The aim of this project is to design and develop a prototype machine to de-shell and de-vein prawns, to ultimately reduce labour requirements and costs in the seafood processing industry.
As the UK consumer switches to a more sustainable and healthy diet, the consumption of warm-water prawns is on the increase. This means that businesses like Seafresh have seen significant increases in their product ranges and production volumes year-on-year. As an experienced supplier in the industry, Seafresh have seen the rapid rise in demand as well as the steady increase in processing costs at their facilities around the world. This increase in cost has been met with a reduction in the available labour supply as more people are choosing not to work in aquaculture but to move to technology-driven jobs. This means the industry is met with an increasing demand, increasing cost and reducing supply. To ensure that the warm-water prawn industry remains stable, Seafresh are seeking to automate one of the most challenging and manually dexterous processes which is de-shelling and de-veining. With the support of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) part of the UK High-Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM-C) Seafresh have already undertaken a design discovery exercise to select a series of technologies to automate this process. The aim of this project is to design and develop a prototype machine together to be used at the Seafresh sites. This will also strengthen the UK machine build service to the industry as well as enable warm water prawn processing in the UK ensuring the warm water prawn supply remains stable for years to come.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre