October 15, 2020
Customer Spotlight:

Scombrus' Groundbreaking Pelagic Processing Deck

Skaginn 3X has delivered an innovative pelagic factory deck for France Pélagique’s Scombrus freezer trawler that maximizes product quality, minimizes manual labor and saves energy.

Skaginn 3X has delivered an innovative pelagic factory deck for France Pélagique’s Scombrus freezer trawler that maximizes product quality, minimizes manual labor and saves energy.

Formally named in Bretagne on September 25th, Scombrus is a new state-of-the art pelagic freezer trawler outfitted with Skaginn 3X’s advanced automatic processing system. Owned by France Pélagique, the trawler’s fully automatic pelagic onboard processing facility is a groundbreaking project for both customer and supplier.

Turnkey grading and block freezing at sea
The over 81 meter long ship was outfitted by Skaginn 3X at the Havyard Ship Technology yard in Norway. It is equipped with a turnkey system that grades, batches, freezes and packs over 200 tons of herring, mackerel, horse mackerel or blue whiting a day.

Perfect traceability
“This groundbreaking system offers perfect traceability,” explains Ingvar Vilhjálmsson, Regional Sales Manager Europe for Skaginn3X. “It delivers high quality products due to more efficient block freezing and it is not as labor intensive as other onboard systems out there.”

Full automation and improved energy efficiency

The owners’ requirements included greater energy efficiency, better working and living conditions and higher product quality. To meet these requirement’s Skaginn 3X put its pelagic processing team to work. The challenge was to develop one of the most efficient systems the company has produced so far.

“I am happy to say that Scombrus incorporates the latest technology for an automatic, sustainable and efficient operation,” says Vilhjálmsson. “The system is very advanced and the cooperation with France Pélagique has been outstanding. They are truly forward thinking and together we are developing AI applications to further automate certain aspects of the system.”

Onboard grading and batching before freezing
“One of the most important innovative aspects is the fact that we are automatically grading and batching the product before freezing it onboard,” says Vilhjálmsson. “The freezing method is innovative as well. Our contact freezers treat the raw material very differently from traditional onboard pelagic freezers. This offers the producer tremendous advantage as quality is maintained, drip-loss is prevented and giveaway minimized.”

A new level of onboard working conditions
A great deal of attention was paid to ensuring safe working conditions, crew comfort and energy efficiency. The freezing system is equipped with a sophisticated, automatic infeed system that eliminates the use of forklifts while the cargo holds are supplied with fork-lift trucks and automatic palletizing systems, minimizing the amount of heavy lifting for the crew.

Less manual work, more technical supervision
“The advantages of the system are that instead of having a lot of people doing manual labor, you now have key personnel that monitors the process instead,” says Ingvar. “Working on the factory floor onboard this new pelagic vessel is more of a supervisory job than before.”  

From catching and cooling to size and species grading
The entire production process is digitally monitored. Processing information is recorded and stored for full traceability and quality control. The catch is placed in buffer bins that are labelled with information on where and when the fish was caught. Temperature is constantly monitored for quality purposes. Fish is automatically sized and species graded into tanks, which are then labelled and quality checked at regular intervals.

Packing, data registration and full traceability
Two fully automatic packing systems are then used to batch and bag the product from the labeled tanks. Data registration continues and info on the place and time of fishing, cooling, size, species and quality category is printed on each bag. The bags then move to Skaginn3X’s automatic contact freezer that freezes the product without pressure thus preserving its natural appearance.

Energy saving, horizontal contact freezer

The horizontal build and the space saving footprint of the contact freezers is only one of the benefits of their onboard use. They deliver better quality product with less drip loss than vertical freezers as no pressure is used in the freezing process. This will add up to considerable energy savings for the new system.

Automatic pelagic processing from catch to pallet
The fully automatic system boxes and palletizes the product, keeping all data with each box, and pallet for continued traceability. The pallets are lifted into the ship's cargo holds. This whole process is automated and the human hand is only used for monitoring. “The team at Skaginn 3X is proud to see this important project in action,” says Vilhjálmsson. “We have worked hard to maintain our guiding principle in every aspect of our work on this: to help our client produce a high quality product with high quality equipment.”

Subscribe to The Navigator

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Featured Stories