Njord Looks Beyond Nordics

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With strong recommendations from the Faroese pelagic fish industry after the delivery of two complete, highly advanced freezing plants, processing technology consultancy Njord has its eyes on new markets.

[Edmund Jacobsen & Bui Tyril]

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With demand for efficiency and food safety rising rapidly, seafood processing companies are constantly looking for ways to optimize production. In a world of fierce competition, prior to the launch of any production facility, good knowledge and understanding of processing technology has become a crucial ingredient for achieving the best possible starting point. It follows that thorough planning and rigorous analyses goes with the territory.

Against this backdrop, processing technology firm Njord opened for business a few years ago to offer critical services and solutions for the Faroese seafood industry. Led by managing owner Arni Carlsen, a civil engineer with a firm footing in the industry and an expert in process automation, Njord hit the ground running with an agency agreement with Mr. Carlsen’s former employer, Iceland’s Skaginn 3X.

Mr. Carlsen said: “We provide a wide range of services, equipment and solutions for food processors, including design and development of chilling, freezing and processing lines and total solutions for entire factories. We’re analytical and technology-driven and with our close collaboration with Skaginn3X we have access to industry-leading resources.”

Add to that the wider network of specialist suppliers to Skaginn 3X, and it becomes clear that Njord is well positioned to offer its services and solutions to markets around the globe.

Njord’s first two major contracts were significant as milestones for the pelagic fishing industry in the Faroe Islands. Both cases—Varðin Pelagic, Tvøroyri, opened in 2012, and Pelagos, Fuglafjørður, opened in 2014—involved a complete solution for setting up a state-of-the-art, highly automated freezing plant with an output capacity of optionally up to 1,000 tonnes per 24 hours. As it turned out, both facilities were launched with remarkable success.

With references of such caliber—and Mr. Carlsen’s two decades worth of experience in the specialized field of process automation for the seafood industry, mostly in the Faroe Islands and Iceland—Njord now has its eyes on offering its services and solutions to the industry elsewhere as well.

Mr. Carlsen noted: “We focus squarely on optimizing processing for three key factors: resource efficiency, production scalability and economic advantage.”

‘Strong team’

With Skaginn 3X widely recognized as a leader in process automation and optimization for product quality on land based freezing plants, its innovations are now being introduced on board fishing vessels.  As a case in point, the company recently signed a contract with Netherlands’ France Pelagique and Norway’s Havyard Ship Technology for a newbuild pelagic trawler, to equip the vessel with new technology for grading, packing, freezing and palletizing its catch at sea—a fully robotized solution requiring no manual labor in the holds.

Said Jón Birgir Gunnarsson, head of sales and marketing at Skaginn 3X: “This will include sorting the fish according to size, species and quality with advanced vision technology as well as packing and palletizing several products simultaneously with an advanced automated system. Product quality will be a focus at all steps including freezing the products fast without applying pressure to them.”

According to Mr. Carlsen, Njord is looking to introduce such technologies to markets throughout the Russian Federation and the eastern regions of the vast Eurasian continent.

“With our deep knowledge of food processing technologies, we help clients dramatically improve their flow of production,” Mr. Carlsen said. “If the equipment needed isn’t available on the market, we are able to provide it, if necessary by developing it from scratch together with Skaginn 3X.”

Collaborating with Skaginn 3X gives Njord a competitive edge that is backed by many decades of experience in designing and manufacturing food processing equipment.

“Our method of visualizing production and pitfalls has proven successful in delivering  results,” Mr. Carlsen added.

One prerequisite of success here has to do with effective dialog with the client in the initial phase of a project, making it possible early to uncover actual production challenges and problems.

“We strive to improve every aspect of the production for our clients by identifying areas that can be improved, and then coming up with an appropriate response. This can only be achieved with a strong team such as ours and through working very closely with the client. The ability to take the correct action in a timely manner based on facts rather than gut feeling is very important. Once we have identified specific problem areas, we progress systematically in conjunction with the client to achieve the best possible solution, and that includes pinpointing which areas will be the most profitable to focus on.”

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