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Fog In Place assists in fight against spread of Covid-19

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The Covid-19 pandemic has created a massive dislocation in world economies and life as we know it, and there is an immediate need to mitigate and destroy the virus before it continues to spread, followed by protective protocols aimed at reducing the public’s fear moving forward. JBT ally Aurratech’s ‘Fog In Place®’ method of sanitization is already working on the problem in Brazil and Spain, with 20 machines fighting the spread of the virus 24/7.

Aurratech is currently helping sanitize a wide range of facilities and vehicles against Covid-19, including corporate offices and banks, government offices, industrial production facilities mandated to continue operations, hospital waiting rooms and taxis across both countries. Starting from April 4, Aurratech will also be disinfecting ambulances in Brazil, helping to disinfect – at least once a day – some of the most easily contaminated vehicles in common use.

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Multiple applications
Aurratech became involved in decontaminated facilities outside of the food industry after being invited to disinfect the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife, which was the site of the first positive Covid-19 infection in the Canary Islands. Some 1,000 guests were quarantined for two weeks at the hotel and following its evacuation in late March, Aurratech was asked to sanitize the premises to make it safe for cleaning, although it remains closed at the current time.

Up until that time, Aurratech had been working almost exclusively in the food industry, carrying out airborne and surface disinfection for a variety of products against bacteria and pathogens almost on a daily basis, according to company founder and managing director Caio Agmont. “The process is the same whether we are running it in a production line or in Spanish government offices,” he explains. “Fog In Place has the advantage of being able to run any kind of chemicals, so in addition to food production facilities, we are now using it to decontaminate office buildings, hospitals, taxis, the Treasury Ministry in Spain and corporate banks in Brazil.

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“The goal of the Fog In Place process is to disinfect the maximum amount of surface area,” says Agmont. “If you are cleaning an office in a conventional way, you typically only cover 30-40% of the total surface area; Fog In Place reaches 100%.”

Another recent, large scale roll-out of the system was in São Paulo, Brazil, working with 99 Taxi, a private car service. Aurratech has now installed a Fog In Place machine at Sao Paulo airport which can sanitize 300 cars a day, especially useful as people in Brazil’s most populous city are now avoiding public transport for fear of infection, instead opting for taxis or private cars to move around the metropolis. In fact, as Agmont explains, the São Paulo airport unit can treat four cars at a time, leaving them completely disinfected within 15 minutes. 

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Lasting consequences
Agmont believes one lasting consequence of the Covid-19 crisis is that it may well make both companies and individuals more aware of the dangers of food borne illness, which is linked to an estimated half a million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO further forecasts that hospital-related infections will likely become the number one cause of deaths worldwide by 2050 due to the predicted emergence of super-bacterias, making the need for effective treatments such as Fog In Place even more imperative. “I think Coronavirus is going to change behavior and will make many more people aware of the deadly threat that micro-organisms can pose to the whole of society,” Agmont adds.

Learn more about Fog In Place from Aurratech

JBT iOPS® Gateway: a technological solution for a changing world

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.

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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.”

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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.

Find out more about JBT’s iOPS solution

JBT Europe offers Augmented Remote Assistance for customers & technicians in Covid-19 quarantine areas

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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.

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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).

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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.

Request more information about the smart glasses solution

SmartWash Solutions go beyond improving food safety

In August 2019, JBT and SmartWash Solutions announced a Europe-wide alliance to bring the US-based company’s innovative combination of science, technology and engineering to fresh-cut produce processors accords the continent. Here, Ewoud Buter, General Manager of SmartWash Solutions BV, details how the technology is helping customers make cost savings and improve food safety.

Over the past few years, SmartWash Solutions BV has been active in the European market and conducted multiple successful trials yielding impressive results for large suppliers in the Fresh Cut market. In order to prove the success of their products, SmartWash Solutions offers a free trial in cooperation with the processor, with both sides working to establish common goals and benchmarks. 

