A 22-year partnership with a leading manufacturer of industrial robots FANUC has been hailed as a key factor in Icelandic company Samey Robotics’ role in revolutionizing the international fresh fish supply chain.
Samey Robotics specializes in the design, manufacture and installation of bespoke automation for the food industry and has completed over 150 projects in 10 countries including Iceland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and the UK. At the heart of many of its bespoke solutions are FANUC’s M-410 series industrial palletizing robots, known for their ability to handle heavy objects such as pallets of fresh produce.
Samey Robotics has already purchased over 100 FANUC M-410 robots (including 25 in 2021 alone) and the company currently has an additional 25 on order.
“We know we can trust FANUC products to deliver time and time again in harsh operating environments while dealing with sensitive and high-margin fresh produce,” says Kristjan Karl Adalsteinsson, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Samey Robotics.
Just-in-time supply chain
Samey Robotics was founded 32 years ago south of Reykjavik in Iceland; A country known for its seafood. During that time the company has built a strong reputation for supplying robust robotic systems that promote the safe, efficient and fast handling of fresh fish.
Samey Robotics has paved the way for other food sectors, revolutionizing the fresh fish supply chain, with distribution handled by automated centers supported by robotics. In many cases, fish can be landed, processed and delivered to the customer in as little as 24 hours, so every second counts.
“An order can be placed in London, logged into one of our customers’ operating systems in Iceland or another coastal country, and a robot will automatically start feeding the raw material into the production cell,” explains Adalsteinsson. “In less than an hour it’s palletized and on its way to shipping without anyone having to email, make a phone call or decide when to start or stop the system. The entire process, from the order to delivery, is fully automated. “
In addition to being able to handle large volumes of fresh produce gently and quickly, it is imperative that any robotic solution specified by Samey Robotics is also robust and reliable. “Given the nature of our customers’ supply chain, if production is stopped for a long period of time, the fish will spoil,” explains Adalsteinsson. “Some of our customers process up to 500 tons of fresh products a day, so that unexpected downtime is simply not an option. The reliability of the Fanuc robots was a big factor for our joint success. ”
A changing market
A perfect storm of rising labor costs, post-Covid digital transformation and affordable automation has helped fuel a surge in industrial robot installations across the food and beverage industry. In fact, the number of industrial robots installed in European food processing applications will double in the 10 years from 2015 to 2025, and Samey Robotics is witnessing this growth first-hand: “Demand is increasing every year, particularly for high quality throughput cells operating within strict hygiene parameters can be, ”says Adalsteinsson. “The market recognizes the advantages that automation can bring from both productivity and profitability perspective.”
Trust and transparency
For Oliver Selby, Robotics Business Development Manager at FANUC UK, the support of the innovative and future-oriented approach of Samey Robotics to automate the freshfish supply chain is proof of the strength of a strong supplier-customer relationship: “We have a number of long customers , but to go from strength to strength, as we did with Samey Robotics, is particularly worthwhile. The key to our partnership is transparency.
“This trait runs through our entire organization, from the very top at our headquarters in Japan to our delivery drivers meeting customers on site. This inspires trust and gives our customers peace of mind that they can count on us to deliver what we promise.”
Another key to the success of the partnership is the focus on innovation. “For some years now, Samey Robotics has been a leader in the development of supply chains in the European fish sector, whereby their automated sales approach serves as an example for other food sectors. In the future, the Samey Robotics customer base will change because the company will initiate a growth initiative through takeovers. It moves beyond Europe and now opens up to a global audience.
“The focus of this strategy is of course robotics and automation, and Samey Robotics wants to expand its commitment to automated supply chains to regions that are not necessarily known for automation. We are pleased to continue to support you in this exciting phase of your trip and to minimize your future business to ensure that Samey Robotics is still known for the implementation of solutions that are known to the fast, safe and efficient use of fresh fish on the whole make the world easier.”
Wide product range
For this purpose, Fanuc recently started delivering Samey Robotics an alternative to the M-410, which gives the company a different robot solution to further improve the end product handling: the M-20000. In the incoming supply chain directly from the boat, fresh fish is loaded from the M-20000 directly from 460 kg containers into the fish processing system; the strongest 6-axis robot on the market with a handling capacity of up to 2.3 tons and a maximum reach of up to 4.7 m.
This robot solution changes the way in which food manufacturers have to think about their logistics on site by eliminating the need for specialized forklifts and drivers and represents the ideal choice for gentle handling of sensitive foods.
For Samey Robotics, the obligation to innovate, transparency and reliability ensures that Fanuc remains an important partner for his ongoing global success. Adalsteinsson concludes: “We are proud to have such a longstanding relationship with Fanuc. The reliability of your robots is priceless for us and our customers. ”