Isfjord Norway is a company that processes, prepares, and packages trout and salmon products, with headquarters in Trondheim, Norway. Founded in 2005 with a team of five, the company now has 180 employees and serves customers across Norway. Isfjord Norway does NOK 1 bn (USD 116m) in revenue each year.

The challenge

Recently, the organization was going through a large expansion and quickly outgrew their existing infrastructure. Seeking additional capacity, Isfjord moved to brand-new facilities in Orkanger, located near Trondheim.

But the move didn’t happen overnight. The project took two years of planning, and construction took 15 months.

As they began designing their facility, the organization decided that the perfect solution would enable them to comply with the strictest hygiene requirements for the food processing industry.

The solution

After researching their options, Isfjord Norway joined forces with Pescatech, a consulting firm based in Denmark. In conjunction with their partner Uni-Food, the consultancy assisted with the layout of the production lines for the new factory, which was outfitted to support double production capacity — which Isfjord is already close to hitting.

Isfjord Norway's new factory in the town of Orkanger near Trondheim. Photo: Catherina Morken

Together, Pescatech, Uni-Food, and Isfjord Norway put together a tailor-made solution that met Isfjord’s unique requirements, delivering two high-efficient filet lines each with the ability to process up to 25 fish per minute. The build up the processing lines took place in multiple phases as the requirements evolved over time.

“It's been a joint project to develop the lines,” explains Lars Krogh, CEO of Isfjord Norway. “A lot of what we’re doing doesn’t involve standard solutions. They have to be adopted to the raw material we produce. We needed tailored solutions to meet our specific needs, and Uni-Food and Pescatech delivered.”

The results

The decision to work with Uni-Food and Pescatech turned out to be a shrewd one, and Isfjord Norway hasn’t looked back since.

“It was very easy working with Uni-Food,” Krogh continues. “We’ve doubled capacity, and we’re getting close to filling it. If and when we do this again, they’ll be on our shortlist.”

Today, Isfjord Norway processes upwards of 300 tons of fish each week — all of which comes from various farms and producers, both sorted and unsorted. This capability can’t be understated, especially since Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened their business considerably.

“When it comes to machinery, we’re pretty good at using it,” Krogh says. “But you need a partner that knows how to build it, and what the possibilities are—a partner that turns dreams into reality. And this is where Uni-Food shines.”

At a high level, Uni-Food delivered a complete, efficient unloading system. Once fish are unloaded, they’re sorted according to size and quality, graded into 1,000-liter bins via two bin loaders. Before fish are beheaded, water and ice are automatically separated, and the fish are then sent to two filet machines.

After that, trimming takes place continuously on a 2x4 station. All byproducts are automatically delivered to bulk packing in 20 kg boxes, which are then sent to fully automatic platefreezers for freezing purposes.

Uni-Food's four-lane pin-bone remover, like the one found in Isfjord's new factory. Photo: Uni-Food

Next, filets are fed automatically into two four-lane pin-bone removers. Once they pass through there, the filets are graded into six lines: two for portion cutting, two for automatic vacuum packing, and two for skinning and salt injection, as well as prep for smoking or packing of whole filets via fully automatic vacuum packing machines.

Once that’s done, filets are automatically weighed, labeled, packed into boxes, and palletized. The end result is a beautiful-looking filet of fish that tastes incredible.

“Uni-Food stuck it out even after the project was complete—the point where fine tuning is needed to achieve perfection or close to it,” Krogh concludes. “We couldn’t be happier.”

To learn more about how Uni-Food can help your company bring more efficiency and productivity to your line of products, visit their website, follow them on LinkedIn or contact sales manager Mads Sigsgaard via email.