JBT’s IoT (Internet of Things) platform iOPS is continuing its expansion during the early weeks of 2021, with the first custom-built iOPS Dashboard for the JBT Stein TwinDrum Spiral Oven being successfully launched for a market leading European customer. Specialising in cooked chicken products, the customer is able to use the iOPS Dashboard to gain instant access to performance data, enabling them to achieve optimum product results and tackle any potential problems.
Using a TwinDrum Oven that started running in 2020, the customer is now able to receive minute-by-minute information from the system, which will help consistently produce the desired color and yield, explains JBT’s Manager for Coating and Cooking Applications, Bart Kivits.
“Before iOPS we had to go out to the customer to get performance data, but now we are able to view the data on our laptops through the iOPS Dashboard, which shows straightaway what exactly is going on,” he says. “For both the customer and the team at JBT, instant access to this data is hugely valuable. Customers can see what’s going on with the oven, so from the application side, they almost immediately see value.”
Improved support By being able to look at the oven performance data such as feedback from temperature sensors on any given day, Kivits says JBT is also able to better support both the customer and its own team on site. “This information shows us for example if the air was not as hot as it should be, if there wasn’t enough steam or if there are performance problems with the products,” he says.
But not only is the JBT and the customer able to look at how the oven is performing, they can also examine factors – from a laptop or telephone – such as how much energy it is consuming and how long it has been running, enabling efficiency and energy-saving improvements.
With the iOPS Dashboard adaptable to almost any JBT technology and continued positive feedback from customers, Kivits adds that expansion of the platform is only likely to continue in the months and years ahead.
Cleaning your chiller typically requires the manual labor of four employees and must be performed every night to ensure you meet stringent food processing safety standards. Sanitizing your chiller this way is labor intensive– but until recently manual cleaning was your only option. Now, there’s a better way to clean your chiller, and that’s with the automated Clean-In-Place solution from JBT.
By automating your cleaning process, you can reduce cleaning labor down to one employee who operates the cleaning system. No longer do you need multiple employees to complete this task.
One additional, very important benefit of automated cleaning is that it improves worker safety. Because workers no longer have the task of cleaning heavy equipment in confined spaces, you can eliminate human error and many of the associated accidents.
CIP technology for the JBT C.A.T. NEOCAT can improve worker safety and reduce labor costs
Recognizing the challenges of manual chiller cleaning, JBT has developed and patented Clean-In-Place technology to automate chiller cleaning. This system can reduce labor costs, enhance worker safety and even improve food safety.
In trial runs, Clean-In-Place was shown to be 100% effective in removing contamination. Clean-In-Place can be added to any existing JBT chiller – including the new C.A.T. NEOCAT Chiller.
If you’d like to learn more, about how Clean-In-Place can take your line to the next level, visit our product page or contact your JBT representative.
The end of the Covid-19 pandemic could soon – it is to be hoped – be in sight, but meanwhile it is hugely important for companies within the food processing industry to continue to drive consumer demand. One of the ways JBT is supporting such efforts is through its Food Technology Centers (FTCs), located worldwide, including one such center in Livingston, Scotland, which has been employing innovative methods to help customers test new equipment and machinery.
In fact, the Livingston FTC – along with a similar facility in Helsingborg, Sweden – has led the way when it comes to new innovations in remote testing, allowing products to be refined to customer specifications at a safe distance.
The Livingston site, close to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, was completely refitted after acquisition by JBT and today forms a fully functional technology centre. The centre includes adjacent offices and conference rooms, combining substantial testing capabilities for chilled, frozen and fresh foods all located at the company’s manufacturing facility.
Viable solutions However, in recent times the site has become an innovator in remote testing, developing solutions that are proving so viable, they could become a semi-permanent feature in the post-Covid world. JBT Livingston FTC’s remote testing services are offering customers the means to carry out testing – with effective real-time remote monitoring – without having the expense of international travel and hotel accommodation.
As JBT Regional Solutions Manager John Kelso explains, the FTC provides the service for customers when it comes to defining the hardware specifications. “Objectives defined enable our equipment setup for best targeting colour, fat rendering and succulence for example, among other attributes for best preparation and cooking to customer request,” he says. The facility covers the full process from coating, through frying and cooking to freezing, forming an essential part of JBT’s work with customers.
“In order for a customer to buy from us, we need to know the processing times for the equipment and that’s where the Food Tech Center comes in,” says Kelso. “Obviously, Covid has prevented a lot of customers from travelling, we still need to be able to demonstrate the best yield, color, consistency and appearance.”
Learning process Starting with video calls, Kelso and his colleagues experimented with a number of solutions for giving customers remote access to testing. However, it was quickly realized that a more flexible and dynamic solution than carrying a laptop around was required. “When video testing, it’s very necessary that someone hosts the local call to provide an interface between the customer and the process and is also able to act as a cameraman to demonstrate system features while the trial is taking place,” says Kelso.
In order to further compliment remote interactions, and move from the use of a laptop, JBT is in the process of creating a unique solution that will function like a customer on site. This person or “robot” will comprise a tablet and speakers mounted on a mobile, flexible stand, which is able to act as a remote customer, accompanying the team during the course of the trial and even forming part of the group during meetings. “With speakers and video-audio capabilities, the ‘robot’ is able to watch the trial more closely and can interact with us,” says Kelso.
Of course, experiencing the final taste of a product remotely is unachievable, but Kelso emphasises that other key elements of the process can be shared with the customer, namely product colour, appearance, internal temperatures and yield.
Europe-wide customer trials The FTC has – to date – successfully conducted remote trials with customers across Europe, including demonstrating the benefits of a Formcook Contact Cooker to a leading processor.
In fact, so successful has the solution been that JBT is introducing it to its FTC in Helsingborg, Sweden, and there is now talking of the ‘robot’-guided visits continuing once vaccination is widely available. “Despite the Covid situation, we still want to continue trials and it might be something that customers would like to see as an alternative and do even post-Covid,” says JBT’s Netherlands-based Manager for Coating and Cooking Applications, Bart Kivits. “The other advantage of doing a test like this is you get instant feedback. This is the next step from shooting videos and writing a report.”
Back in Livingston, Kelso believes the solution will impact customers positively, given that it is easier to ship three-four kilos of product to the FTC and log-in to a Zoom call than it is to deal with travel and flights. “We have been able to turn this problem into a solution, and customers have been very thankful of the effort we have taken to do this and very complementary about the time we have spent,” he adds.
“This solution represents a huge step forward in worker safety,” explains JBT-Prime Equipment’s Director of Marketing and Product Integration, Grant Parsons. “If you’re still removing excess gizzard lining on peeler-roller tables, you’ll definitely want to tune into this webinar.
JBT-Prime Equipment’s system comprises the GM-10000 Gizzard Processor, which can cut and clean up to 10,000 gizzards per hour, and the GR-TT Gizzard Re-Peeler for sorting and returning any gizzards to peeling machinery if any of the inner yellow lining has been missed.
“Removing the yellow lining manually can compromise worker safety,” Parsons says. “But the GR-TT Re-Peeler eliminates the danger entirely by removing the possibility of workers coming into contact with peeler-rollers.”
The solution has already been successfully implemented by gizzard processors in the US and Brazil, providing a safe, effective and profitable solution to gizzard processing.
The JBT-Prime Equipment Group Gizzard Webinar will be held on 10 December at 3 PM EST.
Utilizing production capacity to its maximum and avoiding unplanned downtime is essential for any protein producer, and having the tools in place to make this happen can bring both piece of mind and help increase profits. This was certainly the case for Swedish meatball producer Öresundschark AB, which has recorded benefits for its business from opting for JBT’s innovative Industrial Internet of Things performance optimization platform, iOPS®.
Öresundschark AB connected their Frigoscandia freezer to iOPS two years ago and since then their capacity utilization has increased significantly and made life a lot easier for Production and Maintenance Manager Johan Rulander. By having machinery connected, Rulander has been able to monitor and detect worn parts or potential issues before they become problems, enabling him to improve the overall efficiency of his operations and avoid unplanned downtime.
Öresundschark’s Johan Rulander with the JBT iOPS platform
Furthermore, Rulander can now quickly trouble-shoot and easily provide remote support to his production team when needed, by having machine and system data in real-time through an app on his mobile phone. “I can quickly identify the issue by checking the alarms and give advice how to fix it without having to drop what I’m doing and rush down to production to solve the issue personally,” he says. “This gives both me and the team piece of mind, and they are not as reluctant to call me and ask when issues arises and I’m reassured production will run smoothly without my presence.”
New methods JBT iOPS® has led to a completely new way of planning production and machine maintenance through predictive data for Öresundschark, according to Rulander, who regularly consults the live data feed on his phone. “I check how the machine has been running on the late shifts and I can see cleaning stops and estimate drying time to know when I can start-up production again in the morning,” he explains.
iOPS allows for connected equipment and operation monitoring, providing food manufacturers with new and unique possibilities to ensure sustainable and profitable growth through insights and proactive actions that would not have been possible to achieve in a profitable way before.
“I keep an eye on the air temperatures inside the freezer, and if they are running high for a longer period, we plan for extra defrost programs to maximize running time,” continues Rulander. “Over time, the freezing belt wears and overstretches and with inductive sensors I can monitor this and plan maintenance stops when I want them, and adjust it in good time before issues arise.”
Every food processing company knows that the key to a successful and profitable business is to keep production running without disruption. Every extra hour of production equals profit and money in the pocket.
“We run at a high pace and during certain periods we produce seven days a week, so at these times there is no room for downtime,” says Rulander. “Timely maintenance and proactively replacing parts before they break plays a major role in minimizing downtime and saving money.”
About Öresundschark Öresundschark AB has been a high valued partner of JBT since moving to Malmö, Sweden in 1999. A local family-owned business founded in 1997, Öresundschark’s high quality products have been awarded with the EU Ecolabel, a mark of environmental excellence. They produce a wide range of meat patties, chicken- and meatballs and supply the largest convenience retailers all over the region. Around 30 employees work at Öresundschark AB and their production plant generates 5,000 tons of fried, frozen and chilled products every year, all of which are processed using JBT equipment.
Öresundschark is aiming to expand its product portfolio to also include vegetarian alternatives and to ramp up productivity to reach a yearly production of 8,000 tons. “JBT ́s iOPS will help us achieve these targets faster by enabling us to run our production longer and more efficiently,” adds Rulander.