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Proseal solutions help deliver soft fruit sustainability

JBT Proseal’s advanced tray sealing machines are helping berry growers in the UK meet ever-increasing demand for soft fruit – which has been strong during the pandemic – by providing high quality, flexible sealing solutions that also deliver on sustainability.

As soft fruit volumes continue to climb, and with the market for UK-grown fruit now estimated at over US$944 million (£670 million) a year, packaging manufacturers are seeking flexible solutions to meet demanding high-speed requirements. Equally important is the need to minimize packaging materials without impacting their effectiveness to provide product protection.

Proseal offers manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic tray sealers, designed to be both flexible and maximize speeds and efficiencies. In addition, Proseal’s two-minute rapid-tool-change means a wide range of tray formats, materials and sizes can be sealed on one machine, allowing customers to quickly switch from one tray type to another.

“Our tray sealing machines offer fruit growers greater flexibility to seal different designs and sizes of trays with efficiency and accuracy,” explains Proseal sales director Tony Burgess. “This, combined with our innovative technologies and production lead times, make us a world leader in tray sealing soft fruits.

ProMotion™ our continuous infeed technology, for example, has the potential to increase the speed of a tray sealer by up to 30%, while creating calm machine operations which ensure a smoother, more stable journey to the sealing station. This is particularly beneficial to delicate produce, such as soft fruit.”

Proseal also manufactures a diverse and customisable line of intelligent conveyor systems, designed to create ultimate line control and optimisation and therefore perfect for the fast-moving soft fruit industry.

The company has pioneered several important sustainability initiatives throughout its 23 years. Proseal was the driving force behind the replacement of traditional clam-shell punnets with top film sealed varieties, which has now become commonplace in soft fruit markets across Europe and now North America, helping to minimize plastic usage by 45% in most cases. More recently, the company has been at the forefront of introducing new recyclable, compostable trays and film for fruit that can further reduce plastic usage by as much as 96%.

“Proseal continues to strive to develop the most effective and sustainable sealing solutions for its customers,” concludes Tony Burgess. “We are proud of the many innovations we have developed for the effective and efficient tray sealing of soft fruit. And we will continue to develop the appropriate technologies to help support sustainable solutions that deliver quality.”

Learn more about JBT Proseal solutions

JBT Avure’s Tilt Basket Unload Station: fast, efficient HPP unloading

JBT Avure has introduced an innovative new basket unloading system – the Avure Tilt Basket Unload Station – for customers using its High-Pressure Processing (HPP) technologies that has been designed to boost processing speeds while at the same time reducing labor costs and improving workplace safety. 

With an estimated average labor savings of 59 hours per week, the Tilt Basket Unload Station tilts up to 45 degrees for easy unload following HPP processing, which assists the efficient and easy removal of product from the HPP basket.

Main benefits
According to JBT Avure’s Tim Boyle, the system has two main benefits: it will reduce labor costs by speeding up the unloading of baskets, while its use of ergonomic unloading means there is less chance of workplace injuries.

As Boyle explains, after the basket leaves the vessel, it moves to the end point before being tilted so that the product empties onto a conveyor for downstream processing. This has the result, he says, of both making unloading faster and improving overall productivity, while the system’s design will save valuable floorspace. 

Learn more about the JBT Avure Tilt Basket Unload Station

JBT center of excellence move will accelerate filler development

JBT has announced the moving of its center of excellence for Level & Weight Fillers from its previous JBT Amsterdam, Netherlands location to its business unit in JBT Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, as part of a strategy to speed-up the development of new generation fillers.

With more than 50 years’ experience delivering fillers for the food industry, the transfer of the center of excellence to the Sint Niklaas site will add vast experience to JBT’s level and weight filling solutions, according to JBT Customer Care Manager Chris Deckx.

“Centralizing the Level & Weight Fillers in the Belgian factory will accelerate the development of the new generation fillers and result in additional options and upgrades increasing the efficiencies and utilization of the existing equipment,” he said.

“We are thus very pleased to inform that transition has now been completed with the moving of services and spare parts, and we are now able to serve customers from our JBT Belgium location going forward.”

