Since 1993 the Intelligent Systems Group has collaborated with Canpolar East Inc. on the development of an innovative machine vision technology for applications in the fish processing industry.  A component of the research and development was carried out with the support of PRECARN Associates.

To learn more about the research and development project visit         or     parasensor

To learn more about the commercial product visit 

To learn more about the R&D partners visit  or 


The following is a profile of the PARASENSOR development by PRECARN Associates......

Canpolar East Inc.

Success Story

Machine Vision for Fish Processing ... Building on core competencies to pursue new markets
For Canadian SMEs, membership in PRECARN can serve to reorient their business strategy and create opportunities to pursue new markets. Canpolar East Inc., based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, did just that. By developing an automated fish inspection system in a PRECARN project, Canpolar is now positioned at the forefront of machine vision technology innovation for the fish processing industry.

Until the early 1990s Canpolar’s business was focussed on custom engineering and innovative product design services, including machine vision for fish processing equipment. With the decline of the Atlantic fisheries industry, the company decided to shift its focus to the development of  mass-market machine vision systems and expand its commercialization strategy to international markets in the manufacturing sector. While its vision systems for customized applications were enjoying commercial success, Canpolar felt that further R&D would be required to develop a turnkey solution for a specific problem -- automated fish filet inspection.

The North American fish processing industry generates revenues of $5 billion annually. Currently fish fillet inspection costs up to 5 cents per pound processed. A feasibility study showed that by using advanced techniques in machine vision, a significant opportunity exists to reduce this expense to less than 2 cents per pound.

With investment from PRECARN, Canpolar and several partners are now developing a prototype smart camera to address the market opportunity. The high-resolution high-speed fish classifying system will include robust image analysis software tools to assist inspectors in large-scale fish processing operations. The same technology has even wider application in other areas of food processing, a $300 billion industry in North America.

Dr. Ernest Reimer, President of Canpolar, points out “One must understand that, here in Newfoundland, we are far away from Canada’s economic centres. Every Newfoundland company knows that if we don’t pursue the opportunities to sell outside this province we will not survive."
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The Parasensor system under development will reduce plant costs through automated inspection of fish fillets.

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Ernie Reimer, President, Canpolar East Inc.

“Because we are a small company, despite our deep commitment to the technology, we simply did not have the time nor the resources required to pursue this significant international market. Since we joined PRECARN, we were able to begin implementing an important part of our business plan much more quickly, building on our work over the ten preceding years."

For more information, please contact:
PRECARN Associates Inc.
300-30 Colonnade Rd.
Nepean Ontario, Canada K2E-7J6
Telephone: (613) 727-9576, Fax (613) 727-5672