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Taking guess work out of the weighing process


Weighing protein products – and prepared foods – as they go through the production process to avoid needless giveaway and product damage can be a complicated task, especially if inadequate equipment means operators are employing guesswork more often than not.  JBT’s Cooling and Applied Technologies (C.A.T.) brand has spent decades building a reputation as a solutions provider that takes the guesswork out of the equation, ensuring if too much product is being given away, it can be quickly corrected. 

According to Paul Combs, JBT C.A.T’s Weighing Division Product Manager, the key advantages the brand offers are reliability and increased throughput based on a solid reputation for quality, and expertise in research and engineering. “The JBT C.A.T. weighing systems provide process and flow solutions to maintain the highest quality protein products, with accurate weights and minimal guesswork.” he says.

JBT CAT 20x20 Bench Scale

The JBT CAT 20×20 Bench Scale

Eliminating giveaway
JBT C.A.T.’s product line has a wide range, starting with QA scales for yield management, trimming and QA checks, to floor scales for weighing combo’s, pallets and multiple boxes. Baggers and bulkers can handle everything from 5 lb bags to 40 lb tubs or boxes, frequently used for marinated chicken wings, drumsticks, tenders and breasts, as well as frozen products.  Bi-directional scales can be used for filling large combo’s, with minimal supervision. 

C.A.T. also offers indexing scales to help regulate throughput on a conveyor line.  In-motion and static check weighers help eliminate giveaway by monitoring whether operators are filling too much into bags or boxes, and are capable of checking 12-14 boxes or bags per minute (static) or 35-45 boxes per minute (in-motion).  Both come with reject options.

JBT CAT Static Checkweigher_small

The JBT CAT Static Checkweigher

Similarly, the CAT Tabletop Bagger is a weighing hopper scale that weighs to target as operators push product into the hopper, before dropping it into bags or boxes once it makes weight. This process can also be repeated for cryo-vac or thermoforming packaging, with product filling the pockets once it hits the correct weight and then indexing the thermoforming system.

The advantage of this approach, says Combs, “Is that removes the risk of operators filling product by hand and trying to guess whether the right amount is being bagged. “We have confidence,” he says, “the exact weight the customer expects is filled into their packing method with as little hands on work as possible.”

No second-guessing
Combs singles out reliability, accuracy and simplified throughput as being at the core of JBT C.A.T.’s products, explaining these factors help with less monitoring and supervision while in production. “We build very reliable products,” he says. “The quality’s there, and the research and engineering has been done in the proper manner.  We make a strong and conscious effort to meet our customer needs not just for the short term, but for their long term success.”

As a result, Combs continues, “When we meet with customers on how to improve their process, we keep their profitability and efficiency at the top of the list.  We then mold our knowledge and experience to their application, with a solution that operates to their expectations with as little guesswork and hassle as possible.  This is key and it’s what we really pride ourselves on.”

Click for details of the full JBT C.A.T. range

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Quality, Capacity, Reliability and Repeatability: JBT’s consistency in coating & frying solutions


Chicken schnitzel sliced closeup

Breading for poultry, fish and vegetable snacks is big business, but for processors to make an impact on the market, consistency in the quality of the breading is equally as critical as the meat, fish or vegetable contained within. JBT’s full range of coating and frying solutions are designed with quality, capacity, reliability and repeatability with superior efficiency in mind. 

A quality product results when the same batter/breading consistency is applied to products time and time again. The flexibility of JBT products allows for adjustments based on the product type or recipe requirements, according to Bob Stacy, JBT Divisional Product Manager for Coating and Frying.

Stacy singles out three JBT products as standouts: 

The Stein ProMix Automatic Batter Mixer; the Stein Heritage Breader – Super Duty; and the Stein TFF-IV THERMoFIN Fryer. All three solutions were designed to deliver quality, capacity, reliability and repeatability.

The Stein Heritage™ Breader from JBT

A fully automatic continuous mixer, the ProMix is the first step toward delivering a quality product.  The ProMix is designed to maintain adjustable batter mix ratios and offers consistency in cooling and viscosity control.

The Heritage Breader – Super Duty is easily adjustable for multiple product applications with ease of adjustments and settings for repeatability resulting in product consistency and quality.  


The TFF-IV THERMoFIN Fryer, boasts high efficiency, offers a new option for PLC control and repeatability. “The TFF-IV is a high thermal efficiency cool-heat fryer, which, is between 30-40% more efficient than a gas or electric fryer,” says Stacy.

