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PLF International joins JBT family

JBT Corporation has announced the acquisition of UK-based PLF International (PLF), a specialist manufacturer of filling machines and complete turnkey line project management for the fast-growing global powder product market. With demand increasing worldwide for powdered products, especially for powdered infant formula and nutraceuticals, the acquisition will enable JBT to bring PLF fillers – which combine with JBT’s own seamers – to a much wider marketplace.

Since 1994, PLF International has designed and manufactured what is considered to be one of the most flexible, user-friendly powder filling machines in the world. PLF’s range of filling machines are all built to facilitate the stringent demands of the food, beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, being easy to clean with minimum giveaway and gentle product handling. They can be semi or fully automatic and are built so performance can be enhanced to meet production demands.

“JBT and PLF have collaborated on numerous, successful projects over the past ten years,” said Tom Giacomini, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Specifically, customers have purchased PLF fillers and JBT closers as part of an integrated solution. Adding PLF’s expertise and complementary products to Liquid Foods provides a valuable extension to our portfolio. Additionally, we can expand PLF’s business geographically and strengthen its aftermarket opportunities.”

“PLF provides a unique filler that is an improvement on most of the competition as there is very little product breakdown and giveaway,” explained Carlos Fernandez, President and Managing Director of JBT’s Liquid Foods business. “PLF’s filler and ancillary products can be used in conjunction with JBT’s closer to complete an integrated line solution, so this is a very complementary acquisition for us, which will also give us access to the fast-developing powdered product market.”

PLF Managing Director Mark Emond commented: “We were seeking a long-term steward for PLF going forward and feel comfortable that in JBT we have the ideal partner given that we have worked so well together in the past. With JBT’s focus on innovation, technology and customer care, we are leaving our business in the best possible hands.”

As well as powdered infant milk, the integration of PLF will also open the door for JBT to enter the powdered nutraceutical and added vitamin drink segment; a market that will again complement JBT’s existing business, Fernandez added.

PLF International was founded in Harwich, Essex in 1994, and has progressed and grown into the leading global supplier of vacuum and volumetric filling machinery and complete turnkey lines for the powder product market. With a multinational, blue chip customer base, PLF has become the technology of choice for infant formula and nutraceuticals as well as other high value products. With no augers in the filling process, product integrity is assured and dust minimized. PLF employs 60 people and is based in the south east of England.

JBT brings renewed focus to Australia’s Foodpro

JBT Corporation brought renewed energy and focus to its presence at this year’s Foodpro trade exhibition, emphasising the significant strides forward that the company has been making in Australia’s multi-billion food and beverage processing industry.

A triennial event, Foodpro 2017, which took place from 16-19 July in Sydney, is dedicated to Australia’s food processing sector, the country’s largest manufacturing industry, which employs some 300,000 people and has a turnover in excess of A$120 billion.

Patrick Tan, JBT’s Regional Strategy and Market Communications Director, Asia Pacific, says JBT brought a renewed energy and enthusiasm for Australia’s food processing industry, highlighting many of the innovative solutions that JBT has available for the sector.

“Participation at this exhibition showed the energy and enthusiasm of JBT focusing in the food and beverage processing industries in Australia,” he said.

“With this renewed focus on the Australia food and beverage industries, JBT Australia is now making headways into the key industries with major customers, such as Inghams, Coles, Comgroup, Simplot, Jewel Fine Foods, Top Hats Baiada, Fonterra, Beak and Johnson on the protein side, and with Groves, Heinz, Harvey Fresh, Nippy Fruits and Kagome on the liquid foods side.”

JBT’s JayBoT: the inexpensive automation solution

What links Quaker Oats®, Gatorade® and Lurpak® butter to Scottish hospitals? The unexpected answer might be that the companies behind them are now benefiting from substantial efficiency savings through JBT’s automated guided vehicle (AGV) systems. Manufactured in the US – as well as the UK for Europe and Asia – the AGV units remove repetitive and wasteful work practices enabling companies to redeploy resources more effectively.

However, the system is not just benefitting big players in the market. More affordable AGV units are now available in the form of the JBT JayBoT™, which can aid companies seeking to remove costly, labor-intensive tasks from the production and supply process.

Click here to learn more about the JBT JayBoT™

As Mark Longacre, JBT’s marketing manager for automated systems, explains, the JayBoT and other units in the range are operator-free, robotic forklift trucks that are being successfully used in manufacturing plants and warehouses to automate the routine movement of materials.

“More affordable AGV units are now available in the form of the JBT JayBoT, which can aid companies seeking to remove costly, labor-intensive tasks”

“Typically we have AGVs doing the work, guided by system management software which gives the commands while talking to customers’ inventory management software, meaning we know what orders have to processed that day and what material movements to make,” he says.

