Oddi ensures future opportunities with FleXicut
14 Mar 2017
The installation of a Marel FleXicut pinbone detection and removal system at Oddi’s processing facility in Patreksfjordur in March (2017) marks a highpoint in the long-standing partnership between the two companies.
Oddi has operated Marel equipment for decades, beginning with the early Marel scales, and has keenly followed Marel’s whitefish innovations ever since. When the new generation flowlines entered the market, it made sense to take advantage of having everything connected, and now Oddi is equipped with a whole range of Marel processing equipment – from scales, graders and portion cutters, to Innova software that monitors production throughout all processes.
“The smooth flow this creates makes a big difference to our efficiency,” explains Oddi Managing Director Skjöldur Pálmason. “Each step we’ve taken with Marel over the years has consistently delivered results to our bottom line.”
Recent market conditions in Iceland have been tough for fish processors, with a strengthening currency making it difficult to remain competitive. It may therefore seem a strange time to invest heavily in new equipment but, as Palmason explains, “The best thing we can do in these circumstances is work towards countering the challenges by doing everything we can to maximise value. In this context, FleXicut makes good business sense.”
“We’d followed FleXicut from when it was first introduced at the Brussels show in 2015, still in development, and it was always a question of when rather than if we’d invest.” Palmason adds.
The deal was finalised at Marel’s Whitefish ShowHow in Copenhagen in November 2016, after discussions between Oddi and Marel specialists confirmed the layout and set out the return on investment and long-term benefits of the installation. Demonstrations of the FleXicut at the event highlighted how the machine can produce uniform, precision-cut products – “It made the perfect setting to seal the deal,” Pálmason says.
Shaking on the deal at the 2016 Whitefish ShowHow (L-R) Oddi Managing Director Skjöldur Pálmason, Marel Regional Sales Manager Valdimar Sigurdsson, and Oddi Chairman Sigurdur Viggósson
A revolution in whitefish processing
The new line at Oddi will include the FleXicut pinbone detection and removal machine with fillet portioning, as well as the FleXisort product distribution system. The system locates pinbones and then cuts them out, and can also be precisely calibrated to divide the loin, cut the belly flap or tail, and portion the fish to customer specifications.
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.
“In our view, this is the biggest step in whitefish processing in decades; it’s a revolution.
– Skjöldur Pálmason, Oddi Managing Director
“We believe that this combination of precision pinbone removal and gentle handling is unique in the market,” Pálmason explains. “We expect it will help us continue to maximise the value of our raw materials, as well as better meet the demands of the market. As soon as the market knows of the possibility of the uniform products FleXicut can deliver, it will demand nothing less.”
“At Oddi, we put the emphasis on quality over quantity, and FleXicut will help us keep serving the high-value market, as well as broaden our product opportunities,” says Pálmason. “It will help us create more product lines for customers, which adds to our competitive advantage, with superb quality in the production of fresh loins and smart fillets.”
“And with ever greater competition in the business, FleXicut will help us reduce costs by minimising manual labour and maximising yield by producing products that enable us to keep waste to a minimum,” he adds.
This year, Oddi is celebrating 50 years since its founding in 1967. “It’s great timing to invest in the future,” Pálmason says. “We’ve invested heavily in the past year, and the installation of the FleXicut system next month will be the highpoint – a great way to celebrate our 50th anniversary!”