Automation of processes leads to financial benefits

Employees working inside an Oyster factory

Whether your operation is small, medium or a large and complex system, a farm is a business and every business is always searching for greater efficiencies. In many oyster farming operations, there is limited opportunity to make significant efficiency gains.

Automating labour-intensive fixed-cost farming processes provides such an opportunity. SED Graders’ vision grading machines enable farms to automate the time consuming and costly process of grading and bagging within their yearly cycle. Our grading machines have been successfully operating for two decades, positively influencing farms in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Canada, United States and elsewhere.

How does it work paper concept

How does it work?

Depending on the size of the farm, current data suggests that grading and bagging an oyster harvest for a small to medium-sized farm requires three experienced people three full days to complete. Automating this scenario reduces the output to one person and two hours to replicate the same output. The vision grading machine will grade and bag 27,000 juveniles and 14,000 sale oysters (approx) every hour. It doesn’t need a rest break and is 99% accurate.

Doing the sums over the size of your farm, what would the outcome be?

The vision grader uses cushioned air to sort the oysters. This method is exceptionally gentle on the oyster and returns a 4% higher water content compared to traditional hand grading methods.

Man operating a boat on a lake

Financial benefits are experienced over a number of functions

With any investment, a business needs to weigh the pros and cons of the financial outlay. SED Graders’ vision grading machine is designed to return to profit within a few seasons in labour costs alone. The speed and efficiency enable a much shorter turnaround of the oyster during grading and the consistency ensures better recovery on sale day and an improved aesthetic appeal.

Current clients’ feedback is a testament to the machine’s return on outlay.

“I couldn’t imagine being an oyster farmer without this machine. It is by far the best thing we have ever invested in.” ~ Hugh Wheeler of Wheeler Oysters in NSW

By embracing automation of the grading and bagging process, the farm has the capability to free up key personnel from this labour-intensive task. This enables you to utilise their knowledge and expertise in other functions, and put them in a much better position. Streamlining tasks such as grading and bagging with automation gives the farm additional competitive advantages and helps sustain profit margins that are vital in growing opportunities and maintaining the financial health of the enterprise.

Additional advantages of automation

No one can say they saw the global effects that Covid-19 caused. For some small businesses, it proved catastrophic. Closures, supply chain issues and staff shortages have had a significant impact on many. All businesses across the spectrum worked hard to keep the economy ticking over; however, the long-term effects are yet to be realised. Staffing issues were a definite challenge and are still an ongoing concern across many sectors. The rising cost of living and fuel prices, along with supply chain recovery, will take time to remedy.

Covid-19 highlighted the effectiveness of automation. Farms that had automated insulated themselves against staff shortages, and this negated the rules around working closely together in confined spaces. Running the vision grader a little slower, it can be single handedly operated if required, going a long way to reducing the risk involved with staff shortages.

Automation will assist your farm in a variety of respects:

  • Reduced fixed labour costs
  • Deployment of key staff to more critical operations
  • Reduced risk of staff injury and fatigue
  • Insulation against staff shortages.

These are a few immediate and measurable advantages that automation brings to your operation.

Whether your farm is located in Australia or overseas, contact us directly and we can advise you on the most appropriate automation engineering solution for your operation.

A man supervising the oyster machine operator

SED Graders Australian and family owned

SED Graders is an Australian and family owned company creating automation technologies that are greatly improving the efficiency and profitability of oyster farms in Australia and around the world.

Contact us for any questions you may have and when you are considering a SED Graders’ vision grading machine or upgrading your current machine with an overcatch treatment bath.


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