SUNConferences, Computers and Industrial Engineering 42

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Investigation of the Automation of Abalone Production Control
Elizabeth Sephton, Nico Treurnicht, Mike Blanckenberg, Joanne van der Westhuizen

Last modified: 2012-06-26


In the East abalone is seen as more than a delicacy, in fact it is associated with good luck, fertility and high social status. For these reasons, high prices will be paid for good quality product. This lucrative market has led to the establishment of abalone farms to produce the product legally.

Intensive land based abalone farming requires strict control and management practices to optimise yield. Sorting of abalone is a key activity to ensure adequate access to feed and high growth rates. The objective of this study is to introduce a more effective sorting and record keeping process to optimise yield and increase profitability.

The study investigates the effectiveness of conventional sorting practices based on visual size estimation, quality inspection and manual data capturing. A new method employing an electronic scale and automated data capturing is evaluated as an alternative to current practices. A pilot study was conducted to determine feasibility of the concept. Sample data collected proved the system to be suitable for full scale implementation.

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