Hope to double production throughput
There has been plenty of activity recently at HB Grandi’s pelagic processing complex in Vopnafjördur. Work is scheduled to be completed this weekend so that everything can be ready for the first landings of the herring and mackerel season, which could be here as early as Monday. Ingunn AK sailed last night for fishing grounds south-east of Iceland and Lundey NS and Faxi RE are ready to sail this weekend.
According to Thorgrímur Kjartansson, HB Grandi’s quality control manager for its pelagic production, work at the pelagic plant has gone well and he expects it to be finished this weekend.
‘We have replaced two of the older filleting machines that needed frequent attention with two new fully automatic machines, which means that we now have five completely automatic machines in production, plus two older semi-automatic machines that are in good condition. We have added two new blast freezers, giving us a total of four blast freezers that we hope will be enough to double our production in that department,’ Thorgrímur Kjartansson said. Cartons need to be in the freezer for 16-18 hours before they are stacked on pallets. In addition to these improvements, the level of automation in packing and stacking has been improved considerably, and facilities for the staff have also been improved with a new extension added to the building.
While the investment in new automatic equipment means a smaller workforce is needed, the factory at Vopnafjördur verges on being major industrial production for such a small community. Thorgrímur Kjartansson said that the staffing level this summer will probably be between 120 and 150.
‘We will be working split shifts in production, based on two twelve-hour shifts per day. Those under 18 are only allowed to work a six-hour day and there will be other staff working eight-hour shifts,’ he said.