Click here to read more about Arla Foods & JBT automated vehicles

“Sometimes the infrastructure required in an AGV system can be costly and we often have customers who just want to try automating a small part of their plant with one or two vehicles. “The JayBot takes some of the intelligence out of the software and puts it in the vehicle, so they can operate standalone on simpler applications, which makes them more affordable as an entry point into automation and for smaller companies who require simpler, A-B movements.”

“We’re looking to deliver a return on investment – a quick and substantial payback – in typically under two years.”

Labor savings
JBT has successfully supplied AGV solutions to PepsiCo Group’s Quaker, Tropicana and Gatorade division, as well as the world’s largest supplier of organic dairy products, Arla Foods. Outside of beverage and food processing, JBT has delivered AGV solutions to the automotive industry, pharmaceutical facilities, general manufacturing and warehousing, while it also made headlines when it supplied units to the Forth Valley NHS hospital in Scotland.

The JBT PepsiCo installation

Longacre explains that JBT aims to deliver a quick and substantial payback on investment in under two years, primarily through helping companies redeploy labor to where it can better add value to manufacturing processes.

“We deliver labor savings, allowing customers to redeploy labor to where they can add value”

“Most of what we’re delivering to customers is labor savings,” he says. “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.”

One of JBT’s biggest installations to date was with the PepsiCo group, focusing on automatic trailer loading after the product has been bottled, case-packed and stretch-wrapped.

JBT also has a special vehicle type designed to work with the JBT batch retort sterilizer, loading and unloading trays for in-can sterilization. “We take products after they have been filled and sealed and deliver them to the sterilizer and pick them up after they have completed the process,” adds Longacre.

The T-Series Bin Scrubber: fast, efficient cleaning for packers and processors

JBT has completed the successful installation of a T-Series Bin Scrubber system at Setton Farms, a California-based pistachio processor. The T-Series is a high capacity model designed to clean tall, non-vented bins.

Now operational at the company’s 80-acre pistachio processing facility in Terra Bella, California, the T-Series Bin Scrubber is a new variation on JBT’s original Bin Scrubber; a system that provides efficient bin cleaning with a smaller footprint than alternative systems.

Most tall bins are currently cleaned by hand which is expensive and inconsistent. The JBT T-Series Bin Scrubber System provides a means to achieve fast and effective cleaning for processors that use field bins.

In addition to other proven benefits of the original model, including mechanical scrubbing and adjustable cleaning cycles, the T-Series Bin Scrubber features a telescoping brush, which ensures all internal surfaces are cleaned. Included on this new design is a rinse feature for non-vented bins and manifolds which sprays water directly into the bin during cleaning. Customers also have the option of adding blowers for rapid drying of the interior of bins after rinsing.

As Hassan Khan explains, the Bin Scrubber System also allows companies to make long-term utility costs savings due to its use of recycled chlorinated water. This means the customer uses less water, which adds to the equipment’s already low energy consumption.

Khan says the feedback received from Setton Farms has been immensely positive, with the collaboration likely to continue going forward. “They love the system,” he says. “It’s working well for them. They are thinking of adding another unit because they have such a large plant, but that is still in the works.”

“This new equipment has allowed us to open our market to the tree nut industry, whether that is almonds, pistachios or walnuts,” he adds. The T-Series Bin Scrubber will likely be presented at the upcoming trade shows.

JBT’s Avure HPP Foods showcases success at Propak Asia 2017

Innovative cold pasteurization technology from Avure HPP Foods, one of the most recent additions to the JBT family, is expected to double in market value over the next eight years, thanks to growing industry awareness of its significant food safety and shelf-life advantages.

This was one of the messages delivered by Dr. Errol V. Raghubeer, Senior Vice President of Microbiology & Food Technology at Avure, to delegates at this year’s Propak Asia show, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand from June 14-17.

During a presentation on “Global growth of HPP Foods and Beverages”, Raghubeer revealed that the market worth of products that utilize High-Pressure Processing (HPP) systems is likely to rise from the current US$12B to US$25B by 2025.

The beverage market, with has an estimated worth of around US$2-3B, is a major element in this growth, with innovation in the premium juice segment crucial to its development, aided by the introduction of new mixes and exotic fruit blends from Asia and South America.

Find out how Avure’s HPP technology works

For Raghubeer, HPP technology’s ability to extend shelf-life by up to four months in the case of fresh juice, while preserving the nutritional, taste and quality aspects of the product is one of the key drivers behind its expansion, adding that it also delivers a “fresh, raw taste”.

He adds that when it comes to food safety, Avure has worked closely with the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that HPP products achieve the same or greater pathogen reduction that can be produced through heat pasteurization.

WATCH Dr Raghubeer’s presentation on HPP technology at Pack Expo 2016: 

La importancia de contacto personal en la edad electrónica


Jorge Brito de JBT México aquí explica, a pesar de los beneficios que ha traído la época del internet, establecer y mantener contacto directo con clientes es clave para el éxito de cualquier negocio. JBT México está presente esta semana en el Expo Pack 2017 en Guadalajara, México del 13 al 15 de Junio en stand 1106.

