Sanford Business Challenges

Sanford Ltd processes 1.5 million mussels per day. Processing that many molluscs presents all sorts of challenges. They are currently seeking novel proposals for High-speed Automated Processing Technologies

Currently mussels are graded via the mussel shell width, which in-turn estimates the mussel weight. This is important as each mussel is sorted and then blanched based on their predicted weight. Inaccuracies means many mussels are being under or over blanched. Industry needs a much more accurate method of predicting mussel weight – this is a high value challenge, that could have global applications.

Pitch your ideas directly to Industry and innovation funders at the workshop associated with the AquacultureNZ conference.

$5,000 Prize for Best idea presented at AquacultureNZ Research Workshop 22nd Oct.

CHALLENGE #1
Non-invasive, high speed measuring mussel weight

Currently mussels are graded via the mussel shell width, which in-turn estimates the mussel weight. This is important as each mussel is sorted and then blanched based on their predicted weight. Inaccuracies means many mussels are being under or over blanched. Industry needs a much more accurate method of predicting mussel weight – this is a high value challenge, that could have global applications.

Courtesy of Sanford, here is a video of the current Mussel sorting machine in action.

CHALLENGE #2
Better method to remove all mussel beards

Currently industry uses a machine called a Debysser to remove mussel beards. These machines are only 75% efficient in this task. Here is a video of it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kXBVVc6owM&t=2m11s. Can the efficiency be improved closer to 100%? Can you provide an alternative solution?

Courtesy of Sanford, here is a video of the current Mussel debysser in action (mussel beard remover).

CHALLENGE #3
Identifying a commercially viable use for mussel shells

After processing, there is a considerable number of discarded mussel shells left as a valuable resource. The seafood industry is keen to identify a commercially viable application for these left over mussel shells.

CHALLENGE #4
Identifying a commercially viable use for old mussel ropes

A similar situation to the mussel shells, old mussel rope embedded with ocean borne organic matter is constantly being removed as waste. The industry is eager to find a commercially viable opportunity utilising this currently discarded resource.

CHALLENGE #5
Automated notification of failed navigation lights

There is a need to improve the monitoring of marine navigations lights, critical for worker safety. Navigation lights need to be constantly checked by hand. Can there be a retrofit innovation to autonomously signal when a bulb fails? This could have broad applications into a variety of marine situations.

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Are you up for a challenge?

KiwiNet speaks to a range of local companies about current problems they are facing within their organisations. These companies now extend their problems as business challenges to New Zealand’s public research organisations. They are interested in hearing about any research ideas or projects that may offer a solution and there is the potential to work with them directly to develop your solution for commercial applications.

Funding is Available

KiwiNet is keen to hear your proposals to solve these challenges, and we are willing to help support good ideas from research organisations to prepare prototypes and prove technologies.

To find out more about the challenges below or to submit your expression of interest in finding a solution please email admin@kiwinet.org.nz and we’ll be in touch, or call Seumas McCroskery on 021 617 752. We’d love to hear your ideas.