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Meeting the labor challenge: DSI™ solutions for meat and plant-based protein

Protein processors across Europe – and indeed worldwide – have been facing enormous inflationary pressures over the last 12 months, with rising raw material and input costs presenting a major challenge to food companies; one hardly alleviated by consumer expectation of low prices. Faced with such challenges, many processors are being forced to either raise prices or cut costs, but JBT DSI offers a third option that could deliver a solution for many in the industry.

DSI™ Waterjet Portioning Systems provide a proven means of achieving substantial labor savings while at the same time increasing productivity and improving yield, and all with the help of water.

A worldwide success story, DSI Waterjet Portioning Systems are ideal for fast, effective, automated portioning of poultry, meat or seafood, resulting in a superior yield. The system is equally effective in producing portions, nuggets or chunks, fat-free product or strips, and can quickly change applications at the push of a button.

Optimizing profits
How does it work? As each piece of poultry or meat enters the DSI system, it is individually scanned to locate fat and determine shape, thickness, weight, and other attributes. Proprietary DSI Q-LINK™ Portioning Software will then optimize a cut strategy for individual piece of raw product, before computer positioned high-pressure waterjets generate complex cut shapes that make each piece as valuable as possible to maximize profits.

Incredible flexibility
“The huge advantage with DSI is that customers can save having to employ up to 50 persons on a line by installing a Waterjet Portioning System,” explains Niels Buengeler, Area Sales Manager for JBT DSI in Europe. “This is particularly important when many companies across Europe are looking to make labor-savings and more yield by investing in automation.

“The DSI Waterjet System will scan a product as it goes in, calculate the cut pattern, adapt it based on the scan and cut based on that calculation. This is a real superior technology compared to a lot of what has been previously available on the market.” 

Also worth mentioning, he continues, is the incredible flexibility offered by the DSI Waterjet System. Using built-in portioning software, the equipment can produce retail cuts and trim fat at proven belt speeds of up to 30 meters per minute. Typically achieving two percentage point yield increases, the technology is now included in more than 500 installed JBT units.

For those customers keen to try the technology out for themselves, Buengeler adds that tailored tests using DSI™ Waterjet Systems are available at the JBT Food Technology Center for Protein in Helsingborg, Sweden. 

Find out more about DSI™ Waterjet Portioning Systems

Labor-saving weighing and packing: meet the RobotGrader

Seeking a solution to labor shortages when it comes to grading, weighing, and packing chicken fillets and other protein products? The RobotGrader is the automated, high-speed, high-precision solution that does it all. Now available to customers in North America through JBT, the RobotGrader has been developed to grade products of varying weight and pack a fixed weight straight into the package, helping eliminate unnecessary manual labor in the process.

Fast and efficient in handling a variety of products from drumsticks to thighs, the system weighs, scans, sorts and packs into required tray sizes, as well as calculating the best combination of pieces to reach the target pack weight every time.

Speed and precision
Much more compact than a belt grader system and with significant hygienic benefits, the RobotGrader make use of a vision-only grading system similar to that seen in DSI equipment, and also comes with the option of an additional belt weighdeck.

According to DSI Product Manager, Alec Hewitt, the RobotGrader weighs and picks items for placement and is equally effective for bulk grading as it is for individual chicken fillets. 


“The RobotGrader is designed for tray packing in addition to grading products: it will take a product, scan and weight it, and even pick what tray it is going to go into,” he explains. 

“Let’s say a customer wants every tray to weigh 1lb and the piece moving through doesn’t meet that target. The RobotGrader will spread the product out until it finds another piece of the right weight that makes up the 1lb. The amount of speed and precision Robot Grader can maintain is really quite astonishing when you see it in person.”

Streamlining labor
JBT and Gothenburg, Sweden-based Robotgrader AB signed a formal distribution agreement in October 2021 for JBT to become the official distributor in North America, and since then have been working to get the RobotGrader ready for the North American market, says Hewitt.


In particular, Hewitt says the RobotGrader will allow North American customers to take advantage of the Net Weight Packaging system, which has attracted widespread uptake in Europe. The key advantage of the system, he explains, is that is eliminates a great deal of backroom labor for both the supplier and the end customer by removing the need for fillets or other products to be weighed and labelled in-store. 

A proven technology, there are RobotGraders installed with a wide range of food industry customers covering Europe and the Middle East, in countries including Norway, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Saudi Arabia.

LEARN MORE about the RobotGrader

Growing together: how TIPPER TIE supports small processors

For companies starting out in the meat industry – whether that be a small butcher or boutique meat producer with a line of premium products – having efficient, cost-effective processing solutions in place is key to determining if that venture can be a success. JBT TIPPER TIE offers a range of automated and semi-automated solutions that ensure quality specifically aimed at small companies looking to grow while on a reduced budget.

Designed for smaller processors, the TIPPER TIE KDCM range of equipment – much of which will be on display at the upcoming IFFA 2022 exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, from May 14-19 – has a low upfront cost but is made to be robust and reliable on a daily basis. 

“We’ve got a whole line of equipment tailor-made for small meat processors, meat lockers, or small butchers who have a variety of different products and want to have a real hand-made, high-quality look and feel to them, especially products made with premium materials or casings,” explains JBT TIPPER TIE’s Director of Product Management, Conrad Faust.

A hallmark of TIPPER TIE solutions, the KDCM line of machines are available in budget-friendly semi-automatic or labor-saving automatic versions and are designed to run and produce day in and day out, even for multiple shifts. 

Modular solutions
One of the unique things about the KDCM family of machines, Faust continues, is its ability to adapt as a customer’s business grows. “The ‘M’ in KDCM stands for Modular because much of the KDCM family was designed in a modular fashion in such a way that if a customer didn’t order a machine with a looper or a stringer, and then needs one, it is easy to add,” he says. “If you are going to add an additional machine, it will already share a lot of parts with your existing machines.”

And as companies increase their productivity, they can smoothly transfer from a KDCM to a KDCMA. Faust says both versions share similar components and operating principles, which means that upgrades can be carried out with minimal disruption for operators. Further, once customers outgrow the KDCMA range and require more industrial pieces of equipment, TIPPER TIE can offer solutions, such as the SVF1800 which offers even more throughput and features.

Worldwide support
An additional advantage for small companies is that because TIPPER TIE is a part of JBT, it has a very strong support network and expert base already in place around the globe. “If you are buying a piece of TIPPER TIE equipment, you are also buying into the TIPPER TIE and JBT family of support, covering everything from spare parts to manufacturing. We keep customers up and running,” Faust adds.

TIPPER TIE will have a range of solutions on display at IFFA 2022 in Hall 8, Stand J90, and K90 in Frankfurt, Germany, from May 14-19, 2022.

FIND OUT MORE and book at meeting with Tipper Tie at IFFA 2022

Radically reducing freezer downtime: the CleanFREEZE takes centerstage

Aiming to optimize freezer production by minimizing cold-to-cold downtime, while making sure no shortcuts are taken on hygiene and cleaning? JBT Northfield’s CleanFREEZE marks a step-forward from the long-established Northfield SuperTRAK Structure Supported Spiral Freezer by delivering a radically-reduced cold-to-cold time, along with important hygienic and ease-of-maintenance innovations. 

At its core, the CleanFREEZE takes the original SuperTRAK design and adds new hygienic features, including innovations that differentiate the CleanFREEZE freezer from other spiral freezers currently available. The comprehensive redesign not only minimizes the defrost full sanitation process, it also makes the freezer easier and quicker to clean, and reduces the risk of bacterial contamination.

Turnaround time
Perhaps most significantly, the cleaning turnaround time has been cut to four hours from an industry average of six. In the process, says John Bauer, JBT’s Freezer Division Product Manager, customers will be able to make real savings on time. “With the CleanFREEZE, customers don’t have to go through such a lengthy cleaning process so they can increase production and throughput, enabling them to maximize uptime,” he says.

Ease of maintenance
However, the time savings aren’t just limited to the cleaning process. The latest version of the CleanFREEZE features significant improvements to ease-of-maintenance, including the moving of fan motors to the exterior of the structure. “Having the fan motors outside allows customers to replace them easily if something fails while they continue to run production,” explains Bauer. “We’ve also added stairs to enable easier access to the mezzanine level, so the maintenance crews can have quicker, safer access to components on the mezzanine level, behind the coils and other areas.”

More than this, JBT has improved hygienic features across the CleanFREEZE, minimizing overlapping surfaces throughout its open-profile framework, and adopting capless rails. 

Customers will be able to learn firsthand about the CleanFREEZE at IPPE 2022, the International Production & Processing Expo, which takes place in Atlanta GA from January 25-27, 2022, where JBT will be highlighting its commitment to customers: “We’re with you, right down the line”™.

JBT will be exhibiting at IPPE 2022 in Atlanta GA from January 25-27 in Booths C12743 and C12943 at the Georgia World Congress Center. 

CLICK HERE to request more information or a meeting at the booth

The DSI Waterjet: cutting out obstacles to protein profits


Reduce labor and improve yield with innovative automated solutions from the DSI™ team at JBT. These systems – on display at IPPE 2022 – trim, slice and optimally portion poultry, beef, pork, plant-based protein, fish and even bakery products; in the process cutting out obstacles to having a profitable protein business.

DSI Portioning Systems employ machine vision technologies to scan food products and determine product shape, weight, and fat; preplanning and optimizing each piece for maximum value before the first servo-driven automated cuts take place. DSI systems cut with high pressure waterjets, horizontal blades, and vertical blades to maximize yield processor profit. 

More Solutions More Efficiently
JBT will display and demonstrate the DSI 800 S series Waterjet Portioning System at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta GA from January 25-27, 2022. The DSI display will highlight the latest advances in high-yield waterjet portioning as well as an efficient and rugged new intensifier pump technology proprietary to JBT that uses 40% less power to deliver 4000 or 6000 bar water pressure. 

High-Yield Adaptive 3D Portioning (A3D)
The DSI 800 Series Portioning System is complemented by the DSI Adaptive Slicer 3D™ to achieve high-yield portioning of large-bird input product. The system combines waterjet cutting with intelligent horizontal slicing to achieve three-dimensional portioning. The new Adaptive slicer features wider lanes and improved systems to adapt to shape and size variation of incoming product to maximize yield.

“With the A3D system we have the ability to portion double weight product to template on the waterjet and then we intelligently horizontally slice the product to generate a top and bottom portion,” explains Dave Faires, DSI Director of Applications and Portioning Segment Leader. “For some applications we achieve six or eight shape-and-weight controlled portions from the original input product.”

JBT DSI Dual Robot Harvester

Labor Saving Solutions
The DSI portfolio includes labor reducing solutions for poultry processors serving quick service restaurants or retail products. The popular DSI Dual Robot Harvesting System (DRH) (pictured above) reduces the labor required to separate portions from value added elements of the portioning process such as nuggets, chunks or strips bound for downstream bulk processing such as marination. 

The latest innovation in the portfolio is a proven and exclusive solution for net weight packing and tray packing and high speed sorting or “calibrating” of fillets. JBT is introducing the proven Robotgrader system, updated and tuned for the needs of the North American market under an exclusive distribution agreement. This automated system scans product to determine shape and orientation, weighs the product in motion, and then robotically picks and places product according to maximum value at the highest production rate available in the least space required for such a solution. 

“All four DSI solutions will be on display at the expo, alongside a video kiosk demonstrating our applications and our JBT remote support and IoT solution, called iOPS,” Faires adds.

JBT will be exhibiting at IPPE 2022 in Atlanta GA from January 25-27 in Booths C12743 and C12943 at the Georgia World Congress Center. 

CLICK HERE to request more information or a meeting at the booth

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