During this trial, SmartWash Solutions provides the equipment to enhance the food safety systems while also providing a thorough evaluation of the process, often finding additional cost savings and operational improvements. In this article, the benefits and value of the many SmartWash solutions will be revealed as more than just a food safety improvement. 

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Cost Savings
The most immediate need for processors is to move away from manual or semi manual control and monitoring of their processes and food safety. Not only is automating a huge factor in improving food safety but it can also reduce costs. 

Technology is often an underutilized cost saving tool in the food production industry but transitioning staff away from checking samples by hand can improve data integrity and reduce materials needed for the check samples. Historically, many facilities would employ at least one person to constantly monitor wash lines for critical control points, generating one to two data points per hour per wash line. With real time, automated control and monitoring it is possible to obtain at least 1800 data points per hour, all extremely accurate due to an automatic calibration procedure. This translates to lower labor costs and impactful savings with improved process control and additional feedback on the production runs. 

Another common issue is related to managing wash water at all stages of wash systems. In the past, controllers could not handle the organic load at primary washes, where products would shed the organic material from the fields or oftentimes be the first wash stage after cutting. Now, due to innovations built into the SmartWash controller, also known as the ASAP, these hurdles can be overcome and all points of potential water-born cross contamination can be treated even under the most challenging conditions. Processors that previously only treated the secondary wash are now continuously treating the primary wash as well. This is a huge step in mitigating cross contamination and preventing the perfect storm. 

Often during trials, SmartWash discovers opportunities for operational improvements that may yield substantial savings. For example, one processor in the US reduced their operational down time by implementing the SmartWash Solutions ASAP Controllers. By reducing the water dumps necessary throughout the day, the processor could complete their production schedule over less time and reduce overall usage of water. A different processor was able to cut up to 15% of the facility’s water usage. These benefits can add up to quickly pay for the cost of the SmartWash program. 

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Universally compatible
Since the ASAP unit is a ‘stand-alone’ unit which can be wheeled in and connected to any wash line, the benefits of the system can be applied to many different processes. Although wash lines may be sourced from different manufacturers, this does not prevent or limit the opportunities to find value as SmartWash technicians take time to evaluate the line during a pre-installation visit and ensure the solutions fit the process.

Most of the time we find wash lines are ready to go and, in some occasions, only need small changes such as an injection point or pump adjustments. Some wash lines are much more turnkey, such as the FTNON manufactured lines, as they can add the necessary components into their build process. We find that this translates to one of the highest performing wash lines in the industry. But all wash lines can have the SmartWash method implemented, with all the associated food safety and operational benefits that it has for the processor.

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Quickly adopted
As we all know, buy-in at the floor level is key to making any new technology work. Typically, wash operators are a challenging group to convince as change can often mean new stresses in an already stressful environment. SmartWash Solutions has found the technology is quickly adopted and embraced by floor personnel as it makes their work environment more enjoyable. They no longer handle chemicals and often the air and environment are improved in the facility.

Management is typically very sensitive to the opinions of their floor technicians and they sometimes cannot believe the buy-in. The ease of use makes a big difference in the day-to-day activities of floor employees and the increased accessibility to the data allows the management staff to monitor the improvements. It is a win-win for all involved and this translates to a better working environment. Technology can be a tricky thing in this environment, but our goal is to make everything easier for the staff while ensuring a safe product is produced 100% of the time, as we can’t afford to fail the consumers.

Drew McDonald, vice president of food safety at Taylor Farms, commented:  “SmartWash has enabled us to fill gaps in the process with their automation of data collection and robust, continuous control. While food safety was the main factor in the SmartWash program adoption, we have reaped many other benefits such as cutting water usage, increasing production efficiencies and gaining valuable insight into the performance of more than 100 of our wash systems across the Taylor Farms supply chain.”

Request information about organizing a free SmartWash trial in your plant!

