Fisheries & Aquaculture News

Farmed Fish Vacuum Processing System Increases Efficiency & Improves Productivity

An innovative and technical farmed fish processing solution, utilizing KAESER OMEGA Series Exhausters, has helped a market-leading Scottish salmon producer to significantly improve its fish gutting and cleaning process, reducing rejection rates, increasing efficiency & improving productivity.

The bespoke vacuum system, co-designed and installed by specialist engineers from Kerr Compressor Engineers, improved a previously flawed automated salmon processing system with several significant issues, causing high fish rejection rates (+10%) and requiring manual intervention.

The success of the new and improved system has reduced rejection rates to under 1%, virtually removed the need for manual intervention and increased efficiency while improving both quality and productivity.

Harvesting farmed salmon is an intensive and important stage of a fish farm’s production cycle, with thousands of quality-reared fish needing to be humanely dispatched and processed in an efficient, timely and controlled manner.

Having invested heavily in specialist automated salmon processing equipment to transfer, slit, gut and clean their farmed stock across four separate processing lines, our customer was experiencing production issues and high rejection rates. The operational issues were related to the pneumatic system installed to operate the processing lines by the OEM / contractor as part of the larger project and installation.

Compressed air, nitrogen, and fluid power specialists in Scotland for over 40 years and as an experienced, trusted supplier to the Scottish aquaculture community, we were asked to investigate, assess and make recommendations on how to resolve the processing plant issues while improving the reliability and energy efficiency of the specialist air system.

An initial investigation and assessment of the site fish processing system and demands identified many key design issues, including the vacuum headers, gut removal separators and carryover contamination of system components.

As part of a comprehensive technical analysis and through discussions with our customer, we looked to establish key operating facts and parameters.

Going back to the drawing board and re-imagining the optimum system, our good friend and colleague, Derek Mayall of KAESER HPC (a very experienced blower and vacuum system specialist), calculated and designed a completely new system to operate at a -350 Mb (Millibar) vacuum. Based on an accurate processing rate and system length, Derek re-sized the vacuum headers to maintain constant conveying velocity throughout the process.

Having installed and commissioned the latest KAESER OMEGA Series exhausters with advanced system technology, rigorous system tests and the initial process runs proved that the theoretical vacuum and extraction velocities were accurate and correct.

Following the installation of this innovative and bespoke fish processing system, the previous system cleaning failure rate of circa 10% was reduced to less than 1%.

A range of reliable, energy-efficient KAESER air products, including rotary screw compressors, diesel-driven skid-mounted portable compressors, low-pressure blower and vacuum systems, plus high-quality air treatment products, are specifically designed and built to provide maximum durability in Aquaculture environments and ensure maximum process reliability to minimize the risk of downtime.

Compressed air, nitrogen generation and fluid power product specialists in Scotland for over 40 years, Kerr Compressor Engineers is an experienced and trusted supplier to the Scottish Aquaculture community.


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