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Meyn's outfitting of P. Baarssen factory makes for a study of automated efficiency.

Meyn's Outfitting of P. Baarssen Factory Makes For a Study of Automated Efficiency

One of the highlights of October's International Seafood Conference in Amsterdam was a side trip to the P. Baarssen seafood processing plant in Urk. The company, which deals primarily with flatfish and roundfish, currently produces 75 tons of fillets per week plus 20-25 tons of Dover sole. Total annual output is around 5,000, making it one of the largest fish processors in Holland.

The factory is highly automated and P. Baarssen is considered to be one of the most modern fish companies in Europe. Nearly all of the plant's equipment was supplied by Meyn Fish Processing, which co-hosted the tour.

Drawing on 30 years' experience in building poultry equipment, Meyn's fish processing division makes some of the most sophisticated weighing and grading systems in the world. The firm, which also produces conveyors, washers, skinners and freezing equipment, is capable of installing complete turnkey operations. It employs 700 people and exports machinery to 70 countries.

The most visible piece of Meyn equipment at P. Baarssen is the overhead conveyor which runs through a major part of the plant. It not only serves the purpose of transporting individual fillets, but is part of a highly accurate weighing and grading system.

Each fillet is hung from a weighing shackle which becomes separated from the conveyor when the fish goes through a scale station. The weight of each individual fillet is then converted by a Meyn computer into a digital signal which is stored under the corresponding weight category. Back on the conveyor, the fillets pass by a number of drop-off stations. When the fish reaches the prescribed point, it is automatically removed and the weighing and grading process is completed.

Meyn has also supplied the plant with fish washers, pumps, glazing and skinning/defrilling equipment. At the end of the line, all fish goes through a Meyn freezing tunnel.

In spite of all this advanced mechanization, P. Baarssen must still employ a number of people for hand filleting. Meyn enters the picture here as well by providing electronic weighing scales and a computer which stores and updates information such as output and daily and weekly totals. The availability of such data results in higher production rates since filleters in the Netherlands are paid on a bonus basis. The system also communicates with the main computer which results in improved process control. It is interesting to note that Meyn produces all components from hardware to software.

In a recent development, Meyn entered the on-board fishing industry. An automatic pump system for sea-going vessels has been produced to transport fish internally as well as from vessels to shore.

Recently, an order was received for eight pump systems to equip the entire fleet of the Kennermerland Co. of Ijmuiden, Holland. The pumps have a capacity of 15 and 30 tons per hour, but equipment capable of handling up to 180 tons per hour can be supplied.

Designed to handle fish gently, Meyn pumps keep the product at about + 2|C which results in better quality and lower energy costs. The same pumps have been adjusted to handle live species at fish farms, transporting them between ponds or to processing areas.

PHOTO : Meyn fish pumps, such as this one, are seeing applications on both land and aboard fishing

PHOTO : vessels.

PHOTO : Although the plant is highly mechanized, P. Baarssen relies on hand filleting (above) to

PHOTO : produce top quality. The photo at right depicts Dover sole being fed into a Meyn Freezer.
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Title Annotation:seafood processing plant
Author:Williams, Andrew
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1989
Words:589
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