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Blow Molding Controls Upgrade brings old technology into modern era

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JBT Food & Dairy Systems has been producing high quality blow holding machines for over 100 years under the SF&DS brand. Their reliability is such that machines produced in 1971 are still in service today, but the very fact of their age – with many installed over 50 years ago – means they typically contain obsolete hardware and software. However, JBT has introduced a new solution which will enable customers to continue to benefit from the machines’ quality and reliability, while bringing them into the modern age.

The Blow Molding Controls Upgrade replaces essential parts of the machinery as an interesting alternative to replacement, which resolves many of the problems encountered when using old systems, including lengthy breakdowns due to a lack of spare parts.

To overcome such challenges, the Blow Molding Controls Upgrade introduces a new controls system using state-of-the-art software, trending and remote support. By replacing the HMI terminal, processing computer, mold control boxes and IO modules, an old machine is brought up to a modern standard. The new controls system significantly reduces the risk of breakdowns, but should one take place, JBT can swiftly supply spare parts to limit downtime.

JBT’s BottleTec™: the modern version of the Extrusion Blow-Molder.

Cost-effective solution
“Many of these machines are still out in the field and are being used by companies to produce sterile plastic bottles, but because the control system is obsolete, the possibilities to repair them and keep them running are becoming fewer,” explains Auke Bouwense, JBT’s Customer Care Manager for Blow Molding and Filling Systems.

“There is trade-off between investment in repair and investment in a new machine. Replacing the control system is a very invasive operation, so we have developed the Blow Molding Controls Upgrade to manage that risk.”

JBT carried out its first installation of the new controls system during the summer months of 2019 and it has proven to be both cost-effective and efficient. “The system is up and running and has become a very good example of a successful development project,” says Bouwense. The customer now has a year-over-year strategy to convert the rest of their blow molding machines.”

“The Blow Molding Controls Upgrade makes an old system relevant again and the investment is a lot lower than if they had bought a new machine,” he adds.

Learn more about the Blow Molding Controls Upgrade

JBT’s PRoCARE: helping keep HPP downtime to a minimum

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Being able to maximize efficiency is essential for any company using High Pressure Processing (HPP) from JBT Avure to increase shelf life and ensure food safety, which is why downtime must be kept to a minimum. This is where a PRoCARE program from JBT Avure comes into play. 

With PRoCARE, equipment is inspected and maintained per the manufacturing standards to optimize performance and maintenance technicians receive on-going training.  Maintenance employee turnover is an issue customers are faced with around the globe.  With the training offered as part of PRoCARE, employees will be kept current with the required maintenance practices.

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Preventative maintenance
The System Uptime Review Evaluation (SURE) from JBT Avure is one way of guarding against unnecessary HPP downtime and is available to Avure customers – free for the first year – as part of JBT’s PRoCARE preventative maintenance program.

As Tim Boyle, JBT Avure’s Director of Customer Care for HPP, explains, SURE focuses on carrying out a full visual inspection of machinery, measuring pre-stress levels and making sure all components are working at maximum efficiency. Another key element to the SURE inspection is ensuring all aspects of the HPP safety systems are working properly and customer personnel are following the correct safety protocols.     

“Safety is one of our main concerns in everything we do.  When you are running machines at 87,000 psi, we need to be sure the safety systems continue to perform as they were designed”, says Boyle. “HPP is a growing technology in the food industry and we want to ensure that it maintains its reputation for safety in terms of the food our customer’s process as well was with the operation of our equipment” he emphasizes.

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Identifying problems
SURE allows JBT technicians to identify areas where maintenance is not being performed properly, even finding instances where customers are prematurely discarding thousands of dollars of parts which could easily be re-lapped and reused. “With the maintenance employee turnover issues our customers face, we often find that new employees don’t fully understand the maintenance requirements and how to perform the work.  This level of uncertainty can lead to less efficient work time and more machine downtime,” explains Boyle.

“Through the PRoCARE program’s combination of the SURE inspection and immediate training, we can identify areas of improvement and spend time training both new and existing employees.  This real time feedback is extremely effective in showing not just what needs to be done on the machine, but why it is important.”

