One sorting line is comprised of three different machines:
- Tipping system: First the containers of fish are taken by forklift off the boat directly to the fish sorting line. There, the containers are placed on the machine. The tipping system unstacks the boxes of ice-packed fish and tips them one by one into a funnel. Then the empty containers are restacked, washed and nested in a stack for smaller volume.
- Distribution conveyor: The fish and the ice are taken by elevator belt taken from the funnel and sent over the vibrating screen. This vibrating screen removes most of the ice from between the fish. Subsequently, the fish will be placed on a distribution conveyor where operators place the fish head to tail. The fish are then ready to be weighed. Underneath this part of the machine is a central ice disposal conveyor to dispose all the surplus ice back to the quay.
- Sorting machine: A scale installed at the beginning of this machine, weighs every fish with an accuracy of within 10 grams. Special software then sorts the fish in containers according to 10 weight classes. This part of the machine is mostly provided by an external partner as it uses existing technology.
Thanks to the two new fish sorting lines, 18 tons of fish per hour can be sorted. As a result, the Vlaamse Visveiling has increased its capacity by 10%.
Aside from constructing the new machines, SMO also facilitated the relocation of the existing sorting line.