For another year, Muutech is attending Conxemar with the aim of bringing the latest developments in monitoring solutions to the frozen food sector. Of all the editions of the fair, Conxemar 2019 was closed with a record number of visitors, 37,000 people who came to the Ifevi from 108 different countries to enjoy the 749 stands that participated. Despite the fact that this year the fair has been protagonist of the front pages mainly due to the threat of the Sea Food (the first world fair of the sector) disembarkation in Barcelona, 70 companies have been left out of the fairground due to lack of space, a good indicator that Conxemar continues to grow. The need to enlarge Vigo’s exhibition centre has also been one of the most talked matters in the political spectrum of this edition.
What has been evident this year is the development of 4.0 technologies in the sector. At the fair, not only the number of stands focused on the food sector has grown sharply but also the number of technology companies such as Muutech.
Although in recent years the fishing and freezing industry has not stood out for making great technological advances, or at least not at the level of other industries such as the automotive, it seems that the need to increase the efficiency and sustainability of the activity is pushing towards change. The commitment to reduce raw material losses opens up new opportunities for automation and production control. There is also space for innovation in the area of monitoring and digitization, for example in the commitment to extend the species produced through aquaculture to ensure the sustainability of the sector.
Galicia at the forefront of the sector
The fishing sector, undisputed protagonist of Conxemar, is the first primary sector in Galicia. 52 % of fishing employment in Spain and 10 % of fishing employment in the EU are generated in Galicia. 33,000 direct jobs representing 3.2% of the employment in the community. The annual extractive production in Galician accounts for 15% of the EU’s, 187,000 tonnes representing 2.1% of Galicia's GDP.
These data reflects the attractive potential of Galician fishing for the implementation of innovations. Galicia should lead in the advances of the sector and step by step it begins to do so with examples such as the ones we bring you below. (Oportunidades Industria 4.0 en Galicia, Xunta de Galicia).
Aquaculture of new species
One of the great attractions of the fair this year were Carmiña and Federico, two octopuses that Pereira Group raised in captivity. Quite a milestone, given the difficulty that this type of species presents to survive in aquaculture. Nueva Pescanova is another of the big companies that are investigating against the clock the reproduction cycle of the octopus in captivity. The giant of the sector expects to be able to cultivate octopus for commercial purposes in 2023.
The race to increase the number of species bred in aquaculture is accelerating to overcome the problems of overfishing and catch levels. These advances in aquaculture are not only eye-catching for the fishing sector, they also represent an opportunity for the technological industry. Fish farms open the field to innovation in fields such as automation, IoT and of course, monitoring. For example, the monitoring of the exact conditions of the water where these animals are raised must be very exhaustive since it is fundamental for their survival.
The great project of digitalization of Vigo’s port is not a novelty of this year, since it was announced last year. However, it is news, the good rhythm with which it’s progressing. Phase 0 of the project is already completed and comes loaded with data to monitor. Data of arrivals and departures of ships is now entered automatically, thus avoiding inefficiencies and errors. From now on, the boats will be connected to the fishing market from the moment they arrive to the port.
This is only the first phase, much more interesting novelties are yet to come. One of the most striking innovations of the project is the intelligent unloading. The fish will be tagged with radio frequency tags (RF) or QR codes through a passage tunnel. These technologies will provide many possibilities for tracking the unloadings and managing the following bidding. (Blue Growth, Puerto de Vigo).
Artificial vision seems to be finding space in primary sectors such as fishing. A Galician company called Tacore has developed equipment for the pelagic canning industry which uses artificial vision for the classification by size and species. This system is capable of producing around 1000 units per minute. (Oportunidades Industria 4.0 en Galicia, Xunta de Galicia).
It is not the first project that makes use of this technology for the classification of species. The fish farms are also working on developing a method to identify specimens using artificial vision. This allows the fish to be marked in the same way as would be done on a farm but without the need to introduce any physical device into the animal. In this way, the quality of the product is better preserved, since it is not necessary to touch the physiognomy of the fish; the laborious task of marking the fish one by one is avoided and the suffering of the animal is also reduced, as facial identification does not require any intervention.
Muutech in Conxemar 2019
The ones above are some of this year's innovations in the sector but at Muutech we didn't want to be left behind. We took advantage of Conxemar 2019 to introduce the latest improvements to our platform, which we believe will be very welcomed in food sectors such as canning.
During the fair, the professionals who came to our stand tested the latest version of our zabbix and grafana online demo. They were able to test the manual entry of data through customized forms. The entered data is automatically synchronized and instantly added to grafana’s dashboards. This proves that monitoring is also compatible with production dependent on manual processes.
Now it's time to get down to work, so next year we can bring more improvements!