Danish companies Intech International A/S and DSI A/S have sold more than a hundred vertical plate freezers systems with automatic unloading and quotations for 70 more units have been given.
The idea for the system that lifts the freezer is a Norwegian one that came to former longliner engineer Arve Støhle while he saw how hard the work of handling 50kg frozen blocks was on the crew, with frequent back problems due to constant heavy lifting. Between them he and his brother-in-law Erik Juelsen developed a hydraulic system to lift the freezer itself rather than lifting the frozen blocks, leaving the blocks on a conveyor to be taken to the packing area.
In spite of the idea being a clear winner, they failed to find a Norwegian company prepared to manufacture it, but instead found a partner in Danish company Intech International, which had sold and installed more than a hundred systems within three years and the system has generated a great deal of interest among owners and skippers.
The company is confident that this rate of production and installation can be maintained, not least with a number of large trawler construction projects in progress in Russia.
‘The Russians are very interested in the system,’ said manager and co-owner at Intech International, Carsten Trudslev.
‘We have sent quotations for 70 units within the last three months, so we are very optimistic about the future sales. When shipowners choose this automated unloading plate freezer, instead of using other robot solutions in the market, for us that’s confirmation that we have developed the ultimate solution for the vertical DSI plate freezer,’ he said.
Back in the autumn of 2013 Giske Havfiske in Ålesund acquired its new trawler Atlantic Viking, and the yard and designer had been tasked with building a suitably ‘green’ trawler with low energy consumption, efficient use of the catch, high safety standards and a good working environment on board.
According to owner Bjørn Giske, a significant contribution to improving the working conditions on board can be attributed to the ten DSI vertical plate freezers coupled to Intech International unloading systems.
‘Automatic unloading functions perfectly and each shifts of seven crew no longer has to lift the frozen blocks,’ he said. ‘Each block weighs 50kg, so each shift doesn’t have to lift 1500kg per freezer and that adds up to 15 tonnes for every shift.’