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Equipment Focus: Processing Machinery

Seafood processing equipment saves time, labor and resources and delivers quality

February 01, 2006

Processing seafood is all about adding value to raw material as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, the goal being a high-quality product that will command a decent price. Seafood processors can choose from a wide range of U.S. and European-manufactured equipment to meet their needs, be it peeling and cooking shrimp, filleting whole salmon, slicing fish fillets to package specifications, grading and batching finished product or enhancing a fillet’s appearance by trimming off brown meat sections.

A sampling of processing machinery is presented here. Not surprisingly, many of the pieces of equipment were developed to add value to shrimp and salmon, reflecting the sales volume represented by these two consumer favorites. All, regardless of product type, are geared to making the best use of fish or shellfish in the most economical manner possible.

Sophisticated performance from a simplified sizer

Baader Food Processing Machinery has been manufacturing fish-processing machinery in Lübeck, Germany, for more than 85 years. The company plans, designs and sets up complete processing lines as well as fish-processing facilities ashore or aboard ship. It has agencies and service stations in more than 70 locations worldwide. The latest from Baader is its Model 1900 sizing/batching machine, built in the United States and designed to be simple, durable and accurate. Angled stainless-steel construction eliminates tubing, resulting in a more hygienic design, and all plastic belts and weigh decks are removable for easy cleaning. Operation is low-cost, as no lubrication or greasing is required, and since the weigh deck contains no mechanical moving parts, no bearings need to be changed or maintained. The modular direct-drive ejector assembly is also maintenance-free. Simplified software, a reliable weigh deck and Baader’s online analysis and feedback enhance performance of the 1900 sizer/batcher.

Baader Food Processing
Kansas City, Kan.
(800) 835-8856


Whizard® trimmers enhance yield, value

Established in 1944, U.S.-based Bettcher Industries offers direct distribution and service to more than 40 countries worldwide. Hand-held Whizard® trimmers are Bettcher’s current generation of trimmers it pioneered in the early 1950s for the processing industry. The company’s new Whizard® Series II trimmers are specially designed for trimming dark meat from tuna and other fish. Processors can add value to their products and enhance yields with this precision-trimming operation, which also improves product appearance. The Whizard® Trimmer’s adjustable depth gauge allows for trimming a uniform thickness and also simplifies the training process. The tool is designed for ease of use, improved productivity, safety and comfort.

Bettcher Industries
Birmingham, Ohio
(440) 965-4422


Intelligent salmon slicing from CP Machinery

Last month, CP Food Machinery of Denmark merged into the salmon division of Carnitech A/S as Carnitech Salmon. Sales and service of all CP salmon-processing equipment in the western United States and Canada are now handled by Carnitech U.S. in Seattle, in cooperation with Carnitech Salmon, which handles the eastern United States. CP Food Machinery just released its IPS 3000 automated slicing machine, which cuts manpower while maintaining yields of 85 to 97 percent when producing retail packs of fresh smoked salmon. The slicer uses laser technology to measure the volume of the fillets to be sliced. Taking input from a built-in pre-weighing scale, a central processing unit calculates the cutting profile of each fillet to meet the specifications of the final product. Operators use a color touch-screen display to select options for cutting the fillets, including slice weight and thickness, number of slices per board and length and width of the slices. The input capacity is 165 to 242 pounds per hour, depending on slice weight and fillet size.

Carnitech Salmon
Nørresundby, Denmark
+45 98 92 12 11


Gainco counting systems reduce product giveaway

Gainco, a subsidiary of Bettcher Industries, offers design engineering, equipment manufacturing, systems delivery and comprehensive service contracts both in and outside the United States. New from Gainco are its Autocount™ automated counting systems, offering a faster and more accurate count in a conveyorized stream of fresh and frozen fillets, nuggets and shellfish items for boxing or bagging. Engineered and built in the United States, these systems reportedly reduce product giveaway and dramatically reduce labor required by manual counting operations. Autocount™’s patent-pending “double-count detection” technology eliminates batching over- or under-counts even at speeds of up to 160 pieces per minute, thereby improving throughput. Management information and report summaries can be generated instantly, allowing processors to track throughput and packaging counts in real-time. A battery-backed memory records all operating data and setup parameters. A host PC can be connected to multiple Autocount™ systems for centralized reporting, setup control and yield analysis.

Gainesville, Ga.
(770) 534-0703

Gregor Jonsson peeler saves water

Gregor Jonsson built its first shrimp peeler back in 1953, and
the company is now widely known for
its high-speed peeling systems, which are reportedly 10 times faster than the best hand peelers. Systems employing Model 64 peeling stations can completely peel and devein shrimp or just split the shell for EZ peel. Model 60 universal stations peel tail off or on, round, butterfly split, Western style, EZ peel or completely peel and devein. Jonsson systems come in Standard or Water Conservation configurations. With standard systems, peeled shrimp and shells drop from each station onto stainless steel flumes. Water moves the shrimp to an inspection conveyor and shells to a collection conveyor. Water Conservation systems use no flumes. Peeled shrimp are discharged onto an inspection conveyor exclusive to each station. As water doesn’t move the shrimp, water use can be up to 70 percent less than in a standard system. Both styles can be arranged in single, double or multiple lines.

Gregor Jonsson
Highland Park, Ill.
(847) 831-2030

Laitram shrimp cooker improves yield, quality

Laitram Machinery, a manufacturer of seafood-processing equipment for more than 50 years, pioneered high-performance shrimp peeling and grading equipment, seafood steam cookers and chillers. The company is currently touting its Model FC200 bulk/tray cooker, utilizing a patented, “forced convection” process that lets the operator cook peeled tail-on, fully peeled, or shell-on shrimp via tray or bulk feeding. Shrimp are cooked as a mixture of air and steam is forced over them in the sealed cook chamber. Temperature can be adjusted in single degree increments from 185 to 194 degrees F for continuous, direct steam application. The forced-convection process results in a lower internal temperature, so there’s less overcooking than with conventional cookers. This means more of the shrimps’ natural moisture is retained, yielding improved texture, taste and appearance. Also, the shrimp spends more time above the bacteria- kill temperature, providing a safer product.

Harahan, La.
(800) 533-8253


Marel compact grader an affordable option

The Iceland-based Marel Group, designer and manufacturer of salmon-processing modules and systems, operates 15 subsidiaries in Australia, Europe, Russia and North America and has agents and distributors in some 30 countries. A recent Marel introduction is the Compact Grader CG62 XL, suitable for simple grading and batching for small and medium-sized companies or as an add-on for larger companies with temporary or seasonal overflow needs that don’t justify the expense of a full-size grader. The standalone grader is designed to grade large products like whole fish and fillets of up to 28 inches long and 9.2 inches wide at a throughput of up to 80 pieces a minute. The six-gate CG62 XL grades and batches by weight and/or count. Different grading programs can be set up easily and managed with a Palm handheld. Optional Ethernet or Bluetooth connections to MPS production software are available.

Marel USA
Lenexa, Kan.
(913) 888 9110
Marel Canada
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
(902) 468-5181

Sort-Rite shrimp graders exceed industry standard

Since 1952, Sort-Rite International has manufactured and supplied automated equipment for the aquaculture and shrimp- and seafood-processing industries. The Sort-Rite line includes shrimp and fish graders, cooking systems, conveyors, deheading systems and “Air-Flo” unloaders and pond-harvesting systems for aquaculture operations. The company is best known for its shrimp graders, available in two lengths: 8 feet, with three graded sizes and one oversize lot, and 10 feet, providing four graded sizes and one oversize lot. The units can grade 17 or more sizes and boast 1.15 uniformity by grade size (industry standard is 1.30). Both lengths come in six different sizes to handle from 1,000 to 6,000 pounds per hour. The graders efficiently and uniformly grade both fresh head-on shell-on shrimp and shell-on shrimp tails. They can also be used with frozen product.

Harlingen, Texas
(956) 423-2427

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