Customer story

FISK Seafood: New markets – new opportunities

09 Feb 2017

FISK Seafood hits the ground running with the production of high quality fresh cod loins with the revolutionary FleXicut pinbone detection and removal system.

Business is booming at FISK Seafood. With a solid standing in the Icelandic fish industry this advanced fish processor in Saudárkrókur, is now looking to the future with new product development and technological advancement in mind. Their new Marel FleXicut fresh loin and smart fillet production system is a part of that equation. Installed in late 2015, the new system has enabled FISK Seafood to venture securely into a new market with high quality fresh product.

Quality is king

“We strive to maintain high quality standards in every aspect of the operation, be it on-board handling or in-house processing,” says Jón Örn Stefánsson, Project Manager at FISK Seafood. “That is why we installed Marel’s new FleXicut system for fresh loin and smart fillet production. The FleXicut system increases our possibilities for new product development exponentially. One of the major benefits is the amazing cut the machine performs on the fillets. The result is a uniform, clean cut product of the highest quality.”

Successful sales

The company is selling the product to Europe and America and it’s been very well received. “Demand has been great and sales have been excellent. We’ve only been running our best fresh raw material through the FleXicut system and the quality we are getting is exceptional,” says Jón Örn. “FleXicut is a great application for us in terms of equipment performance and the quality of the final product, both according to in-house opinion and the verdict of our customers.”

Smart processing

The new line includes the FleXicut pinbone detection and removal machine with fillet portioning, the FleXisort product distribution system and a new a packing grader. The technical advancement in implementing the FleXicut system is evident at FISK Seafood. The system not only locates pinbones and then cuts them out. It can also be precisely calibrated to divide the loin, cut the belly flap or tail, and portion the fish to customer specifications.

Pinbone cut only 5% of fillet

There is great value in being able to maximize the utilization of the loin while staying the middle course with pinbone removal to deliver a bone free product. FISK Seafood’s approach is based on quality above all else. “The pinbone cut is down to 5% of the fillet, which is fine for us because we want to avoid bones in the loin at all costs,” explains Jón Örn. “We chose to have the pinbone cut off a little thicker to prevent any bones being in the loins we sell.”

Gentle product handling

The FleXisort is specifically designed to work with output products from the FleXicut using a modular drop down mechanism. It distributes portions into up to eight different product streams specified by FleXicut‘s software intelligence. The FleXisort directs loins and smart fillets onto the new packing grader that was installed with the new system. It grades the product into packs using the same drop down mechanism employed by the FleXisort.

“Raw material handing is great with the FleXisort. It lays the fish gently down on the belts instead of pushing it in place. It is a completely different treatment than what we’ve seen before," says Jón Örn. “It’s the same with the Marel packing grader.”

Meeting new regulations

Food safety and regulation compliance are a priority for processors like FISK Seafood. With new regulations for the US market on the horizon Jón Örn sees FISK Seafood being very well equipped to meet them. “We are in a better position than many others. We have a great overview over our production as 99% of our raw material comes from our own trawlers and we have the Innova food processing software from Marel to help us stay on track through processing.”

Full traceability

Marel’s Innova food processing software offers FISK Seafood full traceability from the moment the fish is caught to the minute it lands on the plate. Information from the ship is entered into the Innova system that tracks each piece of product through the facility and to the supermarket shelf. “We wanted full, traceability for our production,” says Jón Örn. “I want to make sure that we have an overview of the product from when we catch it until it is in the hands of the consumer. This is one of the reasons we chose to work with Marel.”

A bright outlook

According to Jón Örn the future looks bright with the new Marel system in place. Fish Seafood has a good market position, their high quality products are selling well and jobs are becoming more attractive to employees.