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A&B looks ahead to global expansion through JBT

JBT Corporation’s acquisition of Wisconsin-based A&B Process Systems in October 2015 will surely come to be viewed as a major step forward for both companies. The integration of the business has not only helped JBT offer a more complete, one-stop product solution, it has also enabled A&B to expand globally.

Troy Weik, A&B’s Director of Operations, who began his career as a process engineer, and advanced through the organization into his current position, explains how the changes undergone by the company are revolutionizing the way A&B works.

In what ways has A&B changed since it became part of JBT?

Troy Weik: The biggest change has been the ability to take A&B globally, which was a long-time goal of ours. A&B had been primarily a domestic supplier, especially in engineering, installation and automation services, with some manufactured goods being shipped overseas by US customers including Nestlé and General Mills.

Troy Weik

A&B’s Troy Weik

The acquisition has brought the ability to grow and expand our offerings. Over the last year, we’ve been getting connected with the different JBT facilities around the world for us to understand their capabilities and, they, our capabilities. In the past, A&B has been limited up to the point of further processing, packaging and filling. We didn’t have the expertise, but now combined with JBT’s product offerings, we are able to bring a total solution to our customers.

What synergies is A&B benefitting from with other JBT businesses?

We’ve gained good traction in that area. We have several opportunities right now where we have batch retorts that we want to combine with our product line, as well as the packaging and filling applications, so we can propose it as a complete solution to customers.

A&B has engineering expertise on anything that’s pumpable, whether that be in food, dairy, confectionery or pharmaceuticals, we have experience in those areas. Clean In Place (CIP) is also an area where we’re very strong that we’re trying to integrate with other JBT products.

“Combined with JBT’s product offerings, we are able to bring a total solution to our customers”

Whereas in the past, JBT sold specific products like fillers and retorts, getting the processed ingredients to those points and cleaning the systems was beyond the scope of supply. These are areas of expertise for A&B so now we can provide CIP equipment, engineering and design, and automation systems to integrate the facilities in order to provide a one-stop shopping experience to our customers.

A&B machinery in plant

What further opportunities do you see for A&B in liquid foods?

We’re looking at different opportunities within the tomato market, which is a strong area for JBT. Additionally, we’re looking to pursue opportunities in aseptic processing, another strong JBT product line – they have the sterilization expertise and we have the vessels, process piping, mixing and blending systems, which are utilized to provide a complete process solution.

“Over the next 12 months, we expect to see more of an expanded global integration for A&B”

We’re also exploring more in terms of juicing systems, which is where our association with JBT began. The reason JBT found A&B is we worked on a sweet potato juice processing facility with them – the first one either of us had ever done. That’s a new market and there are more ready-to-drink opportunities they are pursuing that we can assist with.

Looking ahead, how might A&B’s role within JBT develop further?

We’re in central Wisconsin, which is the hub of dairy processing, and we’ve been working in that market for several years. Similar to JBT, we are also well established in the food, beverage, and meat industries. We are looking forward to introducing JBT to the pharmaceutical industry by continuing to be a key partner for our customers – providing our modular skidded systems and vessels, as well as installation capabilities, to the marketplace.

Over the next 12 months, we expect to see more of an expanded global integration for A&B with JBT facilities worldwide, taking more of our product lines to global markets and expanding our installation capabilities beyond US borders. That’s a major priority for us, as well as insourcing more JBT products from a manufacturing standpoint.

Dairy innovator Arla Foods adds JBT automated vehicles

Arla Foods, the world’s largest manufacturer of organic dairy products, has invested in four JBT automated vehicles for its cheese factory in Taulov (Denmark) – vehicles that have a proven record of reducing pallet and product damage.

An international dairy company owned by 12,700 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Arla markets a wide range of high quality dairy products, including well-known brands Lurpak® and Castello®.

The company focuses on eight dairy categories: milk and powder, milk-based beverages, spreadable cheese, yogurt, butter and spreads, speciality cheese, Mozzarella and value-added whey.


Automated solution
Arla’s fully-automated JBT vehicles will transport full and empty trays between two levels of gravity racking, two production cells, and a storage area within the plant. SGV Manager software controls the SGVs and communicates with the Arla host system.

To start the process, the Arla host computer issues a movement request to the SGV Manager, which dispatches a SGV to perform the task. The vehicle travels to the designated pick-up location, performs the pick, and delivers it to the drop-off position. On completion, the SGV reports back to the SGV Manager, which then updates Arla’s host system.

The SGV System supports two robotic filling lines within the facility, bringing empty trays to the conveyor in-feed, and once filled with blocks of cheese delivers them to high bay storage.

The SGVs, which automatically exchange batteries during operation, are equipped with a standard fork attachment that allows them to transport pallets of full and empty trays. They can lift 2m high and can interface with conveyors and racking.