Contact JBT for Service Assistance

JBT PRoDOSE brings safety and efficiency to post-harvest process

The preparation and application of post-harvest treatments and waxes has long been a time-consuming, labor-intensive process for fresh citrus producers, and one that typically means workers have to handle large quantities of chemicals. JBT’s new PRoDOSE system has been designed to tackle all of these concerns, bringing an extra dose of safety and efficiency to the post-harvest process.

Time-consuming
For producers of primarily fresh citrus, a wax-based food coating is conventionally mixed with one containing fungicide properties, before being pumped through an application system. However, the measurement of the chemicals – and the mixing itself – is typically done by hand, meaning that the whole process can take hours at a time.

“It’s very labor-intensive,” explains JBT California citrus specialist Dana Dillard. “The wax coating has to be measured out by hand and mixed in a 300-500 gallon tank, which can take a person two-three hours, and this process is carried out every day or every other day.”

Cost reduction
PRoDOSE takes the full-strength fungicides and meters them into the food grade coating with extreme accuracy through connecting valves and piping; a blending process which can be carried out at a rate of 25-30 gallons at a time, which allows for faster chemical changes based on market trends and decay pressures.

“PRoDOSE reduces the safety hazard of blending the chemicals, cuts down the burden of a very labor-intensive task, and reduces the overall time needed for the blending process,” says Dillard. 

Learn more about JBT’s PRoDOSE system

iOPS Dashboard: the remote support tool that can reduce downtime

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact across all sections of industry, changing working methods and practices, including in food and beverage processing. Although vaccines are slowly being distributed, the ‘new normal’ remains in place, meaning that new maintenance and analysis solutions are also necessary.

One such highly-effective solution is JBT’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform iOPS, which has recently introduced the iOPS Dashboard for the JBT Lubricator for the Hydrostatic Sterilizer, working in conjunction with customers. A remote analysis, monitoring and support tool, the iOPS Dashboard helps to improve support, aid maintenance, reduce downtime, isolate alarms, prevent delays and keep factories running efficiently.

Consolidated view
The iOPS Dashboard provides customers – at a safe, remote distance – with a consolidated view of points of concern, including all alarm points, production rates, run-time efficiencies, upcoming and past schedules, and the current status. This provides vital information such as both actual running production speed, and real-time utilization rates of the Hydrostatic Sterilizer, explains JBT Software & Project Engineer, Rick Ripley.

“Customers can optimize their maintenance load by studying information provided by the iOPS Dashboard, including how many revolutions have taken place since the last lubrication,” says Ripley. “This almost gives them intuition and acts like an early warning system for failures.”

First year free
The iOPS Dashboard, which is available free for the first year and then on an annual subscription basis, provides the data needed to carry out a qualitative analysis of the last cycle, alongside alarms that tell managers if any area is in risk of failure, and a series of widgets that give an overall picture of how the machinery is running.

“The report gives managers all the information they would want to know,” says Ripley. “This includes information such as when was the last time the system ran, how many pins have been lubricated, along with the history. It tells a manager how their maintenance is going on a machine.”

He adds: “People can monitor their machines without having to be at the factory. For now and into the near future, remote working will continue to be the new normal and plants are feeling it too.”

Learn more about the JBT iOPS Dashboard

JBT HPP Webinar: learn about the benefits of HPP Tolling

Whether you are a smaller company interested in learning more about the advantages of High Pressure Processing (HPP) or a larger business looking to invest in the technology, JBT Avure will be hosting a webinar examining HPP and the business of HPP Tolling. For smaller companies keen to benefit from HPP, tolling offers more cost-effective access to the technology.

Taking place on Wednesday January 20 at 9 AM EST, 3 PM CET, the JBT Avure HPP Webinar will provide a chance to hear from both sides of the tolling process from speakers Joakim Lungren, CEO of HPP Nordic, and Tanya Lambert, founder of the UK-based Tanya’s Just Real juice company.

