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From demonstrations to innovations: JBT’s Food Technology Centers

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JBT’s Food Technology Centers (FTC) provide a resource where customers can view JBT equipment and solutions first-hand, see how they work, and even run their own products through the system to experience the kinds of results that can be achieved. One of the longest-established is the JBT FTC in Helsingborg, Sweden, which has served as a popular destination for hundreds of food processors for more than 40 years.

The Helsingborg FTC gives customers the opportunity to test, simulate production, conduct research, as well as optimizing and developing new applications and products using JBT’s latest processing solutions. 

“We can demonstrate equipment to customers, show them how it works, and also run their products in the machine, so it’s possible to see the results they will get,” explains Martin Andersson, JBT’s Application Manager of Value Stream Spiral Freezers and head of the Helsingborg facility.

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“If a customer is hoping to achieve a certain color with a grilled chicken piece or wants to see if it’s possible to achieve a certain coating, texture or quality on a battered and breaded product, they can visit the Food Technology Centre and we can show them what’s possible with our machines.”

Complete solution
The Helsingborg FTC started life in the 1970s as a laboratory for measuring freezing times, but as the facility has grown and added more equipment over the years, it has evolved into a resource where JBT not only showcases solutions, but also refines applications and assists customers with food product development.

The 2000m² test area is now equipped with fully functioning JBT processing equipment in order to provide customers with a complete food processing plant.

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“We are now up to a facility with the ability to run a full TwinDrum Oven, we have a Double D Revoband cooker, we have Formcook Contact cookers, coating lines, a full GYRoCOMPACT Spiral freezer and a complete Advantec impingement freezer,” says Andersson. “We can also show FloFREEZE freezers in our assembly facility, plus we have a full-size Stein TFF fryer there for demonstration, as well as a smaller FA5 fryer.”

Although it might not always be possible to replicate precisely the same pre-processing of products in Helsingborg compared with a customer’s own facility, Andersson says technicians at the FTC are relentless in trying to achieve exactly the correct taste, finish and texture.

But if the exact product cannot be reproduced at the FTC, technicians can bring equipment to the customer’s site for testing in their own environment. “We are not satisfied until the customer is,” Andersson adds.

JBT also has FTCs near Edinburgh in the UK, Sandusky, Ohio in the US, and an Innovation Center in Kunshan, China. 

Learn more about the JBT Food Technology Centers

JBT’s PRoCARE®: working to eliminate downtime from the equation

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Downtime, for many processors and producers, is an inevitable part of the production process, which – in addition to cutting into productivity, scheduling and labor hours, to say nothing of the expense – is viewed as a phenomenon that has to be endured. But what if there were a means of limiting downtime to an absolute minimum or, better still, eliminating it almost completely? This was the objective JBT Customer Care had in mind when they set about launching PRoCARE; an ambitious initiative that aims to make downtime a problem of the past for JBT customers.

Irrespective of the pedigree of systems or equipment, the need for maintenance, regular or irregular, is a fact of life. With the best will in the world, it is unavoidable that parts become worn, equipment becomes damaged, or machinery does not always perform as expected. Such occurrences often result in downtime, with production being shifted, reduced or even halted completely while the problem is fixed.

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JBT’s PRoCARE Program is focused on taking the unpredictability of maintenance difficulties out of the equation. Instead of waiting for problems to occur, JBT Field Service Engineers take preventative action as part of the program, visiting customer facilities on a scheduled basis to tackle any weak spots before they develop into a problem.

Relieving the burden
As an annual, auto-renewal program, PRoCARE offers levels of service specifically suited to the needs and wants of each plant. With features ranging from inspections, documentation and recommendations in Level 1; up to Level 5 which includes preventative maintenance, 24/7 monitoring, guaranteed response times, training and an annual pool of service and/or automation hours to use at their discretion, there is a great solution for any budget, explains Emily Lossman, Customer Care Manager at JBT’s A&B Process Systems.

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“The PRoCARE Program takes some of the burden off maintenance staff and removes the need to keep as many components on the shelf,” she says. “It also means customers will suffer fewer unexpected downtime issues and benefit from a longer equipment life.”

As well as new customers, Lossman says, JBT is reaching out to existing and previous customers, and letting them know that this is a program that can be implemented at their facilities.

Preserving reputations
The practice of preventative maintenance becomes even more important when viewed against the considerable threat posed by involuntary lapses in food safety, lapses that can lead to product recalls and potentially damaged reputations and lost clients. “Older equipment and machinery can suffer wear that can lead to potentially harmful contamination issues,” says Lossman. “Stainless steel surfaces can get scratched and these crevices can harbor bacteria that can be missing during Clean-In-Place (CIP) procedures.

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JBT can provide riboflavin testing to verify cleaning efficacy and hydrostatic or dye penetrant testing to identify flaws. They will also provide recommendations on how to maintain that level of cleanliness.

“We also check and calibrate instrumentation, which has positive implications for product consistency: we make sure instruments are correctly calibrated, so customers achieve a consistent product every time.”

In short, Lossman says the PRoCARE Program offers headache-free ownership. With JBT effectively taking care of systems and equipment during their entire active life, customers avoid the need to pull resources off key projects, help safeguard their reputation and, as much as possible, eliminate costly, avoidable downtime.

Learn more about JBT’s PRoCARE Program

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