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JBT Proseal: meeting the quality petfood challenge

JBT Proseal Tray Sealing Solutions Pet Food AP60 Machine_small

JBT’s Proseal tray sealing technology is enabling pet food manufacturers meet growing demand for high quality products and packaging, as well as providing mass customization solutions that can help businesses diversify and introduce online ordering for home delivery services.

A recent report from Transparency Market Research has predicted a CAGR of 6% in the global pet food market over the next decade, reaching an expected value of US$168.3 billion by 2029. Increasing consumer demand for premium quality products has led manufacturers to use high quality materials and ingredients while streamlining  production techniques and processes, with the corresponding need for appropriate quality packaging to reflect this premium image.

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The comprehensive Proseal tray sealer range has the flexibility to perform in a wide range of disciplines, including Gas Flush Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), Vacuum MAP with lid control and Skin Packaging. In particular, the company’s advanced sealing systems ensure absolute control and integrity of the seal between the lid and the tray, a vital requirement for applications that incorporate a substantial controlled-retortion-process or other High Pressure sterilization processes after sealing. 

The tray sealers also include several Proseal-developed features that help to maximize performance, reliability and efficiency, such as the company’s pioneering Eseal® energy saving technology, ifilm™ intelligent film monitoring, and ProTect™ RFID access login system that provides full audit trail visibility and layered security.

In addition, Proseal’s AP60 linear conveyor tray sealing system is able to provide bespoke automated solutions for high speed applications and demanding production conditions, based around individual customer production processes and requirements.

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Among the system’s many features, the length and width of the indexing conveyor can be customized to accommodate de-nesting and filling requirements. Full or partial vacuum systems can be incorporated to enable post seal processes such as retort or High Pressure Processing (HPP), and X-ray inspection systems and checkweighers can be included after sealing for enhanced quality control. The AP60 also offers seamless integration with third party process equipment including depositors, multihead weighing applications and CIP systems with sealing speeds of up to 240 packs per minute.

Furthermore, Proseal’s AP60 benefits from shared technology across the Proseal machinery range. Options can be specified and retro-engineered, allowing a more flexible approach to each distinct application. All Proseal machines offer a user-friendly interface and easy to maintain design, with a rugged and hygienic food industry approved construction geared to full washdown protection.

“As the pet food market continues to expand, we are keen to provide solutions for companies requiring a significant upscale in their production of core products in new packaging formats, which can be met on one machinery platform,” says Tony Burgess, Head of Sales and Control Systems, Proseal. “The flexibility of our technology and the wide variety of machines available, including fully integrated conveyor systems, mean we can offer a full turnkey production line solution which is key for this particular market. We are delighted that our expertise can help companies to achieve a point of differentiation in the competitive pet food sector.”

Learn more about Proseal’s packaging solutions

JBT AGVs: the automated solution to labor problems

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Among the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps one most keenly felt by the global food industry has been pressure on traditional labor sources. Worker absences due to illness or localized outbreaks can play havoc with the supply chain, increasing pressure on processors. One growing area offering a practical, cost-effective solution is JBT’s innovative AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) range; a solution that is enabling companies to save labor for higher value tasks and increase social distancing.

More than simple robotic systems, JBT AGVs feature an advanced navigation system which creates a virtual map of the surroundings in which it operates, allowing it to safety move around the working area. Further, JBT AGVs now come with 2D and 3D cameras for safe positioning and vertical stacking of pallets above the level of the AGV. 

Different applications
According to Mark Longacre, Application Engineering Manager for JBT’s AGV division, such innovations are helping spark an expansion in the use of AGVs from manufacturing areas – where the vehicles would be used to move raw materials or finished goods – to warehousing and distribution. “In the past, AGVs were more of a horizontal transport solution and now they are getting much more vertical where we are storing in warehouses, in some cases quite high,” he says. “It’s not to say that those manufacturing applications have gone away. They really haven’t, but now we are also seeing this growth in the warehousing side.”