As the owner of a leading European tolling facility, Joakim Lundgren will be talking about the business aspect of running such a center, while Tanya Lambert, who uses HPP Nordic for pasteurizing the Just Real range, will be talking from an end-user perspective of taking a product to a tolling facility.

Affordable alternative
“The focus of the webinar will be on the tolling aspect of our business,” explains JBT Avure’s Lisa Wessels. “Tolling is ideal for smaller companies that can’t afford to buy machinery or put in production lines or don’t have factories. They can take their product to a toller and pay to have their product High Pressure Processed.”

She adds: “We would love for more companies and more entrepreneurs to open tolling facilities anywhere in the world, and we’d like smaller companies who maybe think they can’t afford HPP to know you don’t have to be a big company to use this technology.”

The JBT Avure HPP Webinar will take place on Wednesday January 20 at 9 AM EST, 3 PM CET

Register HERE for the webinar

JBT wins strategic order for Precifill Weight Filler in Asia Pacific

JBT has won a strategic order for the high-accuracy PrecifillTM Weight Filler in the Asia Pacific region, underlining the importance of the technology to companies in the dairy, juices and infant formula industries. In this particular instance, the Precifill will fill juices and dairy alternatives in glass bottles at 36,000 cph.

A non-contact weight filling system, the Precifill is an extremely accurate solution which minimizes product give-away. The filler, which is equipped with effective Clean-in-Place provisions, handles plastic and glass bottles, plastic cups, glass jars and cans, and can be equipped with a conditioned filling space to meet hygienic filling requirements.

Historical success
In 1990, JBT SFDS – then known as Stork – installed its first Precifill Weight Filler for white milk in bottles. Since that time, Stork and JBT have built hundreds of weight fillers, the majority of which have been installed in the dairy, juices and infant formula industry.

Following JBT’s acquisition of Stork in 2015, production of the rotary weight filling product line was transferred to the JBT St Niklaas plant in Belgium. JBT Sint-Niklaas has a 70+ year history of building and servicing rotary fillers and closers for cans, jars and bottles and is JBT’s global center of excellence for non aseptic rotary filling technology.

Industry growth
Since the early 1950’s Asia Pacific has been a key market for JBT’s rotary fillers, largely driven by the growth of the dairy industry in the region, according to Bart Mertens, JBT Product Line Director for Filling and Closing technologies. 

As well as the Precifill Weight Filler, JBT’s range includes the rinser and capper – in monobloc configuration together with the weight filler – the integrity checking and reject system, and the CIP (Clean-In-Place) kitchen.

The Factory Acceptance Test for the Precifill at JBT Sint-Niklaas is planned for Q2 2021, with installation projected to follow in Q3 2021.

Learn more about the Precifill Weight Filler 

Fresh opportunities ahead for TORR’s Engi-O system

The growth of new coffee products, such as Cold Brew, and consumer demand for fresh orange juice are likely to present increased opportunities for innovative bag-in-box filling systems from one of JBT’s newest alliance partners, TORR Industries. The company’s simple-to-operate solutions complement existing JBT technologies and are expected to help support the growth of innovative projects in the retail and foodservice sectors.

A design and manufacturing business based in Redding, California, TORR, which also markets aseptic filling machines under the Engi-O brand in Australia, specializes in bag and box packaging systems, and has grown to become one of the major vendors of filling machines for 1.5 to 5 liter packs worldwide. 

TORR technologies at customer BEL-OBST’s Belarus facility

Secure system
As TORR Sales Director Chris Rutter explains, TORR’s low acid aseptic Bag-in-Box filling system complements JBT’s portfolio of aseptic bag filling technologies, covering a wide range of products from wine to milk, cream and soups. 

TORR’s Engi-O double-membrane aseptic filling process utilizes steam and high temperatures to ensure a sterility assurance level validated by the FDA. Capable of filling 2-1500 liter containers for shipping, the closed system guarantees that sterile products like milk, cream, coconut water or vegetable pulps are not exposed to the outside atmosphere at any stage. “Any sterile liquids can safely and securely packed, meaning they can be transported without refrigeration whilst maintaining their shelf-life and complying with food safety requirements,” says Rutter. 

