2020 is likely to be the year in which JBT’s Internet of Things (IoT) offering, the Intelligent Operations or iOPS Platform, takes centerstage across the food and beverage industry, thanks to the roll-out of the virtual technology across multiple JBT solutions and the consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Working by collecting and learning from data in real time from systems and machinery, the iOPS system can detect potential issues before they become problems and even improve the overall efficiency of operations.
JBT’s iOPS Gateway makes use of real-time data so customers can have a better view of when machines require preventative maintenance based on numbers instead of time, explains Auke Bouwense, JBT’s Global Internet of Things (IoT) Commercial Manager for Liquid Foods.
The technology, he continues, also enables customers to gain a far clearer idea of the true state of their Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). “Customers might have the idea they are running very well, but if you compare the amount of production the machine is running with other machines, you often find it is capable of doing a lot more,” he says. “The iOPS system can make operations more efficient and, therefore, our machines more effective, and ultimately make our customers more profitable. It will also enable JBT itself to better make further improvements to our solutions.”
JBT’s iOPS Gateway can help improve the efficiency of systems across a facility
Greater efficiencies One area of JBT where the iOPS platform is already very much present is with JBT’s fresh-cut processing solutions provider, FTNON. The Netherlands-based unit has the technology installed in a number of its systems and Bouwense says customers often find they could be achieving greater efficiencies. “What FTNON has very much found is that although their own customers often think their machines are running well, when they engage an iOPS system and look at the effectiveness of the total line they sometimes find they are running not even at a third of the total,” he says.
The iOPS system, Bouwense explains, looks at what is going on inside the machines and what products are going through them, identifying whether there is unnecessary wastage during the process, or whether leaks or misconfigurations are leading to higher utility bills. “JBT’s iOPS technology can help reduce losses and also provide better insight into where customers are losing time,” he says.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and greater numbers of companies moving to remote working as a result, Bouwense adds that an iOPS integration can provide an overall, accurate picture of food and beverage processing operations without always having to be there in person.
With the outbreak of Covid-19 (Corona), companies are now faced with quarantine challenges and as a result the need to reduce direct contact between employees and service providers due to imposed travel restrictions.Therefore, many companies are now looking for a solution to keep their production operational without traveling for on-site support.
The Customer Care team of JBT’s Sint-Niklaas Belgium location has developed remote assistance enabled by smart glasses as a creative solution to combine high quality maintenance with the current quarantine restrictions.
Moreover, remote assistance smart glasses will facilitate service and maintenance operations:
In remote, dangerous conflict-zone areas.
In countries where time consuming entry visa and vaccination requirements are needed prior to entry.
To reduce the CO2 impact and environmental cost of travel, contributing to JBT’s and its customers’ sustainability goals.
JBT will also use the technology to train regional Field Service Engineers on the job.
The solution will be used for the first time this week with a customer in northern Italy, where a local maintenance team will get hands-free remote assistance from experts based in Belgium during the start-up of a two-shell Rotary Pressure Sterilizer (pictured below).
JBT Sint-Niklaas has partnered with two Belgian companies for this solution to supply the smart glasses and accompanying software platform suite.
The lightweight smart safety glasses are ruggedized, certified safety glasses equipped with two cameras and a powerful optical zoom lens, barcode scanner, voice commands, laser pointer, microphone and speaker, unrestricted field of view and ‘full-shift’ battery capacity, all combined in a unique and comfortable design. They are tethered to a smartphone for maximum processing power.
The Remote Support Platform also allows on-site technicians to get directly in touch with the right back-office supporting expert. The calls, activities and log can be integrated with Salesforce and JBT’s Field Service Management Program.
To be held at the University of Parma, the school will comprise three days of lectures with two sessions per day and practical hands on activities with pilot scale processing lines, involving JBT and other process equipment manufacturers plus the opportunity to learn about laboratory microbiological and chemical tests.
“I am going to be speaking about the challenges surrounding citrus production, sustainability and food safety, and how technology is being adapted to meet these needs,” explains Lorente.
“I am also going to include things that don’t usually get covered in these kinds of presentations, such as the differences between oranges and mandarins, and the health benefits that mandarins can deliver.”
The workshop will also take a look at valuable by-products that can be recovered during citrus extraction, whether that be cloudy pulp or d-Limonene – a natural organic solvent used in aroma industry and other sectors, which is one of the most lucrative by-products of the citrus extraction process.
In his role as JBT’s Technical Manager for Citrus in the EMENA region, José Lorente is responsible for technology updating and R&D projects for the citrus industry in Europe and the Mediterranean. Since 2010, he has also been the Senior Technology Adviser for Asia/Pacific markets for fruit and vegetable processing.
The IFU University Juice Processing Summer School will take place from June 29-July 02 at the University of Parma, Parma, Italy.