Turnover rates within maintenance teams can be a challenge for food processors across industries, particularly when it comes to keeping valuable equipment and systems in good working condition. One area where this is particularly important is in the management of freezers, with obvious hygiene implications, and potential downtime if proper maintenance is not carried out.
JBT’s Northfield freezers have over 40 years of development, engineering and field proven expertise, which have led to today’s trusted Northfield brand of structure supported spiral freezers. However, with maintenance challenges in mind, Northfield has increasingly focused on solutions that both simplify the ongoing care of units and improve overall hygiene.
“A key R&D focus for JBT is ease of maintenance and hygienic improvements for our Northfield freezer particularly with the high percentage of turnover of maintenance teams within the food processing industry,” explains Sara Porosky, JBT’s Division Product Manager for Freezers. “This can be very frustrating for processors as properly and regularly maintained equipment and maximized uptime are critical to a successful operation. ”
With more than 1,000 freezers installed across North America, JBT’s Northfield brand is one of the most trusted brands in the freezing industry, and JBT continues it’s focus on innovation to meet the challenges and needs of today’s food processors. “We have completely redesigned the interior of the Northfield structure supported freezer and incorporated new hygienic features,” says Porosky.
“Leading the upgraded hygienic design is a more open-profile structure where we have reduced the amount of hollow membranes in the freezer to resolve potential water entrapment. We also have a direct drive, and a friction drive option for processors requiring greater drive system flexibility.”
Easier to both clean and inspect, the upgraded Northfield freezer also features a fully welded drum bar, to reduce overlapped surfaces, substantially decreasing areas where microbes can multiply. Other hygienic features include a capless track system to enable ease of cleaning and inspection, and a bullet-style leg to reduce the amount of exposed threads, which again significantly reduces opportunities for micro-organisms to grow.
“With maximized uptime and enhanced hygiene in mind, we’ve modernized and expanded the good design of the Northfield freezer to suit the ever-changing and challenging requirements of today’s processors” Porosky adds.