First plant of its kind: fully automated sushi packing

As a result of the close cooperation between the Danish sushi producer, Itamae, and Overbeck, we've managed to fully automate the packing of this sensitive delicacy. And the facility developed by Overbeck is the first of its kind – both at home and abroad. 

Itamae Sushi is a new industrial sushi production whose mission is to make the restaurant-quality sushi available to customers in the Danish supermarkets. This places great demands on employees and machine installations, as the purpose is to be able to handle such a sensitive product like sushi – and thus also to suppliers of a new plant, as Itamae wanted to automate the packaging process. 

"Today we spend a lot of hours working on packing sushi in bakeries, and we want to automate this process. And Overbeck's expertise will be used for this,” according to the Managing Partner Anders Qvortrup, who states that:

"Automation of this process is not that simple because of its high complexity, partly because sushi is a very sensitive product, partly because six and seven different types of sushi are typically packed.”

Robots and special solutions

Due to the robots and development of their own solutions and components, Overbeck has succeeded in realizing Itamae's idea of automating the packaging process. 

"There have never been similar solutions to the sushi industry, either at home or abroad. So this is quite an achievement”, says Anders Qvortrup.

Overbeck is the supplier of the entire plant and coordinates with subcontractors, including supplier of the robots, and supplies the conveyor belts and plate elevators with bands that take the sushi pieces on the trays. An ingredient filler and topping applicator, both completely developed by Overbeck are delivered. The latter ensures that the process of toppling, fish eggs and sesame on sushi, is automated as well.

Solution-oriented partner

Itamae's collaboration with Overbeck has started on December 2017, and according to Anders Qvortrup, Overbeck's great insight into the food industry and Itamae's special needs in relation to the complexity of the solution have been characterized by:

"We've had a very good and constructive cooperation already from the beginning. Overbeck works extremely solution-oriented and has a great practical understanding of how to create the right solutions. Such a project is always related to constantly emerging new issues, but each time they have managed to come up with solutions”, says Anders Qvortrup.

Itamae's plant consists of several parts:

  • Conveyor belt
  • Filling line, where the ginger, wasabi, soy, mayo etc. are added to the substrate
  • Tray dispenser
  • Plate elevator with belt and buffer area
  • Topping laying device on dry and wet ingredients
  • 6 robots pick & place