JBT’s preservation division covers rotary equipment, hydros and retorts for everything from ready meals to canned vegetables, wet petfood and canned tomatoes, as well as the filling and seaming of cans. But what makes this industry different to others covered by JBT is that it includes both seasonal (around three months annually) and year-round customers. However, for both versions there is a shared need to avoid downtime and maximize productivity, and here JBT’s PRoCARE® program provides customers with a means of achieving that goal.
“We have seasonal customers who have production windows of only around three months a year and others who are 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 what problems equipment has 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, while PRoCARE customers will see discounts on services. We also have seasonal support to help those customers who work on a seasonal basis.”
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 improvement in downtime and 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, and they have seen an increase in both productivity and uptime.”