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The PRoCARE package of the SURE inspection and three days’ maintenance training is now included free for the first year when purchasing a new Avure HPP machine. For those customers that would like further support, JBT Avure can customize a PRoCARE Level 2 package to meet their specific needs. These options can be service visits from Avure technicians, custom parts kits for easy ordering, parts discounts, emergency service discounts and also the JBT iOPS (our internet of things) portal for enhanced machine reporting. “Our goal is to become an integral part of our customer’s success through exceptional customer service,” adds Boyle.

Learn more about PRoCARE options

JBT launches Hygienic Piping System Provider Buyers Guide

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JBT has introduced a free-of-charge Hygienic Piping System Provider Buyers Guide, which aims to walk customers and non-customers alike through the process of acquiring new solutions with the focus on avoiding all-too-common pitfalls. The guide, The Top 10 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Hygienic Piping System Installation Provider, will discuss the key questions and factors that need to be considered before making a decision.

Buck Evers, Director of Field Services at JBT’s A&B Process Systems, says the guide was put together to give companies a valuable resource before and during the decision making process, outlining steps that should be taken and hazards that must be avoided. “The guide is designed to help companies in making the buying decisions because it looks at the process from a customer’s perspective, outlining the questions they need to ask to make a decision,” he explains.

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“If you only look at price and don’t consider other factors, you could end up with a supplier that doesn’t have the experience, the certifications or the safety performance to execute a job or hit the budget,” Evers continues. “The total cost of selecting a low price could be higher because companies can end up paying through accidents or having to change orders during the project. Poor quality can also have repercussions later where companies are forced to make corrections because the suppliers weren’t skilled enough.”

From a JBT perspective, Evers says that one of JBT’s key strengths is that the company provides ongoing support during the lifetime of the system or machinery, ensuring piece-of-mind should mishaps occur. “Supporting customers long-term through JBT’s customer care program means we can stand behind them,” he adds.

Download a free copy of the Top 10 Questions To Ask When Choosing a Hygienic Piping System Installation Provider Buyers Guide

 

Model R: an alternative option to acquire JBT filler-seamers

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JBT fillers and seamers can make a tangible difference to the effectiveness and efficiency of food and beverage processors’ operations, but budgets do not always stretch to cover the cost of new machinery. JBT’s Model ‘R’ or ‘Rebuilt’ offers a means of acquiring warranty-protected JBT equipment, comprised of new electronics and components in an existing frame, at an attractive price for smaller and mid-sized companies.

“We can compare it with car manufacturers who offer a complete overhaul when they want to bring older cars back on the road,” says Rex Pattyn, Customer Care Sales Manager for JBT. “This is exactly what JBT is doing. These are machines that we buy back from customers who don’t need them anymore and – after the thorough overhaul – we are able to offer them to other customers, with the result that these customers are getting a machine that is nearly new.”

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Industry-standard solutions
As Pattyn explains, the JBT Model R program retains the original filler and seamer frames and some parts, but brings in all-new, state-of-the-art electronics and components, with wear and tear elements discarded. A risk assessment is also carried out on all recycled parts, with everything updated to current standards before being reinstalled on the filler or seamer.

“Model R signifies ‘Rebuilt’ and the price of these machines is typically new minus approximately 30%,” says Pattyn. “The cost is less than that of manufacturing a new machine because the frame and critical parts are already there, while all the rest is replaced.

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“Customers get a true industry-standard JBT machine complete with warranty at a very attractive price. This helps customers who want to buy a genuine JBT machine but don’t have the budget available to buy new.”

“We don’t just clean a machine and give it a new coat of paint, we completely strip the components, deep clean the machinery, coat it, and bring everything up to current industry standards, so it’s a completely different approach from that of a normal second hand machine trader,” adds Pattyn. “It’s treated and quality checked like a piece of new equipment.”