For more details on Arla Foods and the JBT vehicles, click here



JBT partners with Cornell University


JBT Corporation has announced a new collaboration with the Cornell Institute for Food Systems Industry Partnership Program (CIFS-IPP) as part of an initiative aimed at sharing liquid food, juice and dairy knowledge and innovations.

The collaboration, which will investigate how new technologies can benefit food and beverage processors, will be highlighted on October 27, with a public demonstration of JBT’s Fresh’n Squeeze® Produce Plus Juicer at Cornell’s Field Day Forum event in New York State.

Fresh insights
JBT’s Samriddh (Sam) Mudgal, who himself participated in the program having graduated from Cornell with an MS in Food Science, explains that the collaboration is all about developing and sharing our understanding of economic, regulatory, and scientific contexts spanning across the food supply chain.


“Cornell has created a platform where they invite people from industry to discuss upcoming trends, what people want, what are the challenges and which way should the food systems community be headed,” he says.

“At JBT, we are always looking for new areas of technological research and we need that insight from people who have been investigating these technologies for decades. We want to understand how we should be looking at these technologies and where we should be investing.”

Mudgal emphasizes that the program is very much a win-win relationship for both parties, with JBT benefitting from access to Cornell resources and results, while at the same time the Institute is benefitting from JBT’s industry insight and equipment manufacturing expertise.

Araraquara workshop

A good example is the upcoming Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training scheduled to be held in JBT’s Parma (Italy) facility during November 2016. The Food Safety Modernization Act requires food processors to have a mandatory food safety plan drawn up by a qualified individual (PCQI). JBT will provide this training to its customers through FDA approved Preventive Controls Lead Instructors outsourced from Cornell.

“The purpose of the program is to create synergies where we can work together,” explains Mudgal. “Extractors, emerging non-thermal pasteurization technologies, aseptic fillers, closers, sterilizers – these are all areas where JBT has expertise and Cornell will be benefiting from us sharing our knowledge base.

“JBT will benefit from cross disciplinary research consulting, access to Cornell’s pilot plant facilities, engagement with a vibrant student community, personnel training and interaction with CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) member companies.”

JBT lab

Beneficial synergies
Following a seminar given by Cornell’s Prof Carmen Moraru on non-thermal pasteurization technologies at JBT’s global science & technology conference in September, the Institute will showcase JBT’s Fresh’n Squeeze Produce Plus Juicer at its next Field Day Forum in Geneva, New York.

Produce Plus Juicer

As Julie Stafford from Cornell explains, highlighting the Juicer is just part of a renewed collaboration between JBT and the University, which is expected to be further expanded over the months to come.

“We are expanding our technology use in food science and moving to some more contemporary types of processing, so we were interested in reinvigorating our relationship with JBT,” she says.

“At the same time, we understand that JBT is interested in exploring other opportunities for their portfolio, whether that’s dairy or other fruits and vegetables, so it seemed like an opportune time to consider growing closer together.”

During the summer months, the Cornell researchers visited JBT’s Lakeland, Florida facility, which Stafford describes as a fantastic experience to meet more of the JBT team and learn about the exciting developments that are happening in R&D at the company.

“We talked in terms of sharing our goals and what we wanted to accomplish and, as we talked, we became interested in the Produce Plus Juicer and we thought what a great place to start,” Stafford recalls.

“I’m a firm believer that we are able to make more progress together than either one of us would alone,” she adds.

“Synergy comes from working together and there’s a benefit to having more than one perspective. If you have the discovery-based academic perspective and the commercial-based applied perspective of industry, there is a lot of potential for impact and for change and progress.”

JBT’s solutions: from primary processing to finished products

JBT’s client coverage in the liquid and shelf-stable food sectors can at times read like a who’s who of major processors encompassing a wide range of products, from pureed baby food and powdered milk for infants through to jams, fresh juices, ketchup, soups, milk drinks and pet food.

Far removed from the company’s origins in Florida’s citrus sector, JBT’s reach now stretches across the vegetable, fruit and dairy processing industries, offering  technological solutions from primary processing through to final packaging.

In fact, more than 50% of the world’s shelf-stable foods are filled, closed or sterilized in JBT equipment.

Acting as a single source supplier, the company offers custom engineering and ensures product quality and safety, while also excelling in customer care, delivering ongoing support to clients covering the working life of technologies.

For more information, visit JBT’s liquid food product pages here.

JBT prepares for visit to Juice Summit 2016

Juices - generic

JBT will be present at the 2016 edition of Juice Summit, a major industry event for all companies that participate in the international juice and beverage sector, which will be staged in Antwerp, Belgium from October 12-13.

