Digitread in pisciculture research collaboration
Digitread is collaborating partner in a research project with Seaside supported by The Research Council of Norway. The project will explore the use of robotics for washing of pisiculture equipment.
With a solid footprint in educational institutions like the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Ålesund University College, the Norwegian Defence University College and more than a hundred Technical Colleges, Digitread is a strong supporter of research and education. Former research projects Digitread have been involved in have been more process focused, like the lean product development projects with industry clusters and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
This time the company devoted to digitalization and PLM look into an industrialization project focused on a specific product. “Our motivation for this collaboration is the use of robotics in a traditional industry” says Helge Kjeilen, chairman at Digitread. “We are strong believers of digitalization and automation, which goes well with the robotics part of the project. But we also wanted to challenge their way of working with collaboration, product definition and industrialization in the project. With smarter tools and processes they have a better chance to deliver a good product on schedule and within quality and financial constraints.”
The main target for the project is to develop robotic washing of fish slaughterhouses and processing equipment. The current process is manual, physically demanding and includes heavy use of chemicals. Robot technology has yet not been used for washing in pisciculture. The project needs to develop robotic technology that:
- Can operate in the climate/environment of salmon processing plants
- Replaces and preferably enhances operations formerly done by humans. This includes experiments with artificial vision or measurements of how clean equipment is (challenging)
- Develop fish processing machines that interact with robots
- Ensure safety
- Develop technical solutions for complete salmon processing plants using a simulator
- Develop technology concepts preparing for industrialization
The project has considerable potential for innovation. A smart robot solution will result in significantly lower costs for the salmon slaughterhouses, and documented cleaning processes of high quality. The potential for salary savings for salmon slaughterhouses in Norway is estimated to more than 66 million NOK per year. Robot Washing will reduce the use of chemicals. Robot technology can probably also be used on pelagic fish and animal slaughterhouses. The competitiveness of the Norwegian fish processing industry will be significantly strengthened. Seafood is an important piece in coping with the global population growth as we look to 2050.
Digitread will contribute with software, software training and configuration of software necessary for the research project.