Seafood Processors visit BIM Seafood Innovation Hub for Packaging Technology Demonstrations
BIM welcomed some of Ireland’s leading seafood processors to its Seafood Innovation Hub in Clonakilty, Co. Cork on 9 May to showcase technology solutions to enhance the packaging of their products.
Working closely with processors to understand their specific needs and challenges, the team at the Hub, led by BIM Seafood Technolgist, Katie Healy identified the post packaging stage of seafood processing as the most likely to benefit from automation. BIM then reached out to equipment and technology suppliers to see what equipment was available to address the needs of the sector. With this information and insight, key technology suppliers were invited to host practical demonstrations for processors in the Hub.
The research undertaken by BIM will soon be published as a report and shared with seafood processors. The report will provide an overview of the factors affecting the seafood industry in relation to packaging and automation, post pack automation solutions and an overview of associated technologies and equipment. It will also address the investment parameters for consideration, prior to integrating any potential technology into a facility.
Feedback from the processing sector has indicated that accessing and retaining staff is becoming increasingly difficult. Automation can be a solution to help seafood processors address labour shortage issues. One such example is vision systems, which automatically ensures labels are correctly positioned, all data is legible, and the information is correct. This type of technology replaces the need for staff to carry out this important, albeit repetitive work, allowing a seafood processing company to move staff away from these responsibilities to areas that require greater skill and knowledge.
Speaking after the event in Clonakilty, BIM Seafood Technolgist, Katie Healy said, “We identified automation in end of line processing as a key area for innovation with the seafood processing sector. The demonstration brought some new solutions to life for the processors, so they can see how this technology can really work on their factory floor to increase capacity and reduce production costs.”