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Overcoming Obstacles: How close Collaboration can lead to great Innovations

Jan 11, 2023

When seeing one of the yellow vessels from NAPIER passing by the snow-capped mountains along the coastline of southern Norway, one might not necessarily expect that these are state-of-the-art salmon harvest vessels. With a capacity of up to more than 600 fish per minute or 200 tons per hour, they can be placed right next to the cages to load the salmon onboard and process them right away.

To develop the processing lines onboard, BAADER and NAPIER have worked closely together for years to keep optimizing the plant. In fact, the collaboration started back in 2008, when the first generation of the vessel "Tauranga" was equipped with SI5 machines onboard their factory, which was updated in 2011 to SI7 machines. In 2015, BAADER introduced the first generation of the BAADER 101. NAPIER was again fast, being among the first to update to BAADER 101. In 2017, when NAPIER decided to expand its capacity, BAADER was asked to deliver a BAADER 101 for the next two vessels, “Taupo” and “Taupiri” – this is when BAADER delivered a new generation of the BAADER 101, equipped with auto triggers and centering devices. Despite the aspiration for further improvement, installing the newly developed product turned out to be quite a challenge.

colleagues from the BAADER R&D department working on the BAADER 101

Through the technological competence of BAADER and the operational experience of NAPIER, this challenge could be overcome though. “Thanks to our good relationship, we found a way to work things out”, says Modulf Barstad, Sales Manager BAADER in Norway, who has been an active part of the collaboration between the two companies from the very beginning. “Everyone involved in the project both from NAPIER and from BAADER came together and discussed possible solutions to the difficulties we were facing. What we came up with, is a marine version of the BAADER 101 – so to say custom-made for onboard processing.”

When NAPIER decided to build their fourth vessel, “Taumar” in 2019, they again ordered a BAADER 101 – also due to the way both companies had previously solved the issues that had occurred with the machine.

BAADER and NAPIER working closely together

“Suppliers are defined by the way they act when problems occur, not by the way they act when everything runs smoothly”, says Modulf. “Not leaving the customer alone with the problems but instead showing stamina and resources to solve the issues together, was crucial in this project. Overall, this is our customer promise.”

Working on these innovative solutions was a team effort of everyone involved: From the crew on board the vessels, the people in the headquarters at NAPIER as well as the BAADER R&D department and manufacturing. “It was a great collaboration. And most importantly: we never gave up, and NAPIER never gave up on us”, says Modulf. “Today, they are the most experienced BAADER 101 customer.”

Watch the video below for more insights about the onboard solution came into being:

Ideas were drawn up and sent to the manufacturing site. The adapted machines were then sent back to Napier for on-site testing. After they collected their feedback, the machines were updated again. “This back and forth went on until both customer and we as a supplier were happy with the product. I think we all can be very proud of the outcome we have accomplished together. It is a great example of interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation”, says Modulf.

Kjetil Tufteland, CEO NAPIER.

Also for NAPIER, this unique collaboration was crucial, as “the processing plant from BAADER is the heart of the harvest vessel. If it does not function properly, we would not need the ship”, states Kjetil Tufteland, CEO NAPIER. "NAPIER, would not be as successful as it is today without BAADER.”

NAPIER's solid continuous improvement approach meant that BAADER could make updates to its processing solutions up to design changes that were otherwise only possible in extensive field testing. One of the examples of how the process has been improved for the onboard solution is the belly-up detection to avoid animal mistreatment as well as the swim-in area and operation control.

"During long and good cooperation with BAADER, we have experienced them as supportive and innovative. This has led to good solutions that meet our needs. Our operational experience and the technical capabilities of BAADER create a unique combination for both parties to deliver on the strongest requirements of our customers", says Tufteland. “BAADER in Germany is building new and better machines, and we are a part of the journey.”

Besides achieving a better stun and bleed solution on board, for NAPIER it was also important to look at the whole operational process of the vessel. The objective was to increase the revenue-making activities and reduce the non-contributing periods. Thus, BAADER simplified the stun and bleed machine with fewer parts and made the cleaning and maintenance less time-consuming. Most of the cleaning can now be done during the sailing of the vessel. Combined with the increased carrying capacity of salmon, the new vessels will set a new standard in the market for effective and efficient salmon harvest vessels.

Kåre Andreas Cederström, Quality Manager at NAPIER

"We choose to work with BAADER because we have a strong focus on fish welfare and quality", highlights Kåre Andreas Cederström, Quality Manager at NAPIER and certified Aquaculture Biologist. "Using percussive stunning by the cage side is crucial to achieving the high quality. Then, the fish is placed in storage tanks to maintain high quality until unloading the fish". The processing solutions are performing at a high level, securing a "good and even bleeding which guarantees fish welfare and avoids miss-cuts, broken back-bones as from electric stunning and other downgrades during production", reports Cederström and adds "the longer pre-rigour time we see, using stun and bleed is very important to get the best quality before delivering the fish to further processing on land."

About NAPIER

NAPIER AS from Langevåg, Bømlo is an experienced Norwegian company operating process vessels. The company first started as a live carrier company with the vessel “Tauranga”. This vessel was extended and rebuilt in 2008 and became Europe's first processing ship for salmon of its kind. In 2009, NAPIER closed a long-term contract with Marine Harvest, now MOWI, and has since delivered more than 400,000 tonnes of salmon. This collaboration has provided NAPIER with unique knowledge and experience.

Today, NAPIER operates four vessels and employs 75 people, after rapidly growing during the last years, as the request for stun and bleed services has been increasing. BAADER has delivered and installed the processing solutions in all four harvesting ships and has just received an order from NAPIER for another two brand-new vessels.

The BAADER 101 Stun & Bleed System and its maritime solution

When introduced to the market in 2018, the BAADER 101 became a game changer in the salmon processing industry as it ensures both animal welfare and superior product quality. Once fish are stunned, the stunning is irreversible, ensuring that the fish cannot regain consciousness, thereby keeping the fish from any suffering. As a result, the fish remains unconscious until death.

"We want to make sure that the fish is not only being treated the way it should be but also that we maintain the quality and meet our customers' expectations," explains Dennis Schreiber, VP Sales BAADER.

That is precisely what the BAADER 101 does. The low-stress levels the animals endure during the BAADER harvesting process ensure that fish can be longer and better processed. For the customer, this means better meat quality, more natural colour, and — most of all — better taste.

The ship is further designed with closed systems to ensure no products, residues, or water is discharged while transporting fish. The vessels have separate loading and unloading systems because the fish had to be pumped further up to be processed. Another advantage is, that there is no need for holding pens outside the processing plant, reducing the risk of contamination between fish from different locations.

A positive outlook

In Q3 2023, BAADER is scheduled to deliver a brand new 8 x 6 channel BAADER 101 maritime version with swim-in systems including walkways, control belts with manual units each left and right, chutes, and software system. Delivery for the second system of this kind is planned for the end of the year 2023.

The CEO of NAPIER is confident about the company's future: "We plan to raise the bar even higher with our new vessels. We strive to drive the development of more sustainable solutions together with BAADER. They frequently present new products, and we want to be part of this development. I am optimistic for our future together with BAADER."

This is how BAADER, and NAPIER are continuing their journey together.

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