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JBT Proseal’s ProVision: a key tool in limiting downtime

Proseal tray sealing ProVision Press images laptop machine line_small

Downtime can be a challenge for processing companies across the protein industry. But during these difficult times when many have been faced with worker absences, unexpected stoppages can be especially problematic, putting pressure not just on processors but on supply chains as a whole. JBT Proseal, which has a strong record in packaging innovation, believes its innovative downtime analyzer, ProVision, could help combat downtime while improving productivity across an entire facility.

Enabling managers to have a detailed view of all production lines, ProVision functions as a virtual dashboard, giving a picture of filling and sealing in real time, and pinpointing any problems as and when they occur. 

 “If you are the CEO of a business and you have 10 production lines and one of those has failed for a day, you will want to know about it,” says Proseal’s Head of Sales & Control Systems, Tony Burgess. “If, in all your 10 production lines, for one minute of every hour the line stops because of a failing piece of equipment, in a month’s time that will could have added up to one day’s lost production.

“ProVision will capture all of these micro instances and build a series of data. It will tell you exactly the downtime and cause of downtime over the last 24 hours. It allows the user to focus attention on the piece of equipment on the production line that is causing the downtime and do something about it, so it has an enormous productivity benefit.”

Emerging trends
A further area where Proseal sees an opportunity is in the booming online market for food ingredients and ready meals driven by increasing consumer interest in cooking at home. Proseal, Burgess reveals, is supplying eco-friendly Halo tray forming equipment to Dineamic, an Australian company which delivers chef-cooked meals to consumers across the country. “Dineamic produces their own foods, seals them with Halo pack trays made in house with a Proseal tray sealer and then sends them mail-order,” says Burgess. “Similar work is being done in other geographic locations.”

However, such developments are not just taking place in the food industry. Proseal, Burgess adds, is currently working on a project in the Netherlands for online flower orders by designing packaging options suitable for sending flowers by mail-order.

Learn more about Proseal’s ProVision

JBT GYRoCOMPACT 70 Spiral Freezer presents advances in safety & space optimization

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Increasing capacity and throughput while improving food safety are key considerations when it comes to replacing industrial freezers, but companies can face expensive rebuilds to accommodate new machines. Recognizing space is often at a premium, JBT’s new Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® 70 Spiral Freezer has been developed to optimize capacity, as well as enhancing food safety and throughput. In fact, the GYRoCOMPACT 70 is more compact than any of its predecessors, yet offers 20% more capacity and a belt width of 700mm.

Torbjörn Persson, JBT’s Director of Value Stream & Global Product Line for Spiral Freezers, says the new GYRoCOMPACT 70 marks a significant advancement on previous versions, with the emphasis very much on boosting food safety, throughput, capacity and sustainability. “The GYRoCOMPACT 70 still has the inherent self-stacking capabilities but we have made it more hygienic and easier to clean,” says Persson. “One big change is that all of the profiles on the machine are now open, so you are able to clean all of the parts inside.”

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Throughput has been improved, he continues, by speeding up the defrosting process through additional features including a new ventilation hatch and LVS QuickDry technology. The GYRoCOMPACT 70 further reduces water and energy consumption, improving sustainability in the process, by operating longer between defrosts and limiting the time it takes to carry out a defrost, which would typically consume a great deal of both energy and water.

Improved capacity is also a key advancement. Despite the freezer’s compactness, says Persson, JBT has been able to increase capacity by getting more belt into the GYRoCOMPACT 70, while the level of the freezer has also been lowered to boost interior space. “We are able to get more products into a single unit, although we still allow for products that are 50 mm in height,” he explains. “Many companies have existing facilities that the freezer needs to fit into, so size is very important. This machine can fit into the same space as an old machine, but with the advantage that it includes more capacity.”

The GYRoCOMPACT 70 has a wide range of freezing applications, covering everything from bakery to poultry and pizza, and is available across Europe and Asia.

Learn more about the Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® 70 Spiral Freezer

JBT takes next steps in spiral freezing

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As a global technology equipment supplier to the food processing industry, JBT has launched its new Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® 70 Spiral Freezer which, the company believes, is set to take food-focused freezing to the next level. 

The new freezer has a belt width of 700mm and is more compact than any of its predecessors, yet offers up to 20% increased capacity. Designed to be both sustainable and hygienic with a number of new streamlined features to further eliminate food traps and maximise food safety, the new freezer joins the GYRoCOMPACT 700mm product line which has sold over 1,700 units world-wide. The new freezer is also iOPS-ready to enable peak optimisation.

The JBT Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT 70 Spiral Freezer

Customer feedback, combined with its pioneering of the self-stacking spiral belt, are what drive the development of the Frigoscandia brand, as Torbjörn Persson, JBTs Director of Value Stream and Global Product Line, explains: “Customers continue to require increased food safety, combined with higher efficiency in uptime and capacity.

“Of course, most industrial freezers are quite large, so the need to have food-safe freezers is really important when looking at a full food production line. One key factor is that the freezing process itself doesn’t limit growth of bacteria on contaminated products, but only stops it momentarily. This is one reason why optimized hygienic design has always been our top priority. Floor joints, reduced overlapping surfaces, reduced visible threads and pop rivets are just some of the innovations.