As demand for different applications has grown, so has the advancement on what Longacre describes as natural environment navigation, where the AGVs create a baseline map by sensing the features and contours of the surrounding environment. “As the AGVs operate, they compare what they see with their sensors to that baseline map, and accurately navigate in that environment,” explains Longacre. “By recognizing the natural environment and not adding special navigation aids or markers , it makes installation quicker and less costly.”

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Strong ROI
Longacre believes much of the recent increase in interest in JBT AGVs can be put down to pressure on the labor market as well as greater awareness of the strong ROI offered by the solution. “Companies in the past were looking at it purely as a financial equation where they looked at how many forklift operators they had and how much labor they were going to save, but now I think they are starting to understand some of the risks associated with the labor force,” he says. 

“I don’t think they are going to abandon the financial models, but I think they are going to weigh things a little differently. You want to save labor for the highest value added task and driving forklifts is not something where you have to use labor.”

Learn more about JBT AGVs

JBT’s solutions for a post-pandemic future promise fruitful results

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For the global juice industry as it operates amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of ensuring stringent food safety – combined with sustainability – has surely never been more important. But given the economic challenges many companies face, the ability to become more efficient during processing and keep waste to a minimum is arguably just as crucial.

JBT’s approach to both food safety and sustainability is encapsulated in six key Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles for juice processors: aiming for food security and nutrition; ensuring economic viability; encouraging good governance; being environmentally responsible; creating acceptable working conditions; and promoting the transfer of knowledge.

“One of the six principles of sustainability is food safety: that foods are not just sustainable, but that they have to be safer,” explains JBT’s Technology Assistance Manager for Liquid Foods, José Lorente. “If you don’t clean properly, you can’t be sure of eliminating micro-organisms, and if the sterilization process is not adequate, this can result in serious problems.”

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Improved profitability
While food safety is undoubtedly important, another significant element of achieving sustainability is maximizing yield. Getting more out of the same volume of fruit – including valuable by-products or ingredients – means far less wastage and potential contamination, and improved profitability at the end of the process; a massively important consideration given the current economic pressures driven by the global pandemic.

“Recovering by-products, such as citrus essential oils, generated during citrus juice processing, enables companies not only to be more environmentally friendly, but also more profitable by being more efficient during the extraction process using the same raw materials,” explains Lorente.

“Over recent years, we at JBT have been working on maximizing and optimizing yield by developing solutions that help customers obtain more juice and by-products. Being efficient is part of sustainability. The more efficient a company, the more sustainable it becomes and the more profitable.”

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Significant benefits
A clear example of how JBT solutions can help juice customers maximize yield is when it comes to essential oils, which can be recovered during the extraction process. These include valuable d-Limonene, a natural organic solvent used as an ingredient across a wide variety of applications, from cleaning products to the aroma industry. However, what makes JBT solutions different from standard extractors is their ability to recover significantly more essential oil.

“With a standard extractor, you can recover around 55% of the essential oil present in the fruit, but thanks to the efficiency of JBT’s ORES (Oil Recovery Extraction System), customers can recover up to 65%,” says Lorente. “You have to bear in mind that otherwise this 10%, which is a contaminant, would be thrown away. By recovering that extra 10%, customers not only earn more money, they also help protect the environment.”

To achieve even better results, JBT has developed the MORE (Modular Oil Recovery Extractor) system, which recovers essential oil before it reaches the extractor. By softly scraping the peel, without damaging the integrity of the fruit, more than 90% of the essential oil available can be recovered.

Learn more about JBT and sustainability

JBT’s READYGo™ LIQUIFUSION™: the single solution to make complex systems simple

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JBT’s READYGo LiquiFusion Tanks present an innovative solution for combining multiple operations into a single tank processing system, saving money and delivering a smaller footprint in the process. Dan Wolff, Technical Sales Manager for Sales, Engineering and Estimating at JBT’s A&B Process Systems, explains how the concept works.