Si uno analiza como ha cambiado la manera de hacer negocios en los últimos 20 ó 30 años es inevitable que la llegada del internet en nuestra vida cotidiana fuera uno de los puntos principales. Desde las páginas web hasta las redes sociales, pareciera que cada vez más el mundo de los negocios y las comunicaciones se mezclan alrededor del internet.

Este fenómeno ha traído sus beneficios tanto para proveedores como para clientes. Por ejemplo, los correos electrónicos – el email – se ha convertido en una herramienta útil e importante que ha facilitado que el contacto entre personas sea mucho mas fácil que antes. Si experimentaste trabajar en los años 80 ó 90, ¿quién no recuerde la dificultad de enviar cartas por fax, y a veces el problema para entender el borrado mensaje que llegó, o el desafío de localizar personas por teléfono?

Aún así, la importancia de tener contacto directo en persona con clientes actuales y clientes potenciales es sumamente importante para cualquier negocio. Sobre todo para poner una cara o una voz a un nombre, para crear/desarrollar una relación más cercana y fomentar la confianza.

El stand de JBT México en el Expo Pack 2016

Mayor presencia
Como profesional de la industria alimentaria, yo empecé mi carrera hace 12 años con John Bean Technologies de México, la filial mexicana de JBT Corporation, después de 15 años de trabajar en el sector de alimentos. Empezando con los portafolios de maquinaria para preservar y enlatar comida procesada, tenía la responsabilidad no sólo para el mercado mexicano, sino para todo América Latina, incluyendo países productores como Chile, Argentina, Perú, Colombia y Ecuador.

Hoy en día, desde mi oficina en León, Guanajuato, estoy a cargo de la promoción de la línea de productos JBT de la división “Liquid Foods” que incluye sectores de preservación o enlatado, atún, procesamiento de frutas y lácteos. Anteriormente también el portafolio de JBT para la industria de proteínas, que incluye sectores importantes como la carne procesada y frutas y hortalizas congeladas. Desde León y con nuestras instalaciones en Puebla donde contamos con una planta piloto, estamos bien posicionados para servir – en cuanto a México – todo el país, desde la región Bajío hasta las fronteras con Centroamérica y los Estados Unidos. Fuera de México, ofrecemos nuestro amplio portafolio de productos a clientes desde Centroamérica hasta la región Andina donde mantenemos una gran presencia en países a nivel de Colombia, Perú, Ecuador y Venezuela.

En todos los casos, el hecho de establecer y mantener contacto en persona ha sido un factor clave en el éxito de JBT y nuestra gama de productos en todo Latinoamérica.

Para JBT como empresa, la relación cara a cara es fundamental para lograr buenos negocios porque, a pesar de la revolución tecnológica de las comunicaciones de los últimos años, el poder establecer una relación comercial con un cliente en persona no tiene precio.

The importance of personal contact in the electronic age


JBT Mexico’s Jorge Brito – who will be present at this week’s Expo Pack event in Guadalajara, Mexico from June 13-15 on stand 1106 – here explains why maintaining face-to-face contact with clients is vital, even in the modern, internet age.

For anyone analyzing how the way we do business has changed over the past 20 or 30 years, it is almost inevitable that the arrival of the internet into our daily lives will be one of the principal findings. From web pages to social media, it seems that the world of business and communications between companies revolves around the internet.

This phenomenon has delivered benefits for both suppliers and clients. For example, email has become a useful and important tool that makes contacting vastly easier than before. For those of us who experienced working in the 80s or 90s, who doesn’t remember the difficulties involved in sending letters by fax or the problems reading blurry messages when they arrived via the same machine? Or indeed the challenge of getting hold of people by telephone?

Even so, the importance of direct, personal contact with current and potential clients is hugely important for any business. Being able to put a face to a name can help develop a business relationship and engenders confidence.

Jorge Brito (center) with the JBT Mexico team at Expo Pack 2016

Major presence
As a food processing industry professional, I started my career with JBT Mexico 12 years ago following 15 years in the food sector. Beginning with the portfolio for preservation and canning technologies, I had responsibility not just for the Mexican market, but for the whole of Latin America.

Today, from my office in León, Guanajuato, I oversee the promotion of JBT’s Liquid Foods product line, covering fruit, dairy and tuna processing, as well as canning and preservation products. From León and our facilities in Puebla, where we have a pilot plant, we are well placed to serve the whole of Mexico, while also covering clients from Central America to the Andean region where we maintain a major presence in countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela.

In every case, establishing and maintaining personal contact has been a key factor in the success of JBT and our line of products across the whole of Latin America. As a company, face-to-face contact with clients has been fundamentally important to doing good business for JBT because, in spite of the technological revolution of recent decades, being able to establish a commercial relationship with a client in person remains priceless.

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