Working closely with Lerøy Seafoods, Marel has supplied innovative solutions for pre-rigor filleting lines, whole fresh salmon packing, and logistics for the high-capacity plant on the Norwegian coast.
The salmon is pumped directly into the factory, starting early each morning, and leaves the factory packed as fillets or whole fish later the same day, heading for Lerøy’s production and packaging plants within Norway, as well as countries including Sweden, France, Spain and Holland.
By filleting so close to the source, Leroy raises the quality of their products, saves on freight costs and reduces the carbon footprint of the salmon that ends up on our plates.
High quality and capacity
“The plant is built to ship out a lot of fillets,” explains Pål Kleven, Production Director at Lerøy Midt. “We have a high capacity on the pre‑rigor fillets, and that will be the main product in future.”
Fillets will eventually account for 60-70% of production at Lerøy but in the start-up phase, beginning mid-2018, the Lerøy Midt facility has been producing a lot of whole fish; headed, gutted and packed in ice. “We have a high capacity in the filleting department and we will increase that during the coming years.”
Increasing their pre-rigor fillet production has several significant advantages. “We will increase the quality of the product, and of the products coming out of our factories in Europe. And we will reduce the transport costs by about 50 percent,” Kleven explains.
A new facility to optimize production
Building a new state-of-the-art facility has been on Lerøy’s wish list for a number of years, but it was in 2016 that the stars aligned to present them with the right location, the right time and the right partners, including Marel.
Their checklist for the new facility included increasing capacity, sourcing salmon from their own suppliers, increasing their fillet production capacity and renovating their buildings – or building from scratch.
Instead of renovating their existing factory, they decided to build a new one on Jøsnøya. This meant they could plan everything in the best possible way to optimize production from receiving to dispatch, and it meant they could increase capacity by about 50 percent.
The equipment at Lerøy Midt includes many new products from several suppliers that were first-time installations, which meant adjustments were needed along the way. But building the new facility went smoothly and production began on schedule. “We started building in October 2016 and 20 months later we were putting the first fish through the lines,” says Kleven.
Production on the filleting lines soon followed and they had increased volumes to 45,000 fish per shift within six months. “We are increasing as the experience of our own people grows, and as our suppliers improve and optimize the lines.”