Seeing the future is our business

We envision a world where quality food is produced sustainably and affordably. By using virtual reality to simulate food production, we speed up development and minimize waste. 

That's the power in numbers.


Innovation is, and has always been, at the very heart of Marel. We invest around 6% of our revenues in research and development annually, which translated into EUR 74 million in 2018. With over 15 new solutions brought to market in 2018, it is safe to say that innovation is in the DNA of our people.

Our experts are relentless in their efforts to meet the next challenge with an effective solution. We have over 850 dedicated technology professionals located in nine countries, all of whom work in partnership with our key customers to improve the way food is processed. Our people, who are creative, passionate and brave, are our greatest asset in driving innovation. 

With each passing year, data analytics and software control become increasingly important. With its full-line offering from farm to fork, Marel is in a unique position to gather information in the global food processing industry, one of the most important value chains in the world. Our approach to innovation is not limited to mechanical engineering, but also encompasses integrated technologies and connectivity. 

Quite simply, we are focused on continually delivering solutions that add value for our customers, and also for our community, our environment and not least our shareholders.


Global trends demand innovation in food processing

At Marel, we conceive and deliver solutions that cater to a growing world population demanding high-quality food, produced sustainably and at affordable prices. On the market side, we see mega trends calling for industry-wide transformation in food processing. With automation as the driving force, we see changing dynamics emerging in the value chain, together with the need for increased flexibility and diversity in terms of end products. 

There are number of enablers contributing to the transformation in food processing, including new scalable technologies and production channels, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud services, advanced robotics and 3D printing, for example. 

We work each day on new solutions by applying and expanding our broad-based industry know-how. We are dedicated to delivering unique products and services that will shape our customers’ future business landscape. At the same time we help them create scaleable infrastructure that supports their growth and Marel’s simultaneously. To that end, we are committed to collaborative innovation with customers and partners that both speeds up the innovation process while ensuring our products add value in a way that suits their specific needs.

Product launches 2018

In 2018, we introduced over 15 new, innovative products to the market. Our significant investment in innovation of EUR 74 million, more than any of our competitors, demonstrates our commitment to transforming the way meat, poultry and fish is processed.

  • Animal wellbeing, traceability, sustainability, efficiency, and product quality all came together following the launch of our innovative and highly integrated solutions enabling the processing of 15,000 birds per hour. Innova software runs in the background to monitor all processes plant-wide and ensures full traceability. 
  • Salmon processors are constantly looking for ways to improve yield and attain a better flow. The new Salmon Deheader helps achieve this by performing high-precision cutting for optimum yield on every fish, and automatically transferring deheaded fish into our Filleting Machine. In addition, the QC Scanner enables better sorting of fillets downstream based on the quality of the raw material.
  • In the meat industry, secondary processing was boosted by a number of innovations that increased automation and improved food safety and traceability. One of the breakthrough 2017 innovations, the DeboFlex automatic deboning system, has been an incredible success, and new modules were added to the system in 2018. 
  • Twenty years ago, the Marel RevoPortioner - which reduced raw material waste to almost 0% - was revolutionary. Now, the Helix Drum Technology transforms rotational forming into continuous filling, further enhancing the RevoPortioner’s capabilities and reputation.

Smarter processing to make quality food available to everyone

The growing world population, fast-changing consumer behaviour, and a rising focus on sustainability and legislative compliance, means demands on our industry are constantly evolving. Our challenge is to make even better use of the raw material coming into the plant and ensure that the entire Marel team is focused on creating cutting-edge solutions that allow processors to deliver high-quality food at affordable prices. Insights from the digital revolution are opening up great opportunities for progress in this direction which Marel is ready to make the most of. 

Given Marel’s long history of combining software and mechanics to create innovative solutions to tackle food processing challenges, we are well equipped to fully embrace digital-age technologies. We want to ensure customers understand how to use data to support their processes and keep production at optimal levels for improved profitability.

In 2018, we worked on enablers for a successful, connected business. Central to this is our established standardized control platform, Marel Core. Once implemented, Marel Core offers simple solutions and improved service. It facilitates quick fault-finding and less need for spare parts, a higher level of flexibility for extensions and upgrades, and seamless integration of equipment and software. In this way, Marel Core enables us to implement leading industry 4.0 standards across the company. In addition, our Innova division has been scaled up to fully capitalize on the benefits of digital technology for smarter processing. 

In the coming years, in collaboration with our customers, we will follow the course laid out in our digitalization roadmap, moving from pilot schemes to proven solutions. Combining equipment, process knowledge, service and data analytics will result in smarter processing and proactive service, meaning fewer disturbances in the customer’s production process, and better support for the technicians on the factory floor.

Speeding up innovation with virtual reality

At Marel, innovation teams now use virtual reality to design and test new solutions, which increases the speed of innovation considerably. Rapid prototyping can be achieved by running a new idea in a simulated and virtual world to get immediate feedback. 

Virtual reality makes simulations more valuable, giving product developers life-like input and enabling realistic interaction without having to wait weeks or months to try a new concept. Saving on time and materials by using virtual reality in innovation allows our teams to make greater strides towards novel solutions to food processing challenges.

From one industry to another

Marel is known for applying its technology across industries. In 2018, we continued to leverage our strong innovation investments across numerous product groups, processes and geographies. A recent example of this is the DeboFlex solution, where technology for overhead transportation and positioning of raw materials originally developed for poultry processing is now applied in meat processing. 

We will continue to exploit  the synergies available to a company of our scale, scope and ambition, delivering innovative products for our customers, and creating additional growth opportunities. In particular, major opportunities lie in the secondary and further processing parts of the value chain, e.g. portioning, batching, weighing and marinating, where the processing steps are becoming more similar across industries.