Learn more about JBT’s Model R program

JBT’s PRoCARE®: working to eliminate downtime from the equation

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Downtime, for many processors and producers, is an inevitable part of the production process, which – in addition to cutting into productivity, scheduling and labor hours, to say nothing of the expense – is viewed as a phenomenon that has to be endured. But what if there were a means of limiting downtime to an absolute minimum or, better still, eliminating it almost completely? This was the objective JBT Customer Care had in mind when they set about launching PRoCARE; an ambitious initiative that aims to make downtime a problem of the past for JBT customers.

Irrespective of the pedigree of systems or equipment, the need for maintenance, regular or irregular, is a fact of life. With the best will in the world, it is unavoidable that parts become worn, equipment becomes damaged, or machinery does not always perform as expected. Such occurrences often result in downtime, with production being shifted, reduced or even halted completely while the problem is fixed. 

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JBT’s PRoCARE Program is focused on taking the unpredictability of maintenance difficulties out of the equation. Instead of waiting for problems to occur, JBT Field Service Engineers take preventative action as part of the program, visiting customer facilities on a scheduled basis to tackle any weak spots before they develop into a problem.

Relieving the burden
As an annual, auto-renewal program, PRoCARE offers levels of service specifically suited to the needs and wants of each plant. With features ranging from inspections, documentation and recommendations in Level 1; up to Level 5 which includes preventative maintenance, 24/7 monitoring, guaranteed response times, training and an annual pool of service and/or automation hours to use at their discretion, there is a great solution for any budget, explains Emily Lossman, Customer Care Manager at JBT’s A&B Process Systems.

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“The PRoCARE Program takes some of the burden off maintenance staff and removes the need to keep as many components on the shelf,” she says. “It also means customers will suffer fewer unexpected downtime issues and benefit from a longer equipment life.”

As well as new customers, Lossman says, JBT is reaching out to existing and previous customers, and letting them know that this is a program that can be implemented at their facilities.

Preserving reputations
The practice of preventative maintenance becomes even more important when viewed against the considerable threat posed by involuntary lapses in food safety, lapses that can lead to product recalls and potentially damaged reputations and lost clients. “Older equipment and machinery can suffer wear that can lead to potentially harmful contamination issues,” says Lossman. “Stainless steel surfaces can get scratched and these crevices can harbor bacteria that can be missing during Clean-In-Place (CIP) procedures. 

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JBT can provide riboflavin testing to verify cleaning efficacy and hydrostatic or dye penetrant testing to identify flaws. They will also provide recommendations on how to maintain that level of cleanliness. 

“We also check and calibrate instrumentation, which has positive implications for product consistency: we make sure instruments are correctly calibrated, so customers achieve a consistent product every time.”

In short, Lossman says the PRoCARE Program offers headache-free ownership. With JBT effectively taking care of systems and equipment during their entire active life, customers avoid the need to pull resources off key projects, help safeguard their reputation and, as much as possible, eliminate costly, avoidable downtime. 

Learn more about JBT’s PRoCARE Program

PRoCARE: JBT’s commitment to Customer Care

Customer Care has been a cornerstone of JBT’s success in international markets for over two decades, with the focus on helping customers protect their investment in JBT solutions so that equipment owners can pay back the original outlay many times over.

“Our Field Service Engineers and Customer Service personnel are focused on contributing to our customers’ success by evolving from a reactive, transaction based mindset to one based on customer intimacy. We are working toward growing capabilities across all JBT Liquid Foods equipment types and leveraging our global and regional footprint,” explains Chris Hanssen, JBT’s Global Customer Care Director for Liquid Foods.

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PRoCARE Services are one of the key after sale benefits offered by JBT, which is aimed at keeping JBT systems in optimum condition for years after the initial purchase. “Business earnings and profits are directly related to how much a company can produce in a given time, which in turn depends on the performance, reliability and availability of equipment.” 

“JBT’s greatest value in PRoCARE services comes from preventing unexpected costs through smart, purposeful, and timely maintenance.”

PRoCARE service packages are offered as a maintenance agreement in various levels, which are determined by individual production and cost management requirements. Such services include regular machine inspections by JBT Site Supervisors using standard JBT inspection protocols, training programs, preventive maintenance for wear parts, operation guidance during the start-up phase and remote technical support.

CONTACT JBT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PRoCARE