JBT coating and frying solutions are typically used by customers in the poultry and processed food industries, in the latter case for frying and coating a wide variety of vegetable-based appetizers, including onion rings, cheese sticks, mushrooms, cauliflower and veggie patties.

Find out more about JBT’s coating and frying solutions

Lifting the load: JBT showcases efficiency-improving AGVs at Pack Expo


JBT’s line of automatic guided vehicle (AGV) systems, solutions which are enabling many high profile companies in the food sector to make substantial efficiency savings, will be centerstage at this year’s Pack Expo, which will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center from October 14-17. JBT will be showcasing the CB750, a counterbalance-style forklift AGV capable of carrying 750 kg, which will be running host-free at the show. 

What this means in practice, says JBT AGV’s Laura McConney, is that the forklift will be operating without any high-level software and will make all the intelligent decisions itself. Ideal for handling pallets, racks, and rolls, the counterbalance AGV excels in floor-to-floor transfers, and its end-mounted lift mast allows the vehicle to move multiple load types without complications.

“The AGVs handle a lot of packaging materials for customers, principally towards the end of line as packaging materials are coming off the production line,” explains McConney. “We do really well with palletised units and can also automatically load and unload trailers.”


Efficiency savings
However, one of the most outstanding attributes offered by the AGV is its ability to deliver substantial efficiency savings. Manufactured in the US – as well as the UK for Europe and China for Asia, respectively – the AGV units remove repetitive and wasteful work practices, enabling companies to redeploy resources more effectively. 

“Most of what we’re delivering to customers is labor savings,” says Mark Longacre, JBT’s applications manager for automated systems. “We think of that as allowing them to redeploy labor to where they can create more value in their process. Having people on a forklift moving products from one end of the plant to the other all day does not add value to the product. In reality, it can affect safety and often does. People get bored and careless and make mistakes, which can create accidents and personal injury, as well as plant and product damage.”

JBT will be exhibiting at Pack Expo 2018 at Booth N-4725 in Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center from October 14-17.

Click here to reserve a visit

JBT to highlight protein processing potential at CIMIE China


JBT’s protein unit will be exhibiting at the upcoming China International Meat Industry Exhibition (CIMIE) where the focus will be on highlighting how JBT solutions and systems can help support the dynamic growth of the Chinese meat industry. Organized by China Meat Association (CMA) and the International Meat Secretariat (IMS), the show will staged be Beijing’s China International Exhibition Center from September 20-22.

Stefan Axelsson, JBT’s Director of Technical Solutions & Marketing for Asia Pacific, explained that the focus for JBT at the event would very much be on protein related products and processes, such as freezing, brine injection, waterjet portioning and High Pressure Processing (HPP). “HVB (brine) injecting can make meat clean label and increase yield of product,” he said. “HPP from JBT Avure is another clean label technology which helps to extend shelf life of case ready products.”

Daniel Liaw, JBT Director of Sales – China, added: “CIMIE is China’s number one meat exhibition, so exhibiting at CIMIE is important for JBT brand awareness, engagement with our existing customers and meeting new customers. The key message we want to deliver is that JBT can contribute to the food industry revolution in China with the technology we have.”

JBT will be exhibiting at CIMIE China 2018 at Stand C8027, Hall 8 at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, China from September 20-22.

Click HERE to reserve a visit

Waterjet portioning: the cutting system that makes big savings

Cutting and preparing poultry breast meat was traditionally a time consuming, labor intensive task, prone to inefficiency and potential contamination. In this environment, the introduction of JBT’s DSI Waterjet Portioning System some 30 years ago proved revolutionary. In addition to decreasing labor costs, the System has proven to consistently improve product yield and increase productivity. DSI’s David Pfanstiel explains how the system works.

The current installed base of DSI Waterjet Portioning Systems is well over 300 Systems globally.  The DSI brand has been synonymous with leadership and innovation in waterjet portioning of boneless proteins for more than 30 years, producing systems that are equally effective in cutting poultry, fish, beef or pork, or even products as diverse as pies and pizzas.


How does the waterjet portioning system work?  The product is conveyed in and scanned. We are able to distinguish lean meat from fat for fat trimming applications. We also provide portioning to product weight and or dimensions. With the scan, we take a three-dimensional map and based on the input density, we can cut to product target weight, and into portions, strips, nuggets, or other various solutions.

After being scanned, the product data is gathered and analyzed within milliseconds for several software solutions, which can be running simultaneously. The key is we want to maximize yield on every piece cut.

