Aquaculture Magazine

US traceability company launches first system for aquaculture

US-based Dynamic Systems -- a barcode traceability and labeling software company -- has recently launched its first system for aquaculture, and the company expects it will become a significant portion of the business.

The company sells two tracking systems, including SIMBA -- Specialized Inventory Management Barcode Accuracy -- used in the fresh food industry. The system allows seafood processors to handle, label and track their products more efficiently from dock to shipping in real time. 

The system has been in use by the wild caught fish industry for about 20 years, according to Alison Falco of the company, but the company recently launched a SIMBA system specifically for the aquaculture industry. 

Falco said creating a system for aquaculture is more complicated than setting up the hardware and software in a processing facility, which the company has been able to do for the wild fish industry, since docks are generally located close to processing plants. 

On the other hand, processors using farmed fish are often far from the fish they harvest. In order to allow processors to track their farmed fish just as effectively as farmed, Dynamic Systems added a tablet which can be used on farms. 

"When product arrives at the processing plant, it's automatically updated onto the plant floor; no extra data entry is needed," Falco said. 

The company has used the tablet for tuna companies that go to auctions and purchase fish there, however Falco said that processors usually need more data from aquaculture. 

"It's a little more complex," she said. 

The average cost for a unit, which includes the hardware, software and training, is about $50,000, and Falco said companies generally see a return on investment in a year or less. 

"Key results from implementing the SIMBA software include increased production speed; the ability to get real-time, accurate production reports; full traceability, accurate real time inventory; improved yields, carton and pallet labels; and expedited van loading," the company said in a release. 

For now the new system will likely stay within the Americas. 

"We're avoiding too many markets that are several time zones away because we have our hands full with people from the western hemisphere," Falco said, adding that this makes South America a good target for the company. 

Replacing pencil and paper

For now, Falco said that the aquaculture industry largely collects data by hand and then manually inputs it into a computer. 

"As far as we can tell, they're doing it by hand. We typically aren't replacing another system, we're replacing pen and paper," she said. 

The product was launched recently, and the company is currently only working with a handful of companies to implement the technology, but expects it to grow. 

"We see [aquaculture] as a big growing market right now, we've had many inquiries from the industry," she said. 

Falco said that based on preliminary demand from potential customers the aquaculture-related customers will likely make up about 25% of the company in two to three years. 


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