Engineers at the Icelandic firm Valka (Kópavogur, Iceland) have designed a vision-based cutting machine that can cut out pin bones from red fish, as well as trim and portion the fish into fish fillets.
Developed in collaboration with the Icelandic processor HB Grandi, the machine uses a combination of x-ray and 3-D image processing techniques together with robot controlled water jets.
In testing carried out under the supervision of Syni Laboratory Service, the system was able to substantially reduce the wastage from the cutting process, roughly doubling the yield of fillets from the fish compared with manual cutting methods.
The tests also showed that a total of 94 per cent of the fillets processed by the machine were totally bone free. The company says that to completely ensure that all fillets produced on a production line would be completely bone free, a second x-ray machine can be placed on the line.
Valka is now testing the machine to determine its effectiveness in inspecting and portioning different species of fish such as pollock, cod and salmon.
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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design