About striving for creative solutions

Urk in Holland is one of the biggest hotspots of fish processing in Europe. Here you will find old traditional craftsmanship combined with the latest and highest level of food processing technology. Urk is known for having one of the oldest fishing fleets and is now very active in the production of a wide range of fish products, which find their way from Urk into retail worldwide.

Here we also find the salmon processing company Het Urker Zalmhuys that started in 2002 and is known for its high quality of cold and hot smoked salmon. The company has been going through a big growth the last couple of years, which pushed them in extending and rebuilding the complete production and storage facilities of their factory in the middle of Urk. This realization of growth was not always easy and is demanding a high level of flexibility and resourcefulness. One of the biggest challenges was: How can we smoke more salmon, when we are rebuilding at the same time? And an even bigger challenge was: How can we bring a brand new five trolley cross-flow universal smokehouse type REICH AIRMASTER® UKQ AIRJET in the factory, when we have no room? To handle this challenge, we combined the Urker working mentality with the engineering and equipment capabilities of the BAAIJENS ( and REICH teams. The idea: We will install a completely assembled smokehouse on a big platform, bring it on an even bigger truck to Urk and plant it at the outside wall of the factory. This challenge demanded a careful and intense cooperation between all companies and its people.

With a special transport, we brought a complete steel constructed base frame from Oss in Holland to the factory of REICH in the south of Germany. Onto this base floor, the production team of REICH built the complete smokehouse, including control unit, cooling unit, smoke generator and cleaning, so it could be lifted by a crane as a whole and transported completely for delivery at the Urker Zalmhuys facility. There we used a big crane to place the complete equipment with the base plate on the well-prepared factory grounds. The team of BAAIJENS did the further installing on site and the Urker Zalmhuys’ people closed the equipment with hygienic sidewalls and ceiling, resulting in a perfectly hygienic room to produce food. In less than two weeks, Urker Zalmhuys had the possibility to run 24/6 of smoking, with five trollies per batch and a product load on 26 levels per trolley. Like this, they can now achieve the maximum capacity of fish on one trolley and absolutely uniform, perfectly smoked products.

Looking at today’ challenges in global food processing, we see this as a case study of getting things done, when you work closely together. For us, this project as an example and blueprint of how BAAIJENS and REICH are not only handling such a project, but also how we are developing solutions together with our customers.

We do not only improve our products continuously, we also keep developing the ways we can work together and combine a high level of machine performance with excellent service.