Now in its fourth year, the conference, which is sponsored by the International Fruit Juice Union (IFU), the European Fruit Juice Association (AIJN) and Sure Global Fair (SGF), is expected to attract juice companies from across the world.

JBT’s Global Marketing Manager for Liquid Foods, Carlos Saavedra, who will be attending the event, explains that the Juice Summit is viewed as significant for the whole juice and beverage sector with top industry leaders likely to participate.

“Participants are likely to include Cutrale, Louis Dreyfus Citrus and Citrosuco (three of the largest citrus processors in Brazil) and other large juice and beverage processors – not just citrus – so you’ve got a lot of leading figures in the industry that will be present,” he says.

For its part, JBT will be highlighting its state-of-the-art processing and aseptic solutions for drinks and juice companies worldwide, including the JBT Fresh’n Squeeze® range, as well as its fruit and vegetable processing, and aseptic solutions.

JBT prepares for International Citrus & Beverage Conference

Orange juice factory - generic

JBT’s state-of-the-art solutions for processing and aseptic solutions for drinks and juice companies worldwide are set to be highlighted to new and potential customers alike at the upcoming 2016 International Citrus & Beverage Conference in Clearwater, Florida.

To be held at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort from September 20-23, the three-day event for citrus, juice and beverage professionals, which is expected to attract participants from Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Mexico, the US and many more countries, will focus on key issues facing the sector and highlight new and innovative products.

JBT, which will be taking a delegation of global sales managers, will be among the significant industry players doing just that, with highlighted products likely to include JBT’s Fresh’n Squeeze® range, as well as its fruit and vegetable processing, and aseptic solutions.


International scope
Originally held in Gainesville, Florida and organized by Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, the International Citrus & Beverage Conference once focused solely on citrus, and specifically from the Sunshine State.

As citrus production has moved further south, so has the location of the event which relocated south to Clearwater, where it is held today. With Florida citrus production having declined over recent years – in part due to climate and disease – the conference has widened its reach to include a far greater range of juices and beverages, while also becoming much broader in its international scope.

Orange juice generic

Latest developments
With JBT’s global customers and alliance partners – including IceGen and Aurratech – expected to be present at the event, the company is hoping to not just meet up with existing customers, but also to learn about new aspects of the industry and highlight its own solutions.

“We expect to have customers and alliance partners from all over the globe at this the event,” explains JBT Global Marketing Manager for Liquid Foods, Carlos Saavedra. “We host a Latin-themed night for our friends from Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Spain and other Hispanic countries, as well as a North American customer appreciation dinner for other US-based customers, as well as meeting new and potential customers and alliance partners.”

“At the end of the day this event is all about networking and learning about the latest developments in the citrus and beverage sector,” he adds.

JBT introduces innovative SaniClean Belt Conveyor


JBT has developed one of the most easy-to-clean belt conveyors in the market today, which can be taken apart and reassembled in less than a minute to enable effective cleaning of food debris, helping food companies improve both food safety and hygiene.

Set to be launched commercially this year, the innovative SaniClean Belt Conveyor allows for thorough cleaning at high speed, meaning the time a production line is out of action for cleaning is minimized to the shortest amount possible.

“The biggest feature of it is that it is super easy to clean,” explains JBT Aftermarket Parts & Equipment Sales Manager Jeff Cook. “With most conventional conveyors, you can’t get into them and clean under or around the belt – you need the maintenance department to take them apart to do the cleaning.


“The SaniClean requires no tools to get in there and under the belt and clean because you can literally take it apart in 10 seconds*.”

SaniClean also includes features that guard against bacterial contamination. Sanitary, ‘food-safe’ welds are carried out during manufacturing to ensure no micro-organisms take root in any crevices, which can be difficult to clean.

SaniClean close-up

Easily adaptable
The system is also easily adapted to multi-stage cleaning. “if you are running in the middle of the day and just want to do a light clean up, you can spray inside the frame cut-outs and then later do a thorough clean,” says Cook.

“Everything was thought out in the design so it can be cleaned quickly and easily without having to call in the maintenance department. The value of product comes through being able to clean it quickly, easily and very effectively.”

SaniClean close-up side

SaniClean, which is suitable for almost all food products from fresh fruits and vegetables through to meat and poultry, also features removable plastic belt-supports below the conveyor for easy cleaning, making a change from conventional rollers which can be a challenge to access.

Also unlike conventional conveyor belt systems, SaniClean can handle high temperature cleaning of up to 180 degrees with no detrimental impact on components.

Currently available as a prototype, SaniClean is due to be commercially launched in October to coincide with its installation at a Sunkist packing facility, while installation for other products – both fresh and processed – is in the pipeline.

For more information about SaniClean, please contact Jeff Cook

*Disassembly time increases as conveyor length and width increases.

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