SED Graders help alleviate the pressures of staff shortages

Vision grader machine

Like most Australian businesses, the primary production sector is not insulated from the effects of a downturn in staffing. Farms in agriculture and aquaculture are experiencing significant staff shortages, especially in manual-based positions. SED Graders helps to solve this issue with automation.

SED Graders first developed our world-leading oyster grading machine with industry consultation to help the oyster farming community improve productivity, efficiency and consistency. After two decades of development, the vision grader, water grader and associated equipment have proven to be invaluable resources to oyster farmers in Australia and around the world. What we are seeing now is how effective they have become in tackling the issue of labour shortages.

Man operating a Vision grader machine

Automation replaces up to 13 staff during the grading season

Oyster farming is seasonal, which has pros and cons when scheduling staff for the important task of grading the oyster harvest. It is the time when all farms are spread thin with most hands on deck for grading. It is labour intensive and expensive. In the modern environment, it now carries the additional risk of not having enough people to fill the labour gap when required.

Recruitment of staff for oyster grading has become problematic, with a smaller pool of workers and with farms diluting the pool at the same time of year. Supply and demand dictate price, and the cost of labour has seen a sharp spike with less supply guarantee.

The SED Graders vision grader automates the grading process. Its single-handed operation separates, cleans, measures, sorts, counts and bags 28,000 oysters per hour. This level of production would require 13 experienced hand graders.

Workers busy operating a vision grader machine

The SED Graders
vision grader works
when staff cannot

The advantages of automation for staffing levels are two-fold. Firstly, the SED Graders vision graders alleviate the pressure of staffing shortages by replacing up to 13 contracted workers who – for the foreseeable future – will not be readily available when needed. The second advantage is security. Even the best-laid plans can go off the rails under the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly, the impact of the pandemic has lessened over the past twelve months; however, people are still vulnerable and becoming unwell quickly with the virus.

This is heightened when the environment requires workers to work in close proximity to each other. It is highly optimistic to schedule a grading team and expect all to be available for every day of the grading process without illness. In larger operations, having staff down with illness at the busiest time of the year can prove extremely damaging. The SED Graders vision grading machine is risk-free and continues to work when staff cannot. This added layer of production security makes all the difference to the farm’s ability to return a profit.

SED Graders
vision grader is fast,
accurate and reliable

As automation becomes a necessity rather than a luxury, owners of a SED Graders grading machine experience an oyster grading process that is incredibly fast, highly accurate and exceptionally reliable. We have designed our automated grading to be very gentle on the oyster by using cushioned air, and its versatility is one of its key features. SED Graders will work with your farm’s requirements and can customise an oyster grading machine that perfectly matches your needs.

We offer a full suite of grading equipment and basket systems that fit seamlessly into the vision grading machine for added ease and simplicity.

Whether you are in Australia or are an international oyster farmer, staff shortages coupled with increased consumer demand for productivity, quality and consistency mean that now is the time to get in touch with SED Graders for a no obligation discussion on how we can help you.

A man supervising the oyster machine operator

SED Graders - Australian and family-owned

SED Graders is an Australian and family-owned company. Contact us for any questions you may have and when you are considering a SED Graders oyster grading machine or upgrading your current machine with an overcatch treatment bath.


for more information