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Saeby Fiske produces the cans for Princes.

Princes Foods, along with other leading manufacturers and suppliers of food products, develop new ranges and upgrade existing ranges. As often as not in this day and age other manufacturers are involved and supplies have to be obtained from the best sources and at the keenest prices.

Now Princes market a range of canned fish products and the canned mackerel products come from Saeby Fiske-Industrie, one of Europe's most modern fish canneries, which is located near Frederikshavn in Northern Denmark. The plant is a little unusual because of the attention to staff welfare. Throughout, more than a dozen paint colours have been used to ensure the surroundings look pleasant.

Like all dedicated factories, they produce in an efficient and cost-effective manner. When we saw the plant there were three lines installed and a fourth was about to put in. Each of these lines is capable of turning out some 90,000 cans a day.

To start at the beginning, frozen mackerel are tipped from dump bins into lye peelers, followed by neutralization, cooking in water at 90 |degrees~ C, cooling, splitting, trimming and packing. Sounds simple but there is much more to it than that.

The frozen fish is fed into the lye solution for a known length of time then the solution is carefully neutralized in a further tank. Each line incorporates three conveyors so that the fish is cooked in fresh water before cooling in another tank. Finally, there is a fresh water rinse. At this stage operatives hand trim the fish and place them into pockets on the conveyor. A saw system cuts the 'effectively' continuous length of fish so that the aluminium cans can be applied over the portioned 'cups' of fish. The filled cans are then inverted so they can be topped up with liquor. It is interesting to note that the saw system follows the conveyor cups cakewalk fashion to ensure exact portioning. Filled cans pass down a conveyor through AIC checkweighers then through Somme fillers and seamers which liquor fill, lid, clinch and seam each can. Six jacketed vessels are to be found in the sauce and liquor kitchen.

After filling and seaming the aluminium ring-pull cans are passed through a Cabinplant washer before they fall into a retort loader with a water cushion. The retort cages are then drained and moved forward into Barriquand Steriflow units that operate at some 116 |degrees~ C and cans are held at this temperature for 25 minutes.

Following processing, the cans are held for a couple of weeks and each cage carries a heat sensitive tag to ensure its contents have been processed. After careful checking the cages are tipped to empty the cans on to a belt that feeds them to an unscrambler. All these units were designed and manufactured by the Danish company Cabinplant International.

Following on from the singulator, the cans pass a Videojet printer to ensure they are correctly coded before being turned sideways into a cartoner. Three CAM units erect the cartons and the cans are slid in. Hot melt glue is used to close the ends and the cans are then assembled in parallel rows. Four rows are moved sideways and two more tiers of cans are added by lowering the four that are in position. A wrapround outer is positioned, using hot melt glue in a Swedish Meco Pak unit. Palletization takes place with a Socco unit, shrink film is applied and a hot air gun used to tighten the film before the pallets are dispatched or stored.

As has been noted several times Cabinplant International installed a lot of equipment. In fact, they supplied the bulk feeder system, the roller graders, the four lines for skinning, cooking, cooling and canning, the full can handling system for rectifying, transporting and packing, retort crate unloading system, offal conveyors and washing equipment.

Freezing Factory

To supply such a large canning plant throughout the year needs careful planning. It is not easy to obtain the right quality fish all the year round so they take in more fish than they can use at the appropriate time of year, gut, trim and then freeze them.

This is achieved by bringing in freshly caught fish that are delivered iced. They are tipped on to four conveyors and up roller graders, of which there are also four. From this point the fish pass via water flumes to Baader nobbing machines that apply a straight cut before the guts are flushed out and the head removed. Large fish, say over 800g in weight, are passed to draining conveyors and stacked before being hand packed in polyethylene in trays that are lidded and strapped. These whole mackerel packs after twin-strapping are loaded on to tray racks via a scissor lift then taken to the cold store where they are palletised.

Meanwhile the degutted fish are flumed into a dump tank then pass up a conveyor under a fresh water spray to the freezers. These are double drum spiral units; one was supplied by Frigoscandia and the other by Frigofrance. In fact, we understand the company utilizes another three freezers at the dockside to cope with the volume involved. Once frozen the fish are transported to a huge storage chamber reminiscent of a large swimming bath in both size and shape. When full, it holds literally millions of fish, and from these millions Princes Foods obtain their well known cans of fish.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Saeby-Fiske Industrie, Princes Foods Ltd.
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Aug 1, 1991
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