Curio: matching the machine to the fish
Based in an industrial district overlooking Hafnarfjörður harbour, Curio’s managing director Elliði Hreinsson took a break from the design desk to explain Curio has had a few busy years – with new skinning machines ready for launch, growing interest in its products from Russia, Spain and France as well as the company’s established markets, plus the company’s long overdue expansion in Iceland.
“Last year was a good year, and this one has started well. There has been a lot going on in the last few years, and it all seems to be coming together at the same time,” he said, adding that the delay in expanding the premises in Hafnarfjörður has been a headache caused partly by Iceland’s overall prosperity that has led to a shortage of available construction workers.
Now Curio is about to get the much-needed additional space, with an additional 1300 square metres of workshop, with plans for more to come as the company’s line of products grows, which includes its range of highly adaptable filleting machines that are designed around the concept of matching the machine to the fish to be processed.
IceFish has been a key part of the company’s exhibitions schedule as Curio has grown both at home and overseas.
“Curio has been a regular participant at a number of IceFish exhibitions over the years and it’s important for us to have a presence there as Iceland is our home market,” Elliði Hreinsson said.
“We’ll certainly be taking part in IceFish 2020 and we see this as a key event to present all of the company’s latest innovations.”
The latest addition to the Curio range is a collarbone cutter developed for processing H&G fish, and this has become an extensive project that attracted a Horizon 2020 grant towards completing the work that Curio had already begun in developing this.“We were aware that a lot of our customers were either using old machinery that had been adapted, or else cutting by hand – and not very successfully,” he said.
So Curio started working on a machine that would take the heavy work out of this process, as well as being able to do it with greater efficiency than can be done by hand. “We took the proof of concept and the work that had already been done, and the EU agreed with us, giving us a grant to help finish the development and market the machine,” he said. “We’re working at full speed on this now to produce four test machines that can be tried out in production, and we want to make this as varied as possible, testing this across different species and using both fresh and defrosted raw material. 2019 is the year to build and test the collarbone cutter, and we aim to have this on the market in 2020.”
One of the test collarbone cutters will be going to Norway, and another will be tried out in the UK.
“We’ll be testing one in Iceland as well,” he said. “That was a surprise, as we didn’t see a need for this in Iceland, but it seems there’s interest after all. We’ll be rotating these collarbone cutters between companies while they are tested, and there’s also interest in these from the Faroes.”
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