Carlos Fernandez, President and Managing Director of JBT’s Liquid Foods business, reflects a busy 12 months for the company and what’s in store in the year ahead.
The last 12 months marked the first full year of life for JBT’s Liquid Foods, which was created by bringing together two notable JBT businesses – Fruit & Juice Solutions and Preservation Solutions.
Fruit & Juice is a business where we produce equipment and complete lines for primary processing of citrus, tomatoes, and other fruits, while Preservation focuses on in-container sterilization, as well as filling and closing metal cans. In 2015 we merged these two businesses together while, at the same time, making two key acquisitions.
The acquisition of Stork Food & Dairy Systems in Amsterdam brought innovative continuous helical coil sterilization technology – which complemented our existing in-flow sterilization systems – plus an ability to carry out aseptic filling of end products.
This technology can be applied not only to dairy, but also to juices and many other types of beverages, whether that will be yoghurt or mixed tea drinks.
We needed a company to bring this all together and we found this in A&B Process Systems.
Based in Stratford, Wisconsin, A&B specializes in mixing, batching, and blending skids, CIP (Clean-In-Place) for lines of equipment, process piping, control panels, tank and vessel fabrication and installation resources for a wide variety of projects. A&B is capable of taking JBT equipment and offering complete solutions using all of those systems. Now we are able to offer customers broader solutions, whether those be a complete line, part of a line or a single piece of equipment.
Food processors are increasingly looking for suppliers to provide more than just a piece of equipment, but expertise in products and applications. If they want a particular product or line, we can provide it, but we can also provide expertise in juices, dairy and much, much more.
This is where we are with Liquid Foods today with a greater scale, a presence in all the important global geographic regions, and a very strong foundation in service. Our focus is to be able to provide solutions and service to customers in the most efficient way possible, with a network of global research and technology centers where we help processors test and develop products.
The next stage for Liquid Foods as a business will be to capitalize on these synergies and reorganize to deliver more of a regional focus, so customers have a single point of contact in each region. We will also have a globalized team in charge of product development that supports regional operations with product expertise.
The vision for Liquid Foods is to continue growing organically through internal development of new products, greater investment in the technology centers, and an expansion of our capacity to manufacture in each of the regions where we have a presence. We will also seek to make further acquisitions of companies or technologies that add value for our customers.