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JBT’s innovative remote testing: the solution that could have life post-Covid

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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.”

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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. 

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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. 

Learn more about JBT Research & Technology Centers

JBT Advantec M freezer helping support growth of protein industry across Asia

JBT Frigoscandia Advantec M freezer_salmon

As nutrition options have been improving across Asia in recent years, so food processors have been seeking efficient means of delivering safe protein products across borders. JBT’s latest product innovation to support this development is the JBT ADVANTEC M Modular Impingement Freezer. This technology more efficiently uses flash freezing to quickly freeze vegetables, seafood and other products.   

Maintaining freshness
“We are fortunate to be in a world where improving nutritional options are available to a wider segment of the global population,” says JBT Asia Pacific President, Marshall Coleman. “This isn’t truer than in Asia where frozen product supply chains are allowing farmers, growers, fisherman and other producers to extend the reach of high quality foods to broader elements of the population.”

Watch how salmon is frozen using the JBT ADVANTEC system

“The JBT product innovation team,” he continues, “is supporting these developments with new technology well-suited for a variety of applications. The latest development – the ADVANTEC Modular freezer – employs flash freezing as the most efficient way of delivering those products to market.” 

Improved elements
“The ADVANTEC M gives customers in the frozen vegetable and seafood markets an economical way to quickly seal in the freshness of a product before packaging,” adds Coleman. 

“Our team has improved elements of frost management, hygienic design, product height variability and unit maintenance while maintaining an economical cost. Please reach out to our commercial team and we will help you determine if the ADVANTEC M is a good fit for your business.”

Find out more about the JBT Frigoscandia ADVANTEC M Impingement Freezer

JBT debuts high capacity version of best seller GYRoCOMPACT® 60 Spiral Freezer

JBT GYRoCOMPACT 60 Spiral Freezer_ready meals

JBT is continuing to innovate and amplify its Frigoscandia line of spiral freezers and chillers by adding even more power to the GYRoCOMPACT 60 Spiral Freezer. With an increase in length to 600mm, JBT engineers have been able to boost capacity by up to 25%, while maintaining high food safety, functional reliability and ease of maintenance.

The new power-boosted GYRoCOMPACT 60 Spiral Freezer can freeze up to 3.5 tonnes of product per hour on the smallest possible footprint. With the unique Frigoscandia self-stacking belt, the foundation for all GYRoCOMPACT spiral freezers, it is not only the most efficient way to drive a spiral freezer but also the most compact in terms of footprint and headroom. 

JBT is dedicated to producing freezer technology that sets the standard for hygiene, durability and cost of ownership, says Torbjörn Persson, JBT’s Director of Value Stream and Global Product Line. “Food producers are constantly looking for ways of making their production more efficient in uptime and at getting greater capacity out of their existing processing lines to stay competitive,” he explains.

“It is expensive to expand with new production facilities to get the volumes up so the aim is to build in as much capacity as possible in existing buildings which means that compact solutions with high production output is of great value.”

JBT GYRoCOMPACT 60 Spiral Freezer_breaded products

“The secret behind the new high performance version of the GYRoCOMPACT 60 Spiral Freezer is the more powerful heat exchanging system,” continues Persson. “With just a small increase in length, 600 mm, our engineers have managed to increase the capacity by up to 25%, all while maintaining the inherent benefits of the self-stacking principle such as high food safety, functional reliability and ease of maintenance. We know our customers have been waiting for this and we’re excited to further place our customers in the forefront of their industries and help them meet and overachieve their production quotas.”

The Frigoscandia brand has been at the forefront of developing freezing technology for decades. Other JBT brands include the Stein range of ovens, fryers and coating equipment, DSI slicing and portioning systems, the Double D range of high impingement cookers and searer/grill-markers and Formcook contact and combi cookers, all of which can be integrated to suit specific applications.

JBT has Food Technology Centres near Edinburgh in the UK and Helsingborg in Sweden, where customers come to test equipment at first hand with a trained technical team.

Click HERE to find out more about the GYRoCOMPACT 60 Spiral Freezer

JBT announces webinar on tracking chicken feet for processors & exporters

JBT is launching the first in a series of free webinars on November 12 with an informational session looking at how to efficiently track – and remove from the system when necessary – chicken paws during processing.

Especially valuable for customers exporting to China, where chicken paws fetch good prices as culinary staples, the webinar will provide information on what you need to know for efficient, regulatory-compliant chicken paw processing.

You can register for the Webinar HERE

Under U.S. regulations, chicken carcasses must be inspected during processing, and those found deficient removed from the line – along with the paws. But since paws are usually separated from the bird prior to the inspection point, it’s crucial to effectively remove the correct paws. Proper paw rejection is not only key to improving processing across a facility, it can also open the door for paw exports to the China market.

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The Chicken Paw Tracking Webinar will examine efficient and cost-effective tools from JBT Prime Equipment that can make this objective a reality, with the MARS Paw Tracking and Recovery System.

“If you are processing paws, or considering getting more money for chicken paws by exporting, you will want to see this webinar,” says JBT Prime Equipment Director of Marketing & Product Integration Grant Parsons. “More and more customers are looking to export paws to China, but in order to do that they have to be sure deficient paws are being rejected during processing. This system enables you to do just that, but also gives you the means of monitoring your line so you can improve its efficiency.”

The JBT-Prime Equipment Group Chicken Paw Tracking Webinar is set for November 12 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Click HERE to register for the Webinar

Request more information HERE or click to learn more about the MARS Paw Tracking and Recovery System

JBT Thailand receives award recognition from Thai Delmar

thai delmar facility

JBT Thailand has been presented with an Award of Appreciation by customer Thai Delmar at the Grand Opening Ceremony of a new plant and facility in the country’s Samut Prakan province. JBT Customer Care Director for the APAC region, Guilherme Goinhas, received the award on October 19 in recognition for JBT’s contributions during the factory’s construction.

Formerly known as CO-OP Foods before becoming part of a Thai-Japanese joint venture, Thai Delmar has been a loyal customer since 1989, primarily for the JBT Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT Spiral Freezer range. 

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(right) JBT’s Guilherme Goinhas, Customer Care Director APAC – Protein, receives the Thai Delmar award of appreciation

Attended by Thai Delmar President and CEO, Akihiro Mikajiri, the ceremony was described by the company as a golden opportunity to thank JBT for a long-running, successful business partnership. Thai Delmar produces a number of seafood products including frozen fish and seafood meal options.

Learn more about JBT’s Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT Spiral Freezer range

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