The Integrated Marine Systems (IMS) design and manufacturing facility was originally located in the Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven. The company’s founding owners had a background in commercial fishing and so they focused on designing and building refrigeration equipment for fishermen.
In 1989 the company’s first product, the Port Townsend HydroChiller, went into production. The HydroChiller was a success, meeting the needs of fishermen in Alaska and on the West Coast. Since then, IMS has built a solid reputation on making refrigeration simple. In addition to serving commercial fishermen, the IMS product line has expanded to provide chilling and freezing solutions for seafood and food processors in many markets. Refrigeration equipment from IMS is now being sold in Alaska, the West Coast, Gulf of Mexico, the East Coast and in select locations internationally. IMS equipment is known for seamless integration into existing infrastructure, as well as its ease of installation, operation and maintenance.
In early 2009, IMS acquired Wescold. Wescold’s refrigeration product lines and parts infrastructure serve to complement the core product development and manufacturing business of IMS. Wescold has served the seafood industry, as well as the agricultural industry, since 1913. Manufacturing of select Wescold products is now done at the IMS production facility.
IMS moved all operations from Port Townsend to Seattle in 2013. This location is now serves as the headquarters of both IMS and Wescold.
Commercial fishing in Alaska is in our blood at IMS. The founding owners fished Alaska and our first products were developed to meet the unique demands of smaller vessels that fish in areas like Bristol Bay. Statewide, boats of all sizes utilize IMS RSW systems. Alaska processors were among the first to benefit from the FastFreeze portable tunnel production freezer, with its ability to streamline production, reduce costs and provide superior product with its ability to freeze quickly.
For West Coast tuna, there is a special need to chill or freeze immediately upon harvest due to their warm body temperatures. To meet this unique need, IMS developed multiple solutions, one being the Hatch Mount Blast Freezer that drops in for seasonal conversions for those that work multiple fisheries. The troll fleet (hook and line caught wild salmon), have been able to develop a niche market to high end consumers with with onboard blast freezing products from IMS. West Coast processors use IMS RSW for chilling seafood (i.e. holding oysters or cooling cooked crab) and utilize our FastFreeze tunnel production freezers for a variety of fish, including tuna, black cod and salmon.
Gulf of Mexico
In the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, shrimp fishermen are presented with the challenge of maintaining the quality of their catch in a warm climate - maintaining quality is critical with competition from inexpensive farmed imports. Systems developed by IMS allow shrimpers to catch, process, package and freeze their shrimp onboard – avoiding the degradation that is common in warm weather areas. Shrimp processed and flash frozen onboard aren’t subjected to the unstable temperatures or bruising that can be caused by using most types of ice. In addition to selling their catch to processors, fishermen can also sell their flash frozen-at-sea shrimp directly to consumers and specialty retailers across the U.S.
The Northeast markets for fish, crab, scallops, clams and lobster are served by IMS in a variety of ways. IMS builds onboard live delivery systems for lobster and crab; these are proven successful at achieving near zero dead loss. Fishermen often travel great distances to harvest their catch and these live holding systems provide continual flow of new water and aeration which allows them to stay on the fishing grounds longer. In processing plants, product can be held alive and healthy for scheduled shipments to distant markets. The scallop industry utilizes our chilling systems for holding product until it can be processed and frozen – both onboard fishing vessels and at onshore processing plants.