Weighing protein products – and prepared foods – as they go through the production process to avoid needless giveaway and product damage can be a complicated task, especially if inadequate equipment means operators are employing guesswork more often than not. JBT’s Cooling and Applied Technologies (C.A.T.) brand has spent decades building a reputation as a solutions provider that takes the guesswork out of the equation, ensuring if too much product is being given away, it can be quickly corrected.
According to Paul Combs, JBT C.A.T’s Weighing Division Product Manager, the key advantages the brand offers are reliability and increased throughput based on a solid reputation for quality, and expertise in research and engineering. “The JBT C.A.T. weighing systems provide process and flow solutions to maintain the highest quality protein products, with accurate weights and minimal guesswork.” he says.
JBT C.A.T.’s product line has a wide range, starting with QA scales for yield management, trimming and QA checks, to floor scales for weighing combo’s, pallets and multiple boxes. Baggers and bulkers can handle everything from 5 lb bags to 40 lb tubs or boxes, frequently used for marinated chicken wings, drumsticks, tenders and breasts, as well as frozen products. Bi-directional scales can be used for filling large combo’s, with minimal supervision.
C.A.T. also offers indexing scales to help regulate throughput on a conveyor line. In-motion and static check weighers help eliminate giveaway by monitoring whether operators are filling too much into bags or boxes, and are capable of checking 12-14 boxes or bags per minute (static) or 35-45 boxes per minute (in-motion). Both come with reject options.
Similarly, the CAT Tabletop Bagger is a weighing hopper scale that weighs to target as operators push product into the hopper, before dropping it into bags or boxes once it makes weight. This process can also be repeated for cryo-vac or thermoforming packaging, with product filling the pockets once it hits the correct weight and then indexing the thermoforming system.
The advantage of this approach, says Combs, “Is that removes the risk of operators filling product by hand and trying to guess whether the right amount is being bagged. “We have confidence,” he says, “the exact weight the customer expects is filled into their packing method with as little hands on work as possible.”
Combs singles out reliability, accuracy and simplified throughput as being at the core of JBT C.A.T.’s products, explaining these factors help with less monitoring and supervision while in production. “We build very reliable products,” he says. “The quality’s there, and the research and engineering has been done in the proper manner. We make a strong and conscious effort to meet our customer needs not just for the short term, but for their long term success.”
As a result, Combs continues, “When we meet with customers on how to improve their process, we keep their profitability and efficiency at the top of the list. We then mold our knowledge and experience to their application, with a solution that operates to their expectations with as little guesswork and hassle as possible. This is key and it’s what we really pride ourselves on.”