When a process professional starts to consider purchasing new equipment, a whole array of questions and issues come to mind. What if I need to perform multiple operations? How will I protect my product from contamination? How can I fit this equipment into the space I have?

To address these common concerns, experts across many industries are moving towards single tank processing where a single piece of equipment is used for blending, dispersion, emulsification, heating, and cooling operations. This is the concept behind JBT’s READYGo LiquiFusion Tanks; a solution which delivers a lower capital cost, reduced material handling and product transfer, and a smaller system footprint. 

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READYGo LiquiFusion Tanks are available in six standard volumes and can be customized to handle a broad range of products and processes, including four separate agitator options that can be combined to create ideal mixing for almost any application and can handle viscosities up to 100,000+ cPs. 

The optional ASME dimple jacket provides efficient heating and cooling compatible with a variety of heat transfer media. This system has been used for products such as gums, flours, cocoa, yeast, powdered egg, caseinates, condiments, juices, purees, whey, slurries, cheese, lotion, gel, shampoo, toothpaste, and more.

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In addition to all its other benefits, the LiquiFusion system offers superior low-level mixing, reduced batch time, elimination of agglomerated powders, a more homogenous blend, and increased batch uniformity. Furthermore, if the customer is interested in automating their system, a full range of optional instrumentation can be included to reduce manual processing and further protect their product from damage due to human error.

While the user should be excited that combining these processes results in less equipment to clean, they can also rest assured that the LiquiFusion is designed to be fully CIP (Clean-In-Place) ready. Our sanitary design is extremely versatile and is ready for installation in any food, dairy, confectionary, cosmetic, personal care, or pharmaceutical plant.

Dan Wolff has worked at A&B Process Systems for seven years as a Mechanical Engineer in the Tank and Vessel Group, specializing in pressure vessel engineering, agitator design, structural analysis, and standard product development. Recently, Dan moved into the role of Technical Sales Manager supporting A&B’s Sales, Engineering, and Estimating teams.

Learn more about READYGo LiquiFusion Tanks

Meeting the seasonal challenge: how PRoCARE can make a difference

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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.”

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Avoiding downtime
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.”

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Productivity increase
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.”

Learn more about JBT’s PRoCARE program

New Proseal analysis platform maximizes production efficiencies

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JBT’s tray sealing specialist Proseal has launched an advanced automated platform that captures and analyzes valuable machine data to improve the efficiency and performance of the entire production line. The new Proseal ProVision™ system enables companies to maximize the benefits of Industry 4.0 and the fully automated factory.

Using cutting edge technology, the web-based analysis platform has been developed for Proseal’s GTe and GTs range of tray sealing machines to help identify and understand the causes of downtimeand other inefficiencies, in order to maximize the production capacity of the tray sealer and increase overall equipment effectiveness. Importantly, ProVision can also be easily integrated with existing third party equipment to accurately deliver information and drive improvements throughout the whole production line.

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ProVision’s easy to use reporting tools can be used to generate advanced reports that inspect machine data and compare historical performance analysis over any given time. This helps to identify any line inefficiencies and pinpoint factors that may affect productivity in terms of both personnel and operating procedures. Additionally, data patterns can be monitored to identify root causes of problems which could otherwise be hard to diagnose.

The versatile ProVision can be viewed on any web-enabled device, including a PC, smartphone and smart TV. The Live View function allows real time and remote performance monitoring, enabling operators to work away from the line and efficiently operate multiple machines, allowing engineers to check on machine performance and provide timely interventions if any problems are detected.

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ProVision is offered at no extra cost to all new Proseal GTe and GTs machines that are supplied with an Ewon device to allow internet connection. As part of Proseal’s futureproofing of its equipment, updated software and Ewon devices can be retrofitted to pre-existing GTe and GTs machines. In addition, a scaled down version of the platform, ProVision Lite, has been devised to deliver many of ProVision’s key benefits, to older legacy machines. 

