With an increasing global population, the urgency to find new and innovative ways to address food demand is felt around the world. Since 1970, fish farming has existed in the Nordics and developed into a major industry. Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) is a leading producer of sustainable salmon, selling about 70,000 tons of salmon every year. This equates to one million salmon meals per day, all year round.
In the harsh and sometimes dangerous environments of the most northern parts of Norway, NRS sought to increase the safety of its employees, reduce operational costs and prioritize sustainability of Nordic aquaculture.
Through an artificial intelligence (AI) for salmon analytics pilot, ABB and Microsoft co-created a solution with NRS to produce quality food in a safer and more environmentally responsible way. The pilot showed that NRS can increase the efficiency and safety of its workers, who now aren’t required to be at open sea as often as before. The new technology will have an impact on the CO2 footprint due to less operations and better fish welfare, resulting in cleaner seas and improved efficiencies.
“Norway Royal Salmon has always focused on extensive research, development, cooperation and innovation,” said Arve Olav Lervag, COO Farming, NRS. “To continuously improve sustainability and increase the safety of our individuals, we worked with ABB and Microsoft to co-create innovative ways that empower us to achieve more on every level.”
ABB and Microsoft implemented technology with remote visual object detection for biomass estimation and fish population counting. The technology will monitor the growth of the salmon and reduce the workload of NRS workers, while providing an edge in collecting critical data from the production of salmon.
Underwater cameras capture images of the salmon in their submerged fish pens, floating kilometers offshore at sea. A layer of AI on top of the video footage makes it possible to measure and count salmon automatically.
“ABB is fully committed to helping bring about a more sustainable future, and here we’re using AI to revolutionize aquaculture and deliver on that promise,” said ABB Chief Digital Officer Guido Jouret. “By monitoring fish health and performance, to minimizing environmental impact and reducing operational costs, ABB Ability™ is enabling NRS to reach a new level of competitiveness.”
The solution is powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud and ABB Ability™, which delivers ABB’s deep domain expertise from device to edge to cloud to empower customers know more, do more, do better — together.
“The collaboration between ABB, Microsoft and NRS has been highly innovative in this project,” said Christian Bucher, Global AI Specialist, Microsoft. “All parties embarked on a journey with a strong commitment to a sustainable food future. Only through such co-innovation and co-creation between engineering teams and the customer, could we realize maximum benefits. In just a few months, we went from ideation to the on-site solution installation.”
ABB is a Swiss group with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. Building on over 130 years of innovation, ABB today is a technology leader in digital industries with four customer-focused, world-leading business units - Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion Control, and Robotics & Manufacturing Automation - supported by its overarching digital platform ABB Ability. ABB's market-leading power grid business is sold to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries and employs approximately 147,000 people.