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JBT iOPS helps Öresundschark boost capacity and production hours

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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. 

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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.”

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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. 

For more information about Öresundschark AB, visit: oresundschark.se 

Find out more about JBT iOPS

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 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

Proseal innovation provides revolutionary tray-positioning solution

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JBT’s tray sealing specialist Proseal has launched a revolutionary tray positioning system – the first of its kind – that calculates the required tray-spacing set-up parameters for individual tray sealing tool-sets, eliminating the trial and error usually associated with the process. 

The new patent-pending ProPosition™ feature automatically identifies the best position for trays, to ensure the perfect alignment every time. Its advanced technology provides food manufacturers and processors with a simple one-step tool set-up, and removes the time-consuming process of running test trays through the tray sealer to ascertain the best position. Instead operators are guided through the set-up via easy to follow animated instructions on the machine’s touch screen.

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The system then permanently saves the parameters for each tool, which greatly speeds up product changeovers and avoids operator errors during set-up. ProPosition is fitted as standard to all new Proseal GT platform machines. Additionally, as part of Proseal’s ongoing strategy of futureproofing equipment, the software can be retrofitted to any pre-existing GTe or GTs machines.

“The new ProPosition system showcases our incredible engineering innovation and underlines Proseal’s commitment to being at the forefront of product development and innovation,” says Paul Watkin, Proseal Systems Development Manager. “This pioneering technology helps to minimize downtime, reduce errors and minimize waste to deliver valuable cost savings that will deliver a fast return on investment.”

Learn more about Proseal’s new ProPosition system

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