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JBT’s Unifiller innovations reduce Total Cost of Ownership

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JBT has introduced new, unique features for the JBT Unifiller, the volumetric piston filler for high value products, with key attributes such as a unique seal-less and self-draining fill station concept, which substantially differentiates the Unifiller from conventional piston filling technology.

A new Configure to Order (CTO) option and in-line check weighting are now being included with the Unifiller as a means of significantly enhancing existing processes, enhancing safety and minimising giveaway.

The two innovations will help further boost the three key benefits of the Unifiller: Clean In Place (CIP) without fill station disassembly; unmatched fill accuracy; and high product particle quality. These also make the Unifiller an even better solution for filling high-value segments, including sauces, jams and sweet spreads, ready meals, cream and condensed milk in metal or glass containers.

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Configure to Order
JBT has recently completed a Configure to Order (CTO) exercise on the Unifiller with the objective of reducing the cost and delivery time, says Bart Mertens, JBT’s Product Line Director for Filling and Closing Equipment. 

The CTO exercise also includes an upgrade of the basic machine with features that were previously optional, including: sealed upper guarding with standard safety glass for enhanced operator safety and chemical resistance; a stainless steel central column for longer life, lower risk of blockage and improved hygienic; easy-to-clean, hygienic electropolished fill stations; and a single point container height adjustment for more convenient can format change-over.

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How the JBT Unifiller valve filling principle works

Minimize giveaway
To further reduce the Total Cost of Ownership, JBT is also now offering optional in-line check weighing technology, for speeds of up to 700 cpm (containers per minute). “The use of this technology in combination with the Unifiller allows for the monitoring of the fill accuracy performance of each individual fill station and features automatic on-the-fly fill volume adjustment to minimize giveaway,” explains Mertens.

Additionally, the Unifiller, ensures E-mark compliance by rejecting under- and over-filled containers that fail to comply with the standard in order to protect downstream sterilization equipment.

Learn more about the new JBT Unifiller

A&B Process Systems receives safety award from ConstructSecure

JBT’s A&B Process Systems has been recognized by ConstructSecure as one of their Safest Contractors & Vendors. A&B received the Platinum Safety Award for scoring greater than 95% in the safety assessment administered by ConstructSecure. 

The award from ConstructSecure, a global SaaS company that prequalifies contractors and vendors for corporations that have stringent safety requirements, is based on an assessment of current safety management systems and incident rates.   

“Our associates really get it and are on board with our culture of safety,” said Bill Thompson, A&B’s HSE Manager. “Our associates continue to go the extra mile in their daily work to help prevent safety incidents and this award is a testament to their dedication to safety.

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“Our team members do a great job of preventing incidents from occurring.  If they see a potential risk, they report it as a near miss right away and it is addressed immediately. We truly appreciate everyone’s dedication to being as safe as possible.”

Scott Raether, Director of Operations for A&B, added: “We have an incredible group of dedicated employees who believe that zero injuries are expected. We pay attention to little details and truly look out for each other. Awards are terrific, but what’s more rewarding is the knowledge that our employees are acting safely and contribute to a safe place to work.”

Learn more about A&B Process Systems’s solutions

JBT Avure Q&A: HPP West Coast

In the first of an occasional series of High Pressure Processing (HPP) Expert Q & A Interviews from JBT Avure HPP, Patricia Truter, CEO of Vancouver-based HPP toller HPP West Coast explains how she got started in the HPP industry and went on to found the only such facility on the West Coast of Canada.

Q: How many years have you been working with HPP technology? 

Patricia Truter (PT): My family started an HPP business in South Africa, and I then decided to start a tolling facility on the West Coast of Canada (Canada has only one other tolling facility, and it is on the East Coast). I started to work with a business plan and to look for funding, investors or potential partners about three years ago. I finally got my own JBTAvure machine at the end of March 2019.

Q: Why did HPP West Coast decide to buy a JBT Avure HPP machine?

PT: I visited seven different tolling facilities in the US (from different suppliers), and based on my family’s feedback and the feedback I received from tollers in the US, JBTAvure was the number one choice.

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Q: What are the advantages of using a toller like HPP West Coast?

PT: The food producers do not have to set up an HPP facility themselves. They can simply send their products to us, we HPP it, and we can store it at our facility until it is ready to be distributed.

Q: What are popular foods and beverages that HPP West Coast HPP’s? 

PT: We do a lot of fresh juices and dips.

Q: What do you, as an HPP toller, think are the top three drivers sparking HPP’s fast growth?

PT: Consumers want a clean label, but they also want quality and a product that will not expire within a few days.

Q: What HPP products do you have in your fridge? 

PT: I HPP all the fresh milk I buy at the grocery store, guacamole, fresh juice.

