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3 Ways to Grade Fish And Which Is Best for Your Business

Sep. 13, 2022

Fish sorting is a standard management practice in fish farming where fish are sorted into groups of similar sizes.


You can give all the fish in the ocean the same feed and growing conditions, but there will always be differences in size and quality when it comes to catching and processing them.


This is why sorting fish, popularly called fish grading, is so important, as consumers expect consistency in the final product, and your business can make or break on this important detail.


Conveyor Weight Grader


Three ways of fish grading used in today's production


There are three main ways of grading fish and which one is best for your business will depend on many aspects, such as the species, the desired end product and the ability of your business to maintain that type of grading.


Read on to find out which method is best for you!


Mechanical fish sorting


Here the fish is sorted by width by passing it through a machine that differentiates the fish by thickness or width and brings it into the required container.


The most commonly used technologies are vibration sorting and roller sorting.


Roller sorting lines are a precise and innovative technology. They are very useful for small fresh fish such as sprats or Baltic herring and similar fish such as sardines or anchovies.


The main advantages of using a roller sorting line to sort fish by thickness are:


ㆍHigher productivity: up to 8 t of fish processed in one hour.

ㆍGentle technology: less damage to the fish.

ㆍEconomic solution: only a few operators are needed.


Sorting fish by weight


Weight Grader


As you may have guessed, this fish grading system is used to grade smaller or irregularly shaped products of high quality, as grading by weight is usually more accurate than trying to differentiate by different parameters.


This technology is often used for sorting salmon, crabs, lobsters, etc.


In Zhonglin's weight sorting lines, the product is passed onto a conveyor belt with one product per bin, and then transported and transferred to an acceleration belt. Each product is weighed separately on a weight flow conveyor unit. The weight is compared with the correct value of the outfeed gateway and transported on the main belt to the corresponding outfeed.


The main benefits of the weight sorting line are:


ㆍHigh accuracy: weighing is the most accurate way to sort odd-shaped products.

ㆍ Productivity improvement: up to 120 products sorted per minute.

ㆍLoss reduction: ideal for expensive products such as salmon.


Visual sorting of fish


Similar to the previous type of sorting, the name already explains it well: visually recognising different species to separate and sort them according to the needs of the business.


There are two ways of visually sorting fish. The most common is manual visual sorting: one person looking at the fish and making decisions on which species the fish belongs to.


The other type is robotic visual sorting, where a machine has instructions on how to differentiate fish species and sort them into the appropriate outlets or containers.


The main advantages of using robotic visual sorting lines are:


ㆍMore ergonomics: need for fewer operators.

ㆍMore accurate: machine vision has proven to be highly effective in differentiating objects.

ㆍEconomic: robotic lines are the future of visual sorting with large long-term gains.


Final thoughts


Sorting fish is a very important task in the industry, and if you choose the right technologies for your needs, it could be a great investment in the success of your business now and in the future.


As robotics, automation and machinery advance, it is essential to look for the best possible solutions now. If you are interested in learning more about how Zhonglin can help you achieve the best results when it comes to fish grading, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss the possibilities of creating something great for your fish processing business.

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