equipment up, saving both the customer and Marel a huge amount of time and money.

Marel has also been using augmented and virtual reality to help promote their products at conferences. With full virtual tours of factories to running augmented reality displays on tablets to show how a machine would look when it was running.

Customer Stories

Marel invited speakers from Kermené, Norwegian Fish Company, Moy Park, and Bremnes Seashore to share their customer stories and experiences using Innova with our participants.

A major takeaway from the stories was that Marel listens to the wants and needs of their customers. Marel is striving constantly to improve and asks its customers to make their demands known.

Improving is something we keep working on. As a customer, we keep asking Marel for new [functionality]… they are interested [in finding customers] that are demanding more from the system and more from them., Jonas Fuad Salih, Logistic Vice Manager at Bremnes Seashore -


The presenters gave their opinions about where Innova could improve, but also where Innova has exceeded their expectations. The real-time full production control and traceability within Innova were two of the most talked about features that have helped customers optimize their production.

Marel concluded the Software KnowHow with a Question and Answer panel moderated by Haraldur Gunnlaugsson, Innova Marketing Manager. Audience members submitted questions online for the panel speakers, René Kjaer, Patrick Cruysen, Kristín Gróa Thorvaldsdóttir, and Ian Smith, to answer and participated in poll questions to help Marel improve the focus of their work for current customer needs.

Q&A panel moderated by Haraldur Gunnlaugsson with speakers René Kjaer, Patrick Cruysen, Kristín Gróa Thorvaldsdóttir, and Ian Smith at the Software KnowHow
Q&A panel moderated by Haraldur Gunnlaugsson with speakers René Kjaer, Patrick Cruysen, Kristín Gróa Thorvaldsdóttir, and Ian Smith

Overall, the Software KnowHow was a great success. Marel is looking forward to introducing Innova to more audiences at their Progress Point in Kansas City this September.