From bakery and ice cream to poultry and meat, JBT has been a dominant force in freezing solutions for food processors for decades, delivering consistently innovative systems to meet industry needs. What continues to keep JBT on the frontline of freezing system suppliers is not so much reputation, but a focus on innovation, improvement and customer care stretching far beyond the initial sale.
Andrew Knowles, JBT’s division product line manager for freezers in North America leads pre-engineering work for JBT’s linear and spiral freezers, some of which stand three stories; measuring 73 feet long by 32 feet wide and 33 feet tall. “They can be massive semi-permanent assets at a plant with a 20+ year lifespan,” he explains.
For this reason, Knowles says JBT invests heavily in applications engineering, working closely with its mechanical engineering teams to ensure the capacity/sizing and also the hygienic design parameter are properly accounted for well in advance of executing an order.
“Our applications engineering and tech center personnel assets conduct all the field and in-house testing and we invest heavily in this resource so that the design is correct up-front – especially from a capacity standpoint,” he says. “Our applications engineering team compliments our strong freezer mechanical engineering staff, led by product design manager Meghan Wright and our customer care manager Randon Walters – “You won’t work with superior engineers,” states Knowles.
JBT’s large freezing portfolio expands across food categories, covering manufacturers of products as varied as fully-cooked: sliced and diced chicken, meatballs, sausage patties, hamburger patties, and chicken nuggets to heavy duty applications like hardening ice cream and freezing bags of soup, and we cover specialty applications such freezing waffles, pies and pizzas and cool/dry pet-food.
“We do so much in the fully-cooked arena that our hygiene standards are naturally very high,” says Knowles. “For example, pizza freezing can be a very messy application – cheese and toppings can fall / blow off – so you need a spiral that can be well maintained from a cleanability standpoint and a spiral that minimizes belt chatter and has the proper airflow solution to minimize the mess and ultimately the cleaning effort – without sacrificing capacity.”
JBT sells product lines from a basic film and plate freezer (SuperCONTACT) – which freezes the underside of foods such as raw chicken breasts – before it enters a spiral freezer for finish freezing in a GYRoCOMPACT as an example.
JBT also specializes in the Frigoscandia, ADVANTEC impingement freezer. A great chilling solution for placing a frozen crust on the surface of a primal/sub-primal cut of beef or pork prior to slicing. This portion then goes into a retail tray pack for our Case Ready initiative. “The freezer surface stabilizes the product before slicing it, so you get a nice clean cut and portion,” explains Knowles.
Among JBT’s freezer range, well-known brand names feature prominently, including Northfield and Frigoscandia. Northfield produces US designed and built LST and Super TRAK (Structure Supported Spiral Freezers), which are extra heavy duty spirals for extremely high belt loadings and high capacity projects, such as ice cream hardening and freezing family-size lasagna meals.
Frigoscandia launched into the freezer industry with success with its fluidized bed freezer, called a FLoFREEZE, which freezes products as they move through the freezing tunnel in a “boiling like bed” says Knowles. The system is principally used for freezing fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese, meats and herbs.
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