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Salmon company and employee shortlisted for awards for transfer app

SSF employee David Lipcsey devised an app to ensure smooth passage of salmon to a harvest station. Photo: SSF.
SSF employee David Lipcsey devised an app to ensure smooth passage of salmon to a harvest station. Photo: SSF.

Scottish Sea Farms and one of its employees, David Lipcsey, have been shortlisted for awards for an innovation designed to ensure the smooth transit of salmon from a wellboat to a harvest station.

SSF is one of six companies in the running for the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Digital Transformation award, and Lipcsey is a contender for the FDF’s Food and Drink Engineer of the Year title.

Lipcsey, a talented IT enthusiast, was working as a processing supervisor at SSF’s facility in Scalloway, Shetland when he identified a way of counting fish as they are transferred from the wellboat to the facility for slaughter. The fish swim through a complex network of pipes, enabling them to remain in water as long as possible.

The app being used on a tablet. Photo: SSF.
The app being used on a tablet. Photo: SSF.

Steady flow

Lipcsey took his idea to processing manager Donald Buchanan who immediately recognised the benefits.

“It takes approximately seven minutes for the fish to leave the wellboat and arrive at harvesting, and it’s essential for the welfare of these fish that we maintain a smooth, steady flow throughout,” Buchanan told SSF’s in-house magazine, The Source, last year.

Real-time count

Lipcsey was able to programme software to count the number of fish entering harvesting machines then take that data and put it on to an app.

“The app feeds the information back to the wellboat in real-time, where the skipper can see on a tablet exactly how many fish are going through harvesting per minute and adjust the flow wherever necessary,” Lipcsey told The Source.

Such has been the success of the new tool, which was developed and put into operation within two months, that Lipcsey was first seconded to SSF’s IT department and has since been transferred there permanently.