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JBT freezer upgrades: growing capacity as your business grows

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Efficient, effective freezing solutions that last decades are a JBT speciality, but as your business grows and develops, there comes a stage when more capacity is needed. However, spending on a new machine is not always necessary. JBT’s retrofit- and upgrade program can bring older freezers into the modern era in a quick, safe and very cost-effective way. 

JBT offers upgrades to existing equipment, from replacing old, galvanized coils with stainless steel versions and improved, more efficient fans to the innovative Internet-Of-Things solution iOPS, which provides an integrated, connected overview of all systems. As an optional extra, JBT’s ADF (Air Defrost) system – for tackling snow build-up in freezers – enables producers to run for longer periods between defrosts and cleaning.

JBT PRoCARE-Technician

“If it is time to increase capacity, we can extend the belt to get more production through the freezer,” explains JBT Technical Solutions Manager, Robin Wachmann. “We can also replace coils, moving from old, galvanized versions to stainless steel, which offers improved safety and higher capacity. Stainless steel coils will also give you security against future rust attacks which can lead to refrigerant leakage.”

Cost-effective
But how easy is it to upgrade older freezers? JBT engineers can modernize old freezer units with upgrades like an improved, automatically air-balanced fan system and connectivity to JBT’s iOPS system. Other additions, such as a fan motor frequency convertor, mean customers can save energy – and money – by slowing fans when 100% speed is not required.

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An upgrade or retrofit also offers significant advantages if space is at a premium or a new freezing solution is urgently required. “Sometimes when newer equipment is going to take up a larger space in a facility or if time is at a premium, an upgrade can be a good option,” says Wachmann. “An upgrade can further be very cost-effective because often the whole line is made for a certain volume of production and therefore if they just repair the existing one, everyone knows how to handle it and they know what they get.

“There’s a strong safety element to upgrades,” he adds. “With many old freezers, you can open the doors and go right into them. That is obviously not really up to today’s safety standards, so we can provide customers with an upgrade kit including a safety lock on the door and service handles.”

LEARN MORE about JBT upgrades and retrofits

JBT’s electric TwinDrum Spiral Oven: a new way to heat

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How can customers take advantage of the innovative, two-tier cooking offered by JBT Stein’s TwinDrum Spiral Oven without having to invest in large-scale heating solutions? The answer is the new electric TwinDrum, a solution which allows customers to plug directly into the grid and forego oil and gas-heated alternatives.

The TwinDrum Spiral Oven is the latest spiral oven cooking technology from JBT and builds on decades of oven engineering, it adds a uniform temperature and excellent roasting capabilities via an efficient two-zone spiral system. The TwinDrum spiral oven enables processors to increase the processing yield over existing ovens and the oven’s design enables consistent cooking of food items by uniformly distributing the hot air flow across all tiers.

“Through the electric TwinDrum, we are offering a new way to heat,” explains Stefan Paulsson, JBT’s Director of Value Stream & Global Product Line for Cooking & Linear Freezers. “We come in contact with a lot of new food producers in the world wanting to cook and fry alternative proteins, but often, for these small scale start-up producers, investing in a thermal fluid system can be quite expensive. Having an electrically-heated fryer and oven is a good and more affordable alternative for this group.”

Double savings
Until now, the TwinDrum was heated by an oil-based thermal fluid system that made use of either natural gas or electricity to heat air inside the oven. With the electric TwinDrum, Paulsson continues, customers are able to save twice: by having one single rather than two heat transformations, and by not having to invest in a separate boiler and piping. “Instead of having to pay for a thermal heating system, you just have cables that go directly into the machine,” he says.

“The electric heater is fixed in the machine, so it can be easily accessed for cleaning and maintenance, while having fixed wiring means better reliability. Electric heating also gives processors the ability to use renewable sources of energy that could help them to achieve their environmental goals or commitments.”

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Temperature controls 
Additional features available with the electric TwinDrum include proportional control for the heating elements to achieve more accurate temperature control, plus built-in connectivity with JBT’s own IoT (Internet of Things) platform iOPS, which enables the monitoring of temperature fluctuations and energy consumption across systems, meaning areas where energy savings can be made can be easily identified.

The Stein TwinDrum adds to a growing range of electrically-heated cooking solutions from JBT, including fryers, Double D Revoband ovens and the Formcook Contact Cooker. “The TwinDrum offers all the benefits of a thermal fluid-heated system: it looks the same, it’s just electrically-heated,” Paulsson adds.

LEARN MORE about the JBT electric TwinDrum Spiral Oven

Need to save money on refrigeration and add space? Meet the LVS

Looking to reduce energy consumption on freezer usage while at the same time increasing capacity? In response to a strong demand from protein customers for refrigeration solutions that meet both requirements while at the same time offering more direct control, JBT’s LVS Refrigeration™ System now offers a solution which can be retrofitted on almost all existing Frigoscandia freezers.

JBT understands the need to reduce energy consumption and save energy, and with this in mind has engineered the LVS Refrigeration System for low energy consumption and optimum freezer performance. However, the benefits of the LVS don’t only end there: the system offers substantial economic advantages, with the chance to reduce your refrigerant charge by up to 50%.

Improved efficiency
“With an LVS, you can reduce energy consumption and increase freezer capacity, which are linked together,” explains JBT Refrigerant Development Engineer Håkan Ohlsson. “You also have a reduced ammonia charge, as well as more direct control over the system.”

By having the separation of liquid and gas done close to the freezer – and not far away as in a traditional pump system – typical production capacity losses are only total 0.5% compared with between 3-5% for a pump system, says Ohlsson. “Every degree C loss is equivalent to 3% loss in freezer performance, so it’s a huge difference,” he adds.

In fact, JBT LVS Refrigeration units are up to 20% more efficient than traditional pumped refrigerant systems with a patented dry suction system that delivers more capacity from the compressor and enhanced evaporator performance; all adding up to greater freezer capacity.

Enhanced sustainability
Another significant advantage offered by the LVS is its ability to deliver an enhanced sustainability performance compared with most traditional systems. Although additional safety equipment and training is required, JBT recommends the use of ammonia with the system; a neutral gas, which has zero global heating impact. However, even in instances where CO2 is used, the LVS enables customers to reduce the charge and thus the overall environmental impact.

Retrofitting is another important feature available through the LVS, with the system designed so that almost any JBT Frigoscandia freezer can be converted. The principal benefits of the LVS, continues Ohlsson, can be summed up as reduced losses and charges, savings of space in the engine room and reduced energy consumption, plus the option of connecting additional compressors directly to the system. “Through valve control, we can control the refrigeration both for cooling, defrosting and drying, so the freezer performs as well as possible,” he says.

“It is an obvious thing for JBT to help customers improve their sustainability, and therefore development of our LVS system is important – and clearly outlined – in the JBT strategy,” Ohlsson concludes.

LEARN MORE about the JBT LVS Refrigeration™ System

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