West Coast Fish invests in food herring by a conveyor belt scale

29.09.2013

Dosetec supports its customer´s strategic changes. Instead of forage herring, West Coast Fish wanted to invest in food herring, for which Dosetec tailored a conveyor belt scale system to replace the hopper scale system. Now the fresh Baltic herring is quickly transferred to freezers, while ensuring the quality of the fish.

West Coast Fish (the Finnish company name: Länsi-Rannikon Kala Oy) is situated in Finland´s best location for catching Baltic herring, on the West coast in Taivassalo. At the harbour the company has a freezer storage capacity of over 6 000 tons. Now the company has changed its strategy. Forage herring was taken away as the peak point of production of this 40-yearold company.
– We want to increase production of Baltic herring as a food fish. The demand has been on the rise in the Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Baltic countries, states the company´s new Managing Director, Mr. Aarne Paesalu.

Quality for fish handling

Due to the strategic change, the reception area for fish needed renovating. The company contacted Dosetec, which had delivered a hopper scale system for the reception of forage herring years ago. Now it was necessary to find a solution where the fresh fish can be quickly moved from weighing to the freezer.
After the initial mapping, it was decided that a system based on a conveyor belt scale was the best choice for fast-tempo fish handling as transfer and weighing capacity of the line can be 60 tons per hour.
Thanks to the new system, the fish move forward on the line smoothly, and they do not pile up onto each other, damaging the fish quality. More gentle fish handling helps decrease wastage.

Exact weighing takes more than just good equipment

The new strategy set a more exact weighing requirement. In addition to the high-quality Siemens weighing equipment and control logic, the weighing line needed a detailed customization just for the fish handling.
Thanks to the conveyor belt scale method, all excess material can be wiped out from the line before weighing. Water flows out from an easily cleanable and modular plastic belt, while roe waste is washed off with a high-pressure washer. Scrapers and edge barriers prevent the fish from gliding too much ahead or outside the belt, and the conveyor material is acid-proof steel.

Detailed instructions for the fishers are reported

More exact weighing enables a better cooperation with the fishers. The new system includes a detailed follow-up with, for example, daily reporting. Based on this, West Coast Fish is able to give accurate instructions about the daily, weight-based fish need for the fishers.
Dosetec has delivered a number of conveyor belt scale systems for various needs, but this was the first for the fish industry. Decades of experience turned out to be an important factor.
– We haven’t had any issues with the technology, operation or solutions. Dosetec has always met our challenges well, says Managing Director Paesalu.

West Coast Fish is a fresh and fresh-frozen fish company whose main product is Baltic Herring. It employs 25 persons which almost doubles during peak seasons