Let an ROV do the dirty work – it pays off!

Posted by Cecilie Dybdahl Birkeland on Nov 7, 2018 8:36:48 AM

With an ROV based net cleaner from AKVA group, fish farmers and service companies have got their hands on a more efficient tool than ever before. Now a new model is introduced, reducing net wear to an absolute minimum.

As service provider to the fish farming industry, two factors matter the most to Frode Viken and his team in Vikahav AS: The net cleaning process must be as efficient as possible and without damaging their client’s nets. After the company started using its first ROV based net cleaner from AKVA group for almost two years ago, they have been able to step up their game and take on far more assignments than earlier.

“ROV technology is expensive, but it’s definitely been worth the investment for us. From using manual washing rigs where a large proportion of the water was used to hold the rig against the net instead of cleaning, we are now controlling the entire process from a pilot chair in the control room. The net cleaner is easy to control, it slides gently along the net and performs the job in a fraction of the time we used before,” he says. 

Vikabas
Vikahav AS is a trusted partner to several aquaculture companies in the Trøndelag area. MS Vikabas is one of the company’s newest service boats (all images: AKVA group).

New generation
The AKVA FNC8 net cleaner is developed by the Norwegian ROV manufacturer Sperre ROV Technology at Notodden. The company, which is part of AKVA group, has had a close cooperation with its clients to make the net cleaner as good as possible. This has resulted in a new generation which is now being introduced to the market.  

“The fact that the FNC8 cleaner neither uses wheels nor belts to move along the net, makes it stand out from competing solutions by ensuring a careful cleaning process without mechanical wear. However, as long as we are using high-pressure water there will always be some wear on the impregnation. Our latest model does the job with higher water flow than its predecessor, allowing us to reduce the pressure and wear to an absolute minimum without affecting the performance,” explains General Manager in Sperre ROV Technology, Thor Olav Sperre. 

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General Manager Thor Olav Sperre and his team in Sperre ROV Technology has had a close cooperation with existing customers to optimize the system. The new model is a direct result of customer feedback.

The AKVA FNC8 net cleaner is delivered with a high-pressure system from KAMAT, which ensures the correct flow and pressure. On the latest model, the thrusters and cleaning discs have been placed closer to the edge of the frame to maximize the cleaning surface and make it even easier to cleaner corners and the top meter of the net. The cleaner now also comes with a standard of four integrated IP cameras, unlike two in the first generation. This gives the pilot an even better overview and control with the cleaning process. 

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The job is done quickly, safely and comfortably from the pilot chair in the control room.

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Cleaning the net with an FNC8 net cleaner almost feels like mowing the lawn, except the cleaning is done with high-pressure water instead of mechanical processes.

Customer-oriented development
More than 50 AKVA FNC8 net cleaners have been sold since the product was introduced almost two years ago. Sales responsible in AKVA group, Roy Ohren, is pleased with the response and praises the customers for their good cooperation and valuable feedback. 

“Customers like Vikahav make us better. Real-life experiences with the product provide us with a basis for improvement and enables us to address our customers’ everyday challenges,” he says, adding:

“Over the last two years, we’ve received a lot of good feedback about the FNC8 cleaner’s maneuverability and cleaning performance even on loose nets. Meanwhile, we’ve learned that it’s been somewhat difficult to keep track of which areas of the cage that have been cleaned. This is why we’re now also offering a positioning system from Water Linked with the new model, which uses hydroacoustics to continuously display the FNC8 cleaner’s position.”  

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On the latest model, the cleaning discs are placed closer the edge of the frame, giving a larger cleaning surface and making it even easier to clean corners and the top meter of the net.

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Gentle net cleaning is one of FNC8 cleaner’s main advantages. With its ability to handle an even higher water flow, the next model takes this feature to a new level. The increased water flow means it’s possible to decrease the pressure and minimize the net impregnation wear.

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AKVA FNC8 is delivered with a high-quality high-pressure system from KAMAT which ensures the correct pressure and flow.

Tested at Vikahav
Vikahav has been a pilot customer and was also the first company to use FNC8 cleaners in their daily opertions. Today, the company has six ROV cleaners. Frode Viken is very satisfied with the new model. 

“The FNC8 cleaners have made our workday easier and enabled us to streamline our operations. Benefits such as larger cleaning surface, positioning tool and not least lower water pressure also raises the quality of our services and makes us a more attractive supplier,” Frode Viken concludes.

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The team at Vikabas is very satisfied with the new FNC8 cleaner. “It’s easy to handle and the only net cleaner we’ve used that works well even on loose nets,” they say.

Find more information about the AKVA FNC8 net cleaner here

Topics: net cleaning, akva fnc8 net cleaner, sperre rov technology, vikahav, rov, technology, high-pressure pumps, kamat