By Carlos Fernandez, EVP Customer Sustainability & Market Development

How can JBT customers achieve more sustainable processing in this era of tightening costs? For many customers, there is an acute need to get the most out of existing equipment, while becoming more efficient and increasing productivity. At the same time, there is growing pressure from consumers and retailers for greater sustainability in the food industry.

Reconciling these objectives is where JBT comes in. Through our Research & Technology Centers (RTCs) and Green Retrofits, JBT is already helping customers to achieve not only improved productivity and efficiencies, but also to become more sustainable. In the process, we help customers to become more profitable, reduce waste, and enhance their long-term economic viability, ensuring a sustainable future for everyone involved.

JBT Research & Technology Centers: Maximizing Efficiency and Productivity 

JBT Research & Technology Centers (RTCs) serve as a Research & Development resource for customers that focuses on maximizing the effectiveness and productivity of new or existing equipment and extending its working life. RTCs contain – often full size – replicas of JBT equipment capable of reproducing the exact same processes that food processors use when running their food processing lines. 

“Many companies know how to weld steel or bend metal, and JBT is no exception, but we also understand the products and the processes”

Customers can draw on JBT experts’ substantial food safety, food science and application knowledge to get the best results from their equipment and the desired end results for their products. Many companies know how to weld steel or bend metal, and JBT is no exception, but we also understand the products and the processes. This means customers can be confident we can help them deliver products with the best-possible shelf-life and food safety, and all with the aim of achieving optimum end results.

By replicating the performance of an industrial-level processing facility, we can assess the optimum conditions necessary for achieving sought-after results with food products. JBT further utilizes the expertise of its technicians to provide customer training to maximize the handling of existing products and processes, as well as covering the testing of new equipment. 

RTCs also host live demonstrations, enabling customers to witness processes firsthand, allowing them to view, in-person, the workings of processes they might have previously only seen in presentations. 

Beautiful technologist wearing white coat having small talk with bearded inspector while giving tour of production department of milk plant

JBT’s Green Retrofit Program: Upgrading Equipment for a Circular Economy 

The key to sustainability for our customers lies in the efficiency and the productivity of the equipment, and this is exactly why JBT provides a Green Retrofit program. 

This program enables customers to upgrade older equipment to match the performance level of newer systems without the need to change all of their install base, promoting a circular economy. 

Through our Green Retrofit program, we help maximize the performance of installed equipment by improving its productivity, efficiency, while at the same time minimizing its impact on the environment.

How does this work in practice? A good example can be seen by looking at JBT’s Heat Recovery System for continuous rotary sterilizers. This Heat Recovery System works on the principal of a closed-loop circuit which reuses energy to heat water for sterilization, enabling customers to continuously recycle the same water and make substantial cost savings in the process.

Similarly, we have the JBT Energy Recovery System (ERS), an efficient and effective upgrade kit for retorts. In this case, ERS provides customers with the means to reuse hot water for batch retorts multiple times, allowing them to save energy that would otherwise be spent heating water every time a new batch passes through for processing.

Model R machine being upgraded

Sustainability in action

The key elements of sustainability offered by JBT can be summed up as process knowledge and application knowledge. 

Process knowledge is vital because it can help ensure products reach consumers in optimum conditions, avoiding pitfalls such as overheating during sterilization, which is not only a waste of energy but also causes damage to the product. JBT technicians’ in-depth process knowledge will also help your facility to meet food safety requirements and increase product shelf-life. This means not only fewer products going to waste, but also that your business will become more sustainable as a result.

Through the RTCs, we provide customers with data and information on how to operate more efficiently. In fact, many customers have told us that the foundation of sustainability lies in the reliability and the performance of the equipment. 

How do you achieve this? Through a high standard of technology, maintenance and – most of all – knowledge of how to best operate the equipment. Not knowing how best operate the equipment can result in wasted human resources, inefficient use of equipment, and increased operational costs.

In terms of application knowledge, we provide support to customers to assess the functioning of equipment in their own facilities. We make sure they don’t have a food safety problem or are unnecessarily wasting high quantities of energy or water. 

Our application knowledge can also be seen in the fresh side of JBT’s business. For citrus processing, our technicians will recommend specific settings for the Citrus Extractor equipment dependent on the season and the variety, so that you can extract the maximum level of juice, pulp and residues from your citrus volumes.

Transforming the Industry with Sustainable Solutions and Cost Efficiency

Are sustainability and cost savings viable and compatible? Absolutely. Helping customers become more sustainable by getting the most out of their products is the essence of JBT. JBT’s Green Retrofit program and Research & Technology Centers effectively demonstrate the harmony of sustainability and cost savings. By helping customers enhance the performance of their equipment and adopt sustainable practices, JBT is committed to promoting a more sustainable future for the food processing industry.

FIND OUT MORE about how JBT can help your food processing business maximize efficiency and sustainability