JBT Avure HPP will be holding a Webinar on Thursday June 25 to discuss HPP and the growing 2020 trend for processing Ready Meals. In addition, Jasmine Sutherland, CEO of Texas Food Solutions, will join us to tell her story about launching her own HPP Ready Meal. Click here to Register for the webinar!

SmartWash Solutions aims to continue boosting fresh produce safety

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Once the dust has settled following the COVID-19 pandemic, there is likely – many in the produce industry believe – to be an increased awareness of the importance of safety in the food production process, including during the washing and preparing of vegetables. Here, innovative treatments from JBT alliance partner, SmartWash Solutions could be poised to play a key role.

Originally launched in the US in 2009, SmartWash Solutions’ patented SmartWash delivers Pinpoint Process Control™ to food processing wash-water systems, mitigating cross contamination while improving food safety. The system has proven so effective in curbing cross contamination that it is now used by over 50% of the US fresh-cut produce industry, leading to expansion to Europe with the opening of SmartWash Solutions BV in the Netherlands.

Wash-lines are used by all produce processors across Europe to clean vegetables and salad products, according to Ewoud Buter, General Manager of SmartWash Solutions BV; a manual process, which typically involves hand contact. Not only raising potential contamination questions, the process is also highly labor-intensive, typically involving hourly QA testing of pH and Total Chlorine levels in the wash-water. 

The SmartWash acidulent – in combination with the SmartWash controller, known as the ASAP – will continually monitor and control the water chemistry, taking data every 10 milliseconds and saving it every two seconds. As well as improving food quality and safety, Buter says the system will also reduce labor usage over an eight-hour period by 87.5% on average. “With the SmartWash method, you only need to have a manual check once per shift, that’s to say once every eight hours, so you reduce QA hours by almost 90%,” he says.

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Controlling chemistry
Offered under a leasing program, SmartWash ASAP unit installation, maintenance and repairs – when required – are carried out by SmartWash technicians, although the company also provides in-depth training for new customers, covering operation and basic maintenance, including parts replacement. 

However, the potential of SmartWash’s scope to effectively control the chemistry of wash-water could yet be broadened further. The company has significant relationships with scientists in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. One of these scientific partners is currently researching the effect of chlorinated disinfectant on viruses. “SmartWash is already massively effective against (Gram negative) bacteria, so we believe it will likely have a positive impact on viruses present on vegetables, including potentially COVID-19,” says Buter. “We are really looking forward to the results of the study.”

Learn more about SmartWash Solutions

To learn more about other ways JBT can help you in the COVID-19 environment please visit www.jbtc.com

Proseal puts focus on sustainable packaging

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With awareness of the importance of sustainability growing worldwide – among processors and consumers alike – so demand has increased for solutions that offer enhanced shelf-life and make use of non-plastic alternatives, writes Tony Burgess, Head of Sales & Control Systems at one of the newest additions to the JBT family, tray sealing solutions specialist, Proseal.

In competitive markets handling highly perishable foods, maximizing both shelf-life and throughput is vital, so at Proseal we are seeing a strong interest in our high-speed tray sealers that can be trusted to deliver efficient sealing and Gas Flush (MAP) processing and keep up with the required speeds of production.

To deliver this, cycle speed is naturally key, but another important requirement of today’s packaging line is the ability to follow motion and use intelligent buffering capabilities that enable trays to feed continuously into a tray sealer without having to pre-sort and adjust pack spacing. This valuable time saving technology is demonstrated by Proseal’s ProMotion™.

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Alternative Materials
More recently the plastic narrative in the consumer media has led to many companies and retailers seeking alternative materials, or light weighting their existing plastic trays. Over the past 20 years at Proseal, we have been working closely with film suppliers in order to devise viable solutions that are able to meet the sealing needs of trays made from both plastic and cardboard, without causing a need for costly modifications to machinery by our customers.  

This includes Halopack®, a gas-tight cardboard tray suited to skin packaging, which offers an 80% reduction in plastic from some traditional plastic trays and is made up from 90% recycled cardboard. And another recent innovation, the plastic ‘snap-pack’ style tray, which seals the portioned product into two separate cavities in the same tray, allowing the consumer to ‘snap’ off and open one half of the pack and dispose of it, whilst the other half remains hermetically-sealed in its gas-flushed environment – allowing the customer to fully benefit from the maximum shelf-life of the product whilst reducing food waste.

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Automated Control Systems
The need for intelligent technology is also evolving in processing lines and such intelligent technology is demonstrated in all Proseal tray-sealers through its many features and benefits. Proseal’s market-leading control systems can see our machinery act as ‘the spine of the packaging line’, integrating all the line machinery components to be driven through the Proseal touch screen.

This ensures that in the event of a problem, the Proseal machine is able to flag an error in a peripheral piece of machinery and pass a stop signal to the feeding equipment, enabling the line to come to a controlled stop in order to avoid overfeeding the tray sealer and prevent unnecessary product or packaging waste.

Learn more about Proseal’s solutions