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Robots,Digitalization,Food,Hokkaido

Article - January 25, 2024

A company approaching its 50th anniversary, Nikko offers a fully integrated service as a supplier of leading-edge food-processing machines and robots.

“What sets us apart from other companies is that we provide a wide range of services, from planning to sales, all in-house.”

Kazuo Sato, President, Nikko Co., Ltd.

Founded in 1977, the Japanese company Nikko specializes in supplying state-of-the-art food-processing machines and robots.

Based in Kushiro City, Hokkaido, Nikko provides a comprehensive service: from product planning and development, to manufacture and sale.

“To achieve the highest precision and quality, we believe it’s crucial to fully understand and control every aspect of the business,” says President Kazuo Sato.

Nikko’s labor-saving technology offers a solution to Japanese population decline, which is leaving the country with fewer and fewer available workers. 

“Our goal is to protect and support Japan's food industry, which has been eroded due to severe labor shortages,” Mr. Sato says.

Indeed, Nikko is helping to combat the effects of Japan’s shrinking workforce right across the nation’s range of business sectors, having founded the Hokkaido Robot Laboratory, a robotics educational facility.

“We wanted to meet the growing demand for talent in this field,” Mr. Sato explains. “The lab enables individuals to obtain licenses for operating robots.”

Nikko has also been engaged in the development of salmon processing machinery since the establishment of the company. “We have mechanized processes from primary processing to filet manufacturing and even ikura (salman caviar) production,” adds Mr. Sato. “Our machines are widely used overseas as well.”

For instance, the 'Header-Gutter Continuous Processing System' is a machine designed for the continuous automated processing of salmon, handling tasks from head cutting to gut removal.

Regardless of the gender or size of the fish, after head cutting in the same position, fish roe, milt, and internal organs are carefully collected intact. The bloodline behind the backbone is then cleansed through showering and brushing.

Meanwhile, for the processing of salmon roe, the company offers a comprehensive automation system that covers the separation, sorting, and cleaning of fish eggs.

“Our salmon processing machines have the potential to be well-received internationally,” Mr. Sato notes. “We hope to export machines like this and have a thriving business in regions such as Europe and North America.”

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