noax Technologies and Royal Hawaiian Seafood Partner Together to Improve Processing Enviornments

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noax Technologies' industrial PCs survive Royal Hawaiian Seafood's corrosive seafood processing environment. Previously, Royal Hawaiian Seafood's computers could not handle their sanitation process, now noax hardware can withstand the high-pressure washdown.

industrial pc, cold storage, freezer, rugged computer

A Royal Hawaiian Seafood employee weighs and packages fresh scallops for a customer.

Workers barely ask IT for help anymore. We haven't had any issues since we began working with noax IPCs."

In the early morning hours, box trucks from Royal Hawaiian Seafood roam the fog-laden docks of South San Francisco, efficiently collecting fresh fish and seafood from their trusted suppliers. By the time the morning sun crests the horizon, Royal Hawaiian Seafood’s 18,000 sq. ft. processing facility begins to buzz with activity. noax Technologies industrial PCs are powered on as trucks unload fresh catch from their climate-controlled containers. With over 30 years of experience, Royal Hawaiian Seafood has been the preferred seafood purveyor of fine dining restaurants and establishments in the greater San Francisco area. The roots of Royal Hawaiian Seafood began in the early 1980s when the owner began taking an interest in the relatively new and unknown world of aquaculture. From research into various sustainable aquaculture practices programs, he stumbled upon a very viable business opportunity to raise and market Hawaiian blue prawns to the greater San Francisco area. His idea was well received, and as the demand for his products grew, local chefs began requesting a larger variety of seafood options. Recognizing another opportunity, he expanded his offering to include seafood products from all over the world, paving the way for the company that exists today.

Fresh, frozen, and live seafood

Once the fresh seafood arrives at the Royal Hawaiian Seafood facility, it is transported to the weighing area, where all fresh, frozen, and live seafood products are weighed and inventoried via noax industrial computers. Following weighing,the seafood moves to different areas of the facility for either storage, further processing, or packaging. After being rinsed and re-iced, products that need to remain frozen are sent to the large walk-in freezer. Non-frozen, whole-fish products are sent to the refrigeration area to be processed at one of their two filleting stations.To ensure proper handling of live seafood, the Royal Hawaiian Seafood facility is equipped with noax industrial PCs which help to manage the proprietary-designed salt water tank system as well as an advanced refrigeration system to ensure top quality seafood. All Royal Hawaiian Seafood products are monitored throughout all stages of production, processing, and distribution to ensure the complete traceability that their customers demand.

Standard PCs fall short of expectations

Due to their many years of hard work, and their commitment to providing sustainable, high-quality products and services, Royal Hawaiian Seafood has developed an excellent reputation in the market. When it came time to choose an industrial PC (IPC) to support their data collection processes, it comes as no surprise that they chose noax Technologies. Prior to noax Technologies, Royal Hawaiian Seafood was using consumer-grade monitors in their processing, refrigeration, and live seafood areas. The live seafood room is considered to be the most environmentally challenging area of the facility due to the high humidity and the corrosive nature of the salt water stored in the tanks. In 2010, Royal Hawaiian Seafood realized that to be able to collect data in this area, standard PC technology would not be sufficient and asked their software vendor for a recommendation. After their vendor recommended noax, Royal Hawaiian Seafood researched their V2A stainless steel, IP69K rated, noax S19 IPC. Despite being hesitant about the higher pricing compared to what they were accustomed to paying with the standard PCs, Royal Hawaiian Seafood decided to source a noax S19 industrial computer. In their refrigeration and processing areas, Royal Hawaiian Seafood decided to work with standard touchscreen monitors and desktop PCs in NEMA 4, wall-mounted enclosures. Due to the constant exposure to water, cold, and general wear and tear these areas provide, it did not take too long before Royal Hawaiian Seafood began to experience problems after rolling the equipment out. Royal Hawaiian Seafood dealt with a wide range of issues from water ingress and rust to general difficulties encountered trying to sanitize a facility with non-washdown touchscreen monitors. Troubleshooting the units and coordinating repairs and replacements with their hardware vendor also became a frequent occurrence. After having to replace all workstations every 2-3 years and having to allocate additional capital to boost their inventory of spare units to protect against downtime, the frustration, aggravation, and lost productivity began to take its toll. Royal Hawaiian Seafood realized it was time for a change.

Sticking with noax

As they began to research alternatives in the marketplace, a Royal Hawaiian Seafood employee asked management why they weren’t considering noax for the other areas in the plant. Despite the fact that the S19 unit was in the worst area of the facility, it had performed flawlessly for more than 6 years. Shortly thereafter, Royal Hawaiian Seafood attended the Seafood Processing Expo 2015 and while there, ran into another seafood processor that had worked with noax for several years and gave a glowing testimony of their experience with noax equipment at their facilities. As a result, Royal Hawaiian Seafood decided to stop researching the market, and to purchase additional noax S19 units to replace their standard PCs throughout their plant. According to Royal Hawaiian Seafood’s Operations Manager, “All of our workstation PCs were rusting except the noax computer. We realized that despite being over six years old, it will probably last longer… a lot longer.” The noax S19 industrial computers can now be found in various locations of the facility including the filleting station and walk-in freezer which operates at 34° F. Issues related to water ingress, downtime, and damaged equipment have disappeared. Workers are no longer frustrated with the touchscreens because they can easily operate the screens even in wet conditions with gloves. Needless to say, Royal Hawaiian Seafood is pleased with the upgraded noax hardware.

Improved reliability for the future

Previously, Royal Hawaiian Seafood’s computers could not handle their sanitation process. Sanitation crews had to be very careful in covering the PCs and had to take the time to cautiously clean them by hand with disinfectant wipes. Now, the sanitation process goes a lot faster. “Now that the noax PCs can handle our sanitation process without bagging or covering, we can use the same cleaning agents and more thorough high-pressure washdown process throughout the entire facility,” shared the Operations Manager. As for reliability, according to Royal Hawaiian Seafood’s Purchasing and Service Manager, “Workers barely ask IT for help anymore. We haven’t really had any issues since we began working with the noax computers.” Thanks to noax industrial computers, Royal Hawaiian Seafood has been able to recapture the time and energy that was once wasted on maintaining their plant-floor computer equipment to focus on what is most important – sourcing the highest quality, safe and sustainable seafood products for their trusted customers.

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Lindsay Ackman

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