17/05/18 Updated 11/07/19

Optimizing the fillet automatically

The introduction of FleXicut changed the nature of whitefish processing forever. A new trimming line, updated product distribution system and new packing robots automate the bone removal process even further.

Just four years ago, Marel introduced automatic pinbone removal and portioning for whitefish with FleXicut, and the nature of whitefish processing changed forever.

The automation of bone removal with FleXicut raises productivity and greatly improves product handling and yield. A new trimming line, updated product distribution system and new packing robots automate this process even further.


The FleXicut water-jet cutter is a proven solution that automatically cuts fillets in the most profitable way. It increases the high-value product ratio, automatically adjusting cutting to deliver the best possible combination of products from each and every fillet.

In addition, processors with FleXicut are now using cutting patterns that were not possible before, enabling them to further maximize the value of the entire fillet.

FleXicut cuts out the pinbones as well as the PCL (postcleithrum) bone, sometimes called the ‘walking stick bone’. The machine can be precisely calibrated to divide the loin, cut the belly flap and tail, and portion the fish to customer specifications. The FleXicut system produces an even flow of uniform, precision-cut products that can then be distributed to different product streams.


With Industry 4.0 already underway, fish processors need to think smarter in order to stay in the game. Automation in fish processing is constantly rising and developments in software contribute greatly to this trend.

Put simply, Innova Food Processing Software offers unprecedented connectivity to the total processing system and enables additional beinefits such as order-led processing and traceability of every fillet or portion to individual operators.


From the beginning, FleXicut has constantly been developed in close cooperation with whitefish processors – and now the machine is being tested in the salmon processing industry as well.

The introduction of the FleXitrim trimming line, for example, makes the system even more automatic and effective. It evens out the flow of fillets being fed automatically into the FleXicut, and has an inbuilt automated quality check.

Gaining better control of the flow is valuable for fish processors, as it means they can set the pace based on the speed of other machinery or processes and avoid the build-up of fish in buffers.

Continuous improvements to the system mean that now Marel offers processors a virtually hands-free line – from pre-trim all the way through processing, including final packing, with automated robot packing for the system.

With a well-earned reputation for reliability and continuity, dozens of FleXicut systems are now operating across Europe and North America, as well as aboard freezer trawlers.