Emerging opportunities
“This is a very simple system and way less complicated from a machinery point of view,” he continues. “We can take the bags and put them into the boxes, so while JBT does the processing, we do the aseptic bag filling and can do also the boxing.”

Rutter views Cold Brew coffee and fresh fruit juice as being two of the most significant emerging opportunities for the technology. In the former case, Cold Brew – which provides the coffee taste without much of the bitterness – is a low-acid product that requires aseptic filling to be shelf stable. In the case of fruit juices, Rutter says being able to fill aseptically will enable retailers to be able to sell more fresh orange juice instead of the hot fill product present on most store shelves. Significant opportunities also exist on the foodservice side for ice cream mixers and fruit juices found in many fast-food outlets.

JBT Alliances
Liquid Foods Alliance Program is a growth platform allowing JBT to bring cutting-edge technological solutions to JBT customers. These solutions are typically sustainable, cost-effective, commercially viable, and complementary to the core JBT products. TORR and Engi-O alliance products are helping JBT offer a versatile solution for both low-acid and high-acid food products in a variety of packaging formats. Since the formation of alliance, JBT has received interest from customers for juice, dairy, coffee, and plant-based beverages. The TORR alliance has provided an excellent opportunity to the JBT team to engage with its customers at a deeper level, helping JBT close the technological gap and develop a thorough understanding of the customer value proposition in the aseptic filling market segment.

Learn more about TORR Industries’ solutions

More information about BEL-OBST can be found here

JBT keeps focus on sustainability with energy-saving systems

Sustainability has always been a key focus for JBT, and throughout 2020 there has been a large emphasis on improving and promoting sustainable practices both within JBT and externally across the food and beverage industry. JBT has continued to innovate, offering new and existing technology that can significantly boost customers’ sustainability credentials.

JBT’s sustainability drive is focused on four central pillars: providing solutions that reduce the total cost of ownership by enabling companies to become more sustainable in the use of energy, water and steam; solutions to reduce food waste in the production and supply chain; adapting highly-efficient solutions for the food and beverage segment; and improving sustainable practices within JBT facilities worldwide.

Substantial savings
One of the ways JBT is helping customers improve sustainability at the production level is through the Heat Recovery System (HRS) for the Continuous Rotary Pressure Sterilizer. Offered as an upgrade package for customers with existing and new (yet-to-be installed) Continuous Rotary Pressure Sterilizers. The HRS is focused on achieving optimum savings during the sterilization process for products requiring a pre-heater. 

Among its key benefits, the HRS can deliver a reduction in steam usage of up to 40% and decrease the overall thermal load of the cooling tower, resulting in substantial energy savings. In fact, the system offers a high return on investment, with a payback within two-three years based only on steam reduction costs.

Energy reduction
A further valuable sustainable solution from JBT is the Energy Recovery System for Retort Sterilizers (ERS), which makes use of a Hot and Cold water tank that acts as a battery to transfer energy between the Come-up and Cooling portions of a retort’s thermal process. The system collects energy from hot process water and transfers this energy to the cold-process water during the come-up phase. The system also improves energy recovery by using minimum steam during this phase.

The ERS can additionally be combined with JBT’s Low Energy Suction System (LESS) for Static Retorts, a passive suction system which draws in water evenly along the length of a retort. This allows less water to be used in the retort during the thermal process resulting in less steam being required to heat and less water to cool.

Ensuring savings
Other energy-savings options available from JBT include indirect heating utilizing a shell-and-tube heat exchanger, which provides energy, water and chemical savings by recovering steam condensate.

Additionally, JBT’s Rotary Pressure Sterilizer includes an Eco-Mode that enables customers to reduce steam energy consumption when the machine is operating without cans by reducing the temperature until cans are reintroduced into the sterilizer.

By continuing to assist customers in reducing their energy, JBT has helped bring sustainability to the forefront of the food and beverage industry agenda and will strive to ensure the topic gains greater prominence over the months ahead.

Learn more about JBT’s commitment to sustainability

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