“The development of our new Industry 4.0 advanced analysis platform demonstrates Proseal’s commitment to technological innovation,” says Rob Watson, Proseal Control Systems Manager. “ProVision offers benefits to all levels of factory personnel, from managers and engineers to line supervisors and operators, delivering invaluable, fine-detailed performance data that will help production lines to operate consistently at maximum efficiency.”

Learn more about Proseal’s new ProVision system

JBT’s Unifiller innovations reduce Total Cost of Ownership

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JBT has introduced new, unique features for the JBT Unifiller, the volumetric piston filler for high value products, with key attributes such as a unique seal-less and self-draining fill station concept, which substantially differentiates the Unifiller from conventional piston filling technology.

A new Configure to Order (CTO) option and in-line check weighting are now being included with the Unifiller as a means of significantly enhancing existing processes, enhancing safety and minimising giveaway.

The two innovations will help further boost the three key benefits of the Unifiller: Clean In Place (CIP) without fill station disassembly; unmatched fill accuracy; and high product particle quality. These also make the Unifiller an even better solution for filling high-value segments, including sauces, jams and sweet spreads, ready meals, cream and condensed milk in metal or glass containers.

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Configure to Order
JBT has recently completed a Configure to Order (CTO) exercise on the Unifiller with the objective of reducing the cost and delivery time, says Bart Mertens, JBT’s Product Line Director for Filling and Closing Equipment. 

The CTO exercise also includes an upgrade of the basic machine with features that were previously optional, including: sealed upper guarding with standard safety glass for enhanced operator safety and chemical resistance; a stainless steel central column for longer life, lower risk of blockage and improved hygienic; easy-to-clean, hygienic electropolished fill stations; and a single point container height adjustment for more convenient can format change-over.

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How the JBT Unifiller valve filling principle works

Minimize giveaway
To further reduce the Total Cost of Ownership, JBT is also now offering optional in-line check weighing technology, for speeds of up to 700 cpm (containers per minute). “The use of this technology in combination with the Unifiller allows for the monitoring of the fill accuracy performance of each individual fill station and features automatic on-the-fly fill volume adjustment to minimize giveaway,” explains Mertens.

Additionally, the Unifiller, ensures E-mark compliance by rejecting under- and over-filled containers that fail to comply with the standard in order to protect downstream sterilization equipment.

Learn more about the new JBT Unifiller

A&B Process Systems receives safety award from ConstructSecure

JBT’s A&B Process Systems has been recognized by ConstructSecure as one of their Safest Contractors & Vendors. A&B received the Platinum Safety Award for scoring greater than 95% in the safety assessment administered by ConstructSecure. 

The award from ConstructSecure, a global SaaS company that prequalifies contractors and vendors for corporations that have stringent safety requirements, is based on an assessment of current safety management systems and incident rates.   

“Our associates really get it and are on board with our culture of safety,” said Bill Thompson, A&B’s HSE Manager. “Our associates continue to go the extra mile in their daily work to help prevent safety incidents and this award is a testament to their dedication to safety.

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“Our team members do a great job of preventing incidents from occurring.  If they see a potential risk, they report it as a near miss right away and it is addressed immediately. We truly appreciate everyone’s dedication to being as safe as possible.”

Scott Raether, Director of Operations for A&B, added: “We have an incredible group of dedicated employees who believe that zero injuries are expected. We pay attention to little details and truly look out for each other. Awards are terrific, but what’s more rewarding is the knowledge that our employees are acting safely and contribute to a safe place to work.”

Learn more about A&B Process Systems’s solutions

JBT Avure Q&A: HPP West Coast

In the first of an occasional series of High Pressure Processing (HPP) Expert Q & A Interviews from JBT Avure HPP, Patricia Truter, CEO of Vancouver-based HPP toller HPP West Coast explains how she got started in the HPP industry and went on to found the only such facility on the West Coast of Canada.

