JBT’s Preservation business unit supports container filling and seaming equipment as well as in-container sterilization technology such as rotary cooker/coolers, hydrostats and retorts. Products processed through this equipment includes everything from ready meals to canned vegetables and wet petfood. What makes this industry different to others covered by JBT is that it includes seasonal and year-round customers, both of which have a common need to avoid downtime and maximize productivity. This is where JBT’s PRoCARE® program has provided customers with a means of achieving that mutual goal.
“We have seasonal customers who have production windows of only three months a year and others who run year-round, and each of them have different sets of problems,” explains JBT Preservation’s Madera, California-based Service Manager Diego Ulloa. “With seasonal customers, the main problem is they don’t have staff and operators year-round, so the knowledge can be limited and things can get overlooked. With year-round customers, they often have very short, limited maintenance windows. Downtime is more critical for those customers, and unscheduled downtime can be a real challenge for them.”
There is often also a problem with operator turnover, according to Ulloa, with operators retiring and companies experiencing difficulties hiring replacements. A further difficulty is that a lot of customers in the industry are on a limited budget, which can sometimes act as a restraint on the amount of maintenance they would like to do.
The advantage PRoCARE offers, he continues, is the option to train operators and avoid unscheduled downtime by carrying out audits ahead of time. “Highly-experienced JBT technicians are able to identify potential equipment problems and can plan ahead of time by ordering parts, so that if and when a shutdown happens, actual downtime is kept to a minimum,” explains Ulloa.
“By planning ahead, JBT maintenance visits become a lot cheaper, enabling companies to better control their budget. PRoCARE customers will also see discounts on services and parts, while JBT has furtherseasonal support to help those customers with limited staff.”
To give an example, Ulloa cites the case of two customers, both tomato processors, who work on a seasonal basis. After the season is completed, JBT engineers carry out an equipment evaluation, make recommendations and order parts where needed. The engineers then return to make sure the equipment is in optimal condition for the following season.
“They’ve told us that since they started with PRoCARE, they have seen a tremendous reduction in downtime and improvement in productivity,” says Ulloa. “Some of these customers might only be running production for two-three months, so those two-three months need to be as optimal as possible.”