Hoopers Island Oyster Co. has unveiled new oyster handling equipment for high-production shellfish processing.
Manufactured at the company’s fabrication facility, the Hydraulic Bin Tipper and Outfeed Tumbler Conveyor have been designed in response to industry service, safety and production issues identified by Hoopers and other oyster growers.
“These machines are the latest in the line of innovative processing equipment developed by Hoopers Island based on observations from our own oyster farm and discussions held with other growers,” said managing partner, Ricky Fitzhugh. “Employee safety, efficient handling and dependable customer service are critical to today’s high-volume shellfish-growing operations.”
Developed at the request of Hoopers long-time customer, Little Wicomico Oyster Co., the Hydraulic Bin Tipper is capable of raising totes with up to 1,500 pounds of shellfish and automates the transfer of heavy bins of shellfish into processing equipment such as hoppers, conveyors and tumblers.
The Outfeed Tumbler Conveyor is the first model of its kind produced in the US that can be configured with one or two portable conveyors that attach to the sides of a tumbler frame verses a standard end-of-unit position. The unit integrates with Hoopers’ line of tumblers and can be modified to adapt to other models.
By resting perpendicular to the tumbler, the outfeed unit eliminates the need to stop work to change the tub or discharge conveyor, increasing the number of oysters processed from 300 to tens of thousands.