Of course the last 12 months have been exceptionally challenging due to the impact of the pandemic, but given the seasonal nature of many juice businesses in Brazil, the need to keep production rolling uninterrupted has been imperative.
“During the production season – for example with fruit and vegetables, tomatoes, orange juice – the machines can’t stop for maintenance,” explains Luis Marcomini, JBT’s Brazil-based head of Customer Care for Diversified Food & Health. “During the off-season, when a machine is disassembled for refurbishment and to change parts and check components, our technician is there with the customer. For those customers who have a PRoCARE contract with us, the replacement parts will already have been delivered and we do the maintenance together with the customer. This is a longer visit during which we carry out training for in-house technicians and operators.”
However, JBT’s PRoCARE support does not just stop there. JBT technicians visit customer production facilities during the season, says Marcomini, follow the performance of the machine with the operators at the plant, and discuss how maintenance, cleaning, and sterilization is proceeding. “The JBT technician will go to the plant and look at the production, from the fruit entering at the start of the process to the juice coming out at the end,” he continues. “Through this, our technician will analyze the performance, the yield and the quality, but will also provide training during the visits.
“What we have seen in recent years in terms of PRoCARE is that our customers use it not only for machine maintenance, but also for training.”
Of course if a breakdown does occur, it is important to get a line up-and-running as quickly as possible, and here Marcomini says PRoCARE can again play a key role, whether remotely or in-person. “We have seen examples of machines which have had a breakdown and in the space of only a few hours, they are put to work again,” he says. “A common hazard in Brazil is a failure in the local power supply, and then when the power returns the machine sometimes doesn’t recognize the control system. Our engineer can remotely enter the machine and set-up the machine so it’s ready to work again.”
Marcomini says feedback from Brazil-based PRoCARE customers in the fruit and vegetable, and dairy industries has been overwhelmingly positive. “Customers are seeing more and more that the best way to keep machines running at 100% capacity and optimum quality is by having PRoCARE with JBT, and we have seen them renewing their contracts every year,” he says.
This commitment to service continued even during in the peak of the pandemic, with JBT technicians continuing to carry out maintenance and training via remote access, and although some travel is now possible, Marcomini adds that the solution proved so successful that is now included as part of the PRoCARE package.