JBT, SafeTraces & TORR Industries bring innovations to Food Processing Expo

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JBT and industry allies SafeTraces and TORR Industries are highlighting technological innovations for effective traceability, filling and other solutions at the 2020 edition of the California League of Food Producers’ (CLFP) Food Processing Expo, which takes place at the Santa Clara Convention Center until February 13. 

California’s largest food processing trade show, the Food Processing Expo features a dynamic array of speakers and workshops, and a Food Processing Technology Showcase on the show floor. As well as highlighting JBT’s wide range of solutions for food processors, the event is also providing an opportunity to highlight innovations from two of JBT’s most recent allies, SafeTraces and TORR Industries. 

SafeTraces
JBT and SafeTraces – a leading food safety and traceability solutions provider – announced a global alliance in July 2019 to integrate SafeTraces’ breakthrough, patented DNA-based technologies into JBT’s solutions portfolio for worldwide distribution. The strategic alliance is focused on incorporating SafeTraces’ groundbreaking food safety and traceability technology into JBT FoodTech businesses, including fresh produce technologies, fresh-cut technologies, and coating equipment solutions, enabling rapid verification of sanitation processes and item-level tracking and tracing of food materials.

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TORR Industries
California-based TORR Industries became a JBT ally in September 2019, with the aim of bringing TORR’s versatile fillers to companies handling everything from wines and juices to coffee concentrates all across the globe. Through the non-exclusive Sales Representation Agreement, JBT now represents TORR’s low and high-acid aseptic and sanitary liquid filling systems for bags, pouches, and bulk-containers with fill fitments globally, covering applications for products within the liquid foods, fruit and vegetable, dairy, wine, tomato sauce, and ready-to-eat sauce categories. 

Based in Shasta County, Northern California, TORR is the leader in high output wine bag fillers in the US market, but with an international presence that includes installations for coconut milk in Malaysia and crushed pineapple in the Philippines.

JBT will be exhibiting at Booth #1131, along with SafeTraces at Booth #310 and TORR Industries at Booth #1129 at CLFP Food Processing Expo 2020 which takes place at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara CA until February 13.

Request more information or a meeting on the booth

JBT showcases complete produce solution capability at Fruit Logistica 2020

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JBT is bringing a range of complete solutions for fresh produce growers and processors to Fruit Logistica 2020, the world’s largest trade exhibition for the produce sector, which include systems for making fresh-cut processing more efficient and hygienic, and tray sealing technologies that can improve shelf-life and add value to fruits and vegetables.

According to John Siddle, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Fresh Produce Technologies, a key focus for this year’s Fruit Logistica will be on creating awareness that JBT is able to provide a complete solution for the fresh produce sector, including its entire line capability. “We will be presenting our integrated approach to the produce industry with two of the newer additions to the JBT family – FTNON and Proseal,” he says. “The solutions provided by both companies have the ability to turn commodities into value-added products.”

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Pancho Purroy, EMENA Sales & Accounts Manager, Citrus & Juice Processing Technologies and Sales Manager, Liquid Foods Iberia, says: “For over 100 years JBT has been a major innovator in food preservation technology. JBT believes it is essential to continue innovating and deploying food and beverage preservation solutions as it is proven that ambient shelf-stable foods and extended shelf-life refrigerated foods show a reduction in waste and consequently a positive contribution to the sustainability of our food supply systems.”

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Sealing innovations
Proseal, which became part of JBT in June 2019, will be showcasing tray sealing solutions for fruit growers and processors on its own dedicated Proseal stand. The tray sealing specialist will demonstrate two tray sealers that highlight the wide choice of models available – the semi-automatic Proseal GTR and automatic inline Proseal GT4s – along with its unique ProTest seal quality testing system that enables companies to determine the ideal seal and peel strength for individual products. In addition, a chilled display cabinet will feature the many different types of tray formats for which Proseal can provide a sealing solution.

