Marel devises a new plan to connect with seafood processors during COVID-19 pandemic

With much of the world sequestered to contain the spread of coronavirus, food processing equipment manufacturing company Marel devised a new plan to connect and convene with customers – a live, virtual expo event.

Following the cancelation of the 2020 edition of Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global by organizer Diversified Communications due to the global outbreak, Marel took its expo stand online, presenting processing solutions to participants from all over the world and discussing current trends in the industry.

Marel experts – from its Icelandic headquarters studio and online in Denmark and Spain – tackled topics of connectivity, effective simulations, automation, and more.

Regarding connectivity, Marel Fish Managing Director Gudbjörg Gudmundsdottir remarked on the need for continuous innovation in the digital age, highlighting data as the bedrock underpinning Marel’s solutions.

“We’re constantly finding better ways to use technology, but having people on the ground will always be essential,” Gudmundsdottir said.

During the event, salmon and whitefish processing experts from Marel “walked participants through the virtual booth layout, pointing out key features of the solutions on display, as they would have done in Brussels,” the company said. The virtual tour saw Marel Business Manager for Salmon Magnus Fossheim reiterating the role of data in salmon processing – he noted the company’s primary aim of providing “reliable data collection and full traceability throughout production in a world with an ever-increasing demand for digitalization.”

Bergur Gudmundsson, business manager for whitefish at Marel, focused in on “the benefits of automation in reducing the need for manual labor in production and maximizing uptime of equipment,” Marel said. Gudmundsson pointed out key Marel creations such as FleXicut, a pinboning, trimming, and portioning machine capable of pushing up throughput and value, and Robobatcher, Marel’s new robotic box take away system.

“RoboBatchers are unique because they’re not only pick-and-place robots, but they come with a set of intelligence that selects the right pieces to make a combination or batches with the minimum give away,” Gudmundsson said. “This is a unique feature in the food industry and brings enormous value to you in productivity and yield. This packing technology will be a vital part in the Industry 4.0 revolution.”

Simulation and extended reality have become established tools for Marel in innovation, sales, training, and marketing, Marel XR Specialist Haukur Hafsteinsson said during the digital event. Hafsteinsson and his team were responsible for bringing Marel’s Brussels booth to life for the online expo and fine-tuning an app allowing customers to access the stand afterward, the company noted.

“The app lets you walk around the booth and look at the solutions, just as you would at a ‘real’ expo. Instead of collecting brochures, you can see machine specifications and key benefits at the click of a button. The virtual demos include simulated raw materials being processed, but you can also watch traditional videos within the app if you’d like to see more,” Marel said.

Photo courtesy of Marel


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