Q: How many years have you been working with HPP technology? 

Patricia Truter (PT): My family started an HPP business in South Africa, and I then decided to start a tolling facility on the West Coast of Canada (Canada has only one other tolling facility, and it is on the East Coast). I started to work with a business plan and to look for funding, investors or potential partners about three years ago. I finally got my own JBTAvure machine at the end of March 2019.

Q: Why did HPP West Coast decide to buy a JBT Avure HPP machine?

PT: I visited seven different tolling facilities in the US (from different suppliers), and based on my family’s feedback and the feedback I received from tollers in the US, JBTAvure was the number one choice.

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Q: What are the advantages of using a toller like HPP West Coast?

PT: The food producers do not have to set up an HPP facility themselves. They can simply send their products to us, we HPP it, and we can store it at our facility until it is ready to be distributed.

Q: What are popular foods and beverages that HPP West Coast HPP’s? 

PT: We do a lot of fresh juices and dips.

Q: What do you, as an HPP toller, think are the top three drivers sparking HPP’s fast growth?

PT: Consumers want a clean label, but they also want quality and a product that will not expire within a few days.

Q: What HPP products do you have in your fridge? 

PT: I HPP all the fresh milk I buy at the grocery store, guacamole, fresh juice.

JBT Avure HPP will be holding a Webinar on Thursday June 25 to discuss HPP and the growing 2020 trend for processing Ready Meals. In addition, Jasmine Sutherland, CEO of Texas Food Solutions, will join us to tell her story about launching her own HPP Ready Meal. Click here to Register for the webinar!

SmartWash Solutions aims to continue boosting fresh produce safety

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Once the dust has settled following the COVID-19 pandemic, there is likely – many in the produce industry believe – to be an increased awareness of the importance of safety in the food production process, including during the washing and preparing of vegetables. Here, innovative treatments from JBT alliance partner, SmartWash Solutions could be poised to play a key role.

Originally launched in the US in 2009, SmartWash Solutions’ patented SmartWash delivers Pinpoint Process Control™ to food processing wash-water systems, mitigating cross contamination while improving food safety. The system has proven so effective in curbing cross contamination that it is now used by over 50% of the US fresh-cut produce industry, leading to expansion to Europe with the opening of SmartWash Solutions BV in the Netherlands.

Wash-lines are used by all produce processors across Europe to clean vegetables and salad products, according to Ewoud Buter, General Manager of SmartWash Solutions BV; a manual process, which typically involves hand contact. Not only raising potential contamination questions, the process is also highly labor-intensive, typically involving hourly QA testing of pH and Total Chlorine levels in the wash-water. 

The SmartWash acidulent – in combination with the SmartWash controller, known as the ASAP – will continually monitor and control the water chemistry, taking data every 10 milliseconds and saving it every two seconds. As well as improving food quality and safety, Buter says the system will also reduce labor usage over an eight-hour period by 87.5% on average. “With the SmartWash method, you only need to have a manual check once per shift, that’s to say once every eight hours, so you reduce QA hours by almost 90%,” he says.

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Controlling chemistry
Offered under a leasing program, SmartWash ASAP unit installation, maintenance and repairs – when required – are carried out by SmartWash technicians, although the company also provides in-depth training for new customers, covering operation and basic maintenance, including parts replacement. 

However, the potential of SmartWash’s scope to effectively control the chemistry of wash-water could yet be broadened further. The company has significant relationships with scientists in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. One of these scientific partners is currently researching the effect of chlorinated disinfectant on viruses. “SmartWash is already massively effective against (Gram negative) bacteria, so we believe it will likely have a positive impact on viruses present on vegetables, including potentially COVID-19,” says Buter. “We are really looking forward to the results of the study.”

Learn more about SmartWash Solutions

To learn more about other ways JBT can help you in the COVID-19 environment please visit www.jbtc.com