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The food manufacturing industry is no stranger to the challenges of rising energy costs and the need for improved efficiency. As production and plant managers continually seek ways to optimize operations, machine optimization has emerged as a key solution for reducing energy consumption, increasing throughput, and enhancing product quality. At JBT, we are dedicated to supporting our customers in their optimization efforts. In this article, we share how JBT can help processors identify areas for optimization, adjust equipment settings, and the role of our OmniBlu™ platform in monitoring and maintaining optimized settings.

Identifying Areas for Optimization in Food Processing

The first step JBT takes in machine optimization is working closely with customers to analyze production data, identify potential areas for improvement, and set goals for energy savings. “High energy costs, especially in Europe, have prompted the need for better utility utilization, with a