Among the many advanced features of the GT4s, ProMotion technology improves speeds by up to 30% using following motion and intelligent buffering technology to enable trays to feed continuously into the sealer without stopping. Eseal® ensures excellent seal reliability with an increased seal force of 200% while achieving a 92% reduction in energy usage to deliver valuable cost savings and sustainability benefits.

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Improved efficiency
JBT FTNON will showcase groundbreaking innovations developed to improve food safety, hygiene and processing efficiency for fresh-cut salad and vegetable producers during the event, including the CoreTakr® Flex and the CoreTakr® Iceberg for safe, efficient robotic de-coring of iceberg lettuce, cabbage and other products. FTNON will also highlight the Bell pepper de-corer (SPD-200) which removes the time-consuming task of having to core bell peppers manually, while improving productivity and yield, and the Magnetic Onion Peeler (MOP-200); a solution which is able to process up to 120 onions per minute by using frictionless permanent super magnetism.

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Food safety
Among the noteworthy companies exhibiting at Fruit Logistica 2020 will be JBT ally SmartWash Solutions, which provides innovative food safety systems for fresh-cut produce processors. SmartWash Solutions, which agreed a Europe-wide alliance with JBT in August 2019, is the company behind the Pinpoint Process Control™ solution for food processing wash water systems; an innovation which mitigates cross contamination while improving food safety. Following success in the US with Taylor Farms, SmartWash is currently trialing the technology with multiple leading fresh-cut suppliers across Europe.

JBT including SmartWash Solutions will be exhibiting at Hall 3.1, Stand D-03 and Proseal at Hall 7.1B, Stand B-04 at Fruit Logistica 2020 at the Messe Berlin conference center, Berlin, Germany until February 7, 2020.

Glass Filling Technology Day delivers industry overview

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Industry delegates from across Europe took part in JBT Belgium’s Glass Filling Technology Day, a two part event consisting of an interactive tour of a JBT manufacturing site and it’s Processing Technology Center and a seminar where they heard expert opinions and predictions from some of the leading manufacturers in the sector, which took place on January 21 2020 at JBT Sint Niklaas, Belgium.

“We had about 20 participants from all over Europe, from the juice industry to baby foods to co-packers,” said Ben Verbeeck, JBT’s Marketing Coordinator for the site, and Global CRM Coordinator for Liquid Foods. “The seminar featured presentations covering technological solutions for the glass industry and the challenges it faces, which were very well received, and in the afternoon delegates were given an interactive tour of our factory and Processing Technology Center at Sint Niklaas.

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Industry trends
A key element of the Glass Filling Technology Day was the presence of two external speakers of note: Wouter Blom from major glass manufacturer, Ardagh Group, who examined glass market trends and predictions for the industry looking forward; while the second was delivered by Alfredo Ziliotti from WAB srl, a container and cap rinser and sterilizer manufacturer. “Wouter Blom looked at consumer trends based on market research and what glass manufacturers will have to do to follow their customers,” said Verbeeck. “Alfredo Ziliotti from WAB SRL on the other hand looked at how his company’s technology can complement JBT solutions to form a complete bottle filling and capping line.”

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Interactive tour
Among the JBT solutions highlighted during the factory tour was a High Speed Rotary Filler Rinser line. Designed and built for a customer in Thailand looking to fill soy milk into glass bottles, delegates were shown how the system can handle 500 bottles per minute. “To demonstrate the filling process at real speeds, we had people at the end of the line gathering and emptying bottles and placing them back on the in-feed conveyor,” recalls Verbeeck.

“The feedback we received from delegates was that there was a very good balance between the academic content and the walk on the factory floor. It was also a very good event for networking, while we had a professional cameraman filming both the presentations and the facility visit.”

READ JBT White Paper: Accurate Filling into Glass Jars

READ JBT White Paper: Filling Glass & Plastic Bottles

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