“We’ve also seen a clear trend for more variation in the products our customers produce, which enforces the need for flexible production lines. For example, we can now increase the capacity for chicken nuggets from around 4000 kg/hr up to 4,800 kg/hr.”

Many customers are also faced with high investment costs if they are planning to build new production facilities, says Persson, so their aim is how to put more capacity into their existing buildings. Designed for production rates of between 1.5 and 5 tons per hour, the freezer can be utilised for existing frozen food applications, while also having benefits for plants with space constraints, as its headroom has been reduced by 600mm.

Quicker drying functions, optimized airflow, less drive forces, and savings of up to 75% in oil consumption are just some of the features JBT has introduced, with further innovations in the pipeline. JBT’s iOPS system, its version of IoT (Internet of Things), analyses data in real time to maximise uptime and productivity.

“Our current developments are focused on food safety, efficiency and uptime,” adds Persson. “The Europe frozen food market is expected to reach well over 17 million metric tons by the end of 2026. We want to be ready for that.”

Learn more about the Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® 70 Spiral Freezer

JBT Formcook: boosting yield for protein processors

JBT Formcook is one of the undoubted pioneers of contact cooking, the innovative method for sealing moisture into protein products by employing teflon belts, which can improve both yield and flavor. However, in spite of the challenging situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Formcook is continuing to help new and established customers start up new cooking lines, thanks to JBT’s effective remote support options.

Originally established in Helsingborg, Sweden in 1989, Formcook became part of JBT in 2014, by which time the company had gained a strong reputation as an innovator in contact cooking. In fact, the original concept was developed and adapted by Formcook founder, Winje Green, during a visit to the US in the company’s early years in the process becoming the first oven manufacturer to use a moving teflon belt for cooking.

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Significant advantages
Lars Håkansson, JBT’s Sweden-based Regional Application Manager for Formcook explains that the use of a teflon belt gives Formcook’s two models – the Contact Cooker and the Combi Cooker – significant advantages over other belt-based cooking systems. “The system functions much life a teflon pan at home by bringing together a teflon belt over a heating plate, and as a result the products don’t stick,” he says. “You can put egg on it and lift it off very easily. Compared with a mesh belt, the product doesn’t stick.”

The Formcook teflon system is principally used to set the surface of protein products such as chicken fillets to prevent moisture or yield loss when they move on to a main oven. “After the contact cooking, we run the chicken fillet into an oven and it will not stick to the surface because we have closed the top and bottom surfaces,” explains Håkansson.

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“That makes it first of all more juicy because you have a closed surface so moisture is kept inside. Also, by not sticking to the belt, you achieve a higher yield because normally if you put a raw product on a wire belt, 2-3% of the product will stay on the belt.”

Learn more about JBT Formcook

JBT AGVs: the new solution to labor challenges

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Across the protein processing industry, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on traditional labor sources, with illness-related worker absences and localized outbreaks being felt keenly in poultry and meat processing plants. Given this pressure it is perhaps unsurprising that there has been an increase in interest in JBT’s innovative AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) range; a solution that enables companies to save labor for higher value tasks and safeguard social distancing.

More than simple robotic systems, JBT AGVs feature an advanced navigation system which creates a virtual map of the surroundings in which it operates, allowing it to safety move around the working area. Further, JBT AGVs now come with 2D and 3D cameras for safe positioning and vertical stacking of pallets above the level of the AGV. 

ROI advantages
According to Mark Longacre, Application Engineering Manager for JBT’s AGV division, JBT has received more inquiries, more frequently since the start of the pandemic, with companies having become more aware of the labor- and ROI-related advantages offered by the AGVs. “I think the whole ROI picture is changing,” he says. “Companies in the past were looking at it purely as a financial equation, but now I think they are starting to understand some of the risks with the labor force. You want to save labor for the highest value added task and driving forklifts is not something where you have to use labor.”

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Increasing interest
Growing awareness of challenges in the labor market have led to increasing interest in JBT AGVs from meat and poultry processors, with many companies looking to introduce more automation. “On the poultry side, there is interest in using the AGVs at the in-feed of the processing plant and at the end of line, where things have been processed and we are carrying pallets out,” says Longacre.

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There has also been an expansion in the use of AGVs from manufacturing areas – where the vehicles would be used to move raw materials or finished goods – to warehousing and distribution. “In the past, AGVs were more of a horizontal transport solution and now they are getting much more vertical where we are storing in warehouses, in some cases quite high,” continues Longacre. “It’s not to say that those manufacturing applications have gone away. They really haven’t, but now we are also seeing this growth in the warehousing side.”

As demand for different applications has grown, so has the advancement on what Longacre describes as natural environment navigation, where the AGVs create a baseline map by sensing the features and contours of the surrounding environment. “As the AGVs operate, they compare what they see with their sensors to that baseline map, and accurately navigate in that environment,” explains Longacre. “By recognizing the natural environment and not adding special navigation aids or markers, it makes installation quicker and less costly.”

Learn more about JBT AGVs

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