DSI 800

Key benefits
The scan information is sent to the cutters, which use high-pressure water, generated by a pump. We take normal pressure water and generate that up to either 60,000 psi or 87,000 psi, depending on the application. These cutters then portion the product.  The cutters are on x-y dimensions, so they travel in both directions, cross-belt and down-belt.

The scan information tells the cutters where to move and cut the product, then the product is harvested off the exit belt.  The key benefits are capacity, yield, and accuracy.  Labor savings also provide a substantial payback, particularly as qualified labor has become a challenge in many markets.  Depending on the application, labor savings are typically between 10 and 20 people per shift.  Other key advantages are software flexibility, footprint, and life cost.

Learn more about DSI Waterjet Portioning Systems

VacCAT: delivering consistency and efficiency to the protein industry

Of all the success stories in the JBT product line, the VacCAT Product Metering System is one of the most proven and effective. Produced by Russellville, Arkansas-based JBT CAT, the VacCAT is notable for being one of the most reliable and consistent protein feed and metering systems on the market; an assertion that is more than a mere boast.

The VacCAT can be attached to virtually any system and line, ranging from injectors and freezers to fryers and breading systems, and is designed to maximize the pounds per hour throughput with consistency and efficiency.

“The VacCAT ensures uniform feeding and metering of some of the most challenging food products, whether it’s raw poultry, meat, heavily-glazed and sticky chicken wings to highly-marinated tenders,” says JBT CAT Weighing Division Product Manager Paul Combs.

Key features
One of VacCAT’s key features is metering by weight, which Combs says has proven to be more efficient and effective compared to other systems using time functions or other methods to control product distribution.


The JBT VacCAT can be attached to virtually any system and line

Another major benefit, he continues, is the VacCAT’s ability to minimize product damage through gentle product handling. Although still pumped at high capacity, the system uses lower pump speeds compared to other vacuum methods to preserve optimum product quality.

The vacuum pumps are also sized according to customer need and can be integrated with any upstream marination device, reducing the line set-up time and increasing uptime. 

Selected production capacity is also adjusted automatically to reflect the production reality through JBT’s patented weighing system and self adjusting software, while the batch dump rate is calculated and adhered to throughout the production run, transforming an alternating batch process into a continuous product flow. 

The VacCAT and other CAT systems are backed by expert training and system support, while optional ProCARE agreements additionally offer real-time analysis, reporting and preventative maintenance. 

Find out more about JBT CAT’s full range of products

XVision: the art of pinpointing contaminants


Contaminants in processed meat products – whether they be metal filings, pieces of glass or even simple chunks of bone – are not only upsetting to end consumers, they can also lead to costly product recalls and even risk ruining reputations.

Ensuring – as far as possible – that such situations do not arise at busy processing facilities has been a key objective behind the creation, and subsequent success, of XVision, an ingenious JBT system that helps overcome many of the common pitfalls associated with scanning for contaminants.

Dino Carbone, Division Product Manager – JBT XVision, explains that the system is typically used for raw and packaged protein products, including raw incoming poultry, ground meat, hotdog sausages, tray products, ready-to-eat products, pork, and bacon, among many others.

“XVision looks for contaminants introduced during the production process, as well as bone,” he says. “Typical contaminants include basic metals – stainless steel, ferrous and non-ferrous metals – but x-rays can also detect glass, bone, and dense rubbers that you see in many types of steels and gasketing.”


High sensitivity
JBT counts one of the largest food production companies in the world among its XVision customers; a company which uses some 20 XVision machines to inspect meat at its ground beef plant. XVision is also used by many leading processors in the pork sector for ham, bacon and raw pork products, while the system is gaining increasing traction in the poultry sector, scanning raw bulk poultry for bone as well as contaminants.

“One of the advantages of our machine is it can look for bone and contaminants at the same high sensitivity,” says Carbone. “Whereas most other machines lose their sensitivity to other contaminants if they are looking for bone, our machine can be tuned for both, and do both equally well.”

Another feature that has proven popular among customers is XVision’s ease-of-maintenance, even in challenging conditions. “What our customers really like about our equipment is our internal modules and their plug-and-play design, which allows local personnel to keep the unit maintained in a very cost-effective way,” continues Carbone. “They also like the fact that the machine has been designed to operate in a wet production environment. Not many machines can survive in wet production, high pressure conditions, but our machine can.”

Already available in North America, XVision will be launching in Europe and Asia in late 2018-early 2019. 

CLICK to learn more about XVision