Arbacommerce contacts DW Reusables to optimise their fish tray for use on fishing trailers
As conditions on a fishing boat are harsh, fishermen need optimally designed tools. The Croatian fish processor Arbacommerce contacted DW Reusables to improve the ergonomics of the existing tray and turn it into a durable and sustainable solution.
Arbacommerce uses the fish trays on trailers to collect the caught fish during sea expeditions. Due to the rough weather conditions, many trays got damaged quickly and had to be replaced after only a few years. Secondly, the old trays took up a lot of space, which is limited on a fishing boat. Finally, the old tray had a few ergonomic disadvantages: as the old tray was too deep, the small sardines & anchovies at the bottom got squeezed. Another issue was the missing holes at the bottom: consequently, the seawater could not run out of the trays, making them heavier for the fishermen to carry.
The DW Reusables development team’s first step was to board a trailer and go fishing. Marko Cerovečki, Technical Manager at DW Reusables, spoke with the fishermen and quickly discovered what could be improved on the tray design.
HDPE was selected because of its resistance to rough handling, longevity, and hygienic qualities. To improve the strength of the tray, ribs were added around the handles. Blue was selected as a colour, but not only to match the working environment; as the pigment is less impacted by sunlight, it reduces heat transfer, keeping the fish in better condition before it is processed. By improving the tray design, the new trays can be stacked when they are full and nested when empty. Finally, holes were inserted at the bottom of the tray to let the water flow out, and ergonomic handles were added on the four sides. The height of the tray was also reduced to prevent overload.
The new tray measures 580 x 325 x 110 mm, weighing only 1,00 kg. In combination with the holes in the bottom, this lightweight tray is easier to handle for the fishermen but strong enough to withstand weather conditions.
As the trays are now both nestable and stackable, there is no more space loss on the deck. The holes at the bottom allow for easy cleaning. Thanks to the reduced heat transfer of the colour pigment, less fish is now lost before processing, increasing profitability significantly.
Founded in 1993, family business Arbacommerce is one of the major fish processors in Croatia. They are specialised in the processing of sardines and anchovies. With more than 100 employees they process over 5,000 tons of fish every year.