Westair to showcase its Multizone automatic feeding system for aquaculture in Belgium
Briec, France-based startup Westair will be returning to Brussels, Belgium this year to showcase its Multizone automatic feeding system at Seafood Processing Global, taking place from 7 to 9 May.
Incepted two years ago by Westair founder Sébastien Termet, the Multizone aquaculture feeding system is capable of efficiently transporting fish feed in precise dosages with accuracy and high hygienic conditions, according to the company’s current CEO Henri Herlédan. The technology was installed for the first time last summer at Alexis Cleret’s Monchel sur Canches fish farm – located in northern France – and has performed with great success, Cleret confirmed.
“Sébastien Termet, the inventor of the valve and founder of Westair, came to see me during winter 2017 to show me diagrams of the Multiway valve. I was impressed with the 3-D presentation. I thought the valve looked reliable … as there is only one straight pipe the pellet will not degrade,” Cleret said in a press release.
Cleret said he was particularly impressed with Termet’s collaborative approach that placed the fish farmer’s perspective at the heart of Westair’s developing innovation.
“I liked Sebastien’s approach. He clearly didn’t come to see me to sell his valve. He came to find out what he could do to adapt his ideas. He wanted to make a system for us fish farmers and was making a big effort to meet a real need. My feeling at the time was that this could turn out to be a good system, and Sébastien explained about a new generation system with a flow of information, with the sensors gathering data and feeding it to the software. Any fault is detected and can be managed, which makes this system unique,” Cleret explained.
The Multizone system is simple to use, Cleret added, and requires minimal maintenance. “[Termet] was determined to make a market-friendly system that worked well. ‘Between us, we’ll find the right solution,’ was what Sébastien Termet told me,” Cleret recalled.
A cornerstone of Westair’s Multizone automated feeding process, the Multiways three-way valve has generated broader interest since Termet and Cleret initially trialed it, the company said. Fish farms Rohart, Jorgensen in Hauts de France and Bellet, near Angoulême, have both selected the system to incorporate into their processes, Westair confirmed.
“The distinctive feature of our fish feeding process is that it can be adjusted to each user. As well as delivering a real technical step change, replicating the natural feeding procedure, it’s also been designed to be user-friendly and accessible: anyone can adapt it to suit their own production practices,” the company said of its system’s appeal.
“I can see that there are many advantages to this system. Feed distribution is simultaneous across the site and standardized. It provides the capability to feed more frequently, and the system as a whole is modest in size,” added Philippe Jorgensen, who was particularly interested in the Multizone’s ability to optimize conversion ratios. The device has the potential to help Jorgensen devote more time to maintenance and management, he said.
The Multiways valve is currently in its industrialization phase, and it will soon be available for industrial and food companies alongside the Cleanpipe device, which is already available with Multizone, Westair said. Additionally, a number of Multizone installations are currently underway or under consideration by fish farmers in several countries, device developer noted.
Moving forward, Westair said it will be looking to develop specific applications of its existing innovation solutions for offshore fish farming and large-scale shrimp aquaculture.
“Once we’ve become better established in France, we’ll be losing no time in directing our attention towards international markets,” the company said in its release.
Westair currently employs ten people at its headquarters, and plans to double its workforce within the next two years. Earlier this year, Termet stepped down from managing the company to focus on the technical side of the business and to develop more innovations. Herlédan, who initially joined the company as its sales director, was selected by Termet and Westair to assume the role of CEO moving into the future.
Westair will be exhibiting at Seafood Processing Global in Hall 3 at Stand #3-5446 in the Brussels Expo.
The company previously showcased its innovations in 2019 at the CFIA Food Industry Suppliers’ Exhibition in the “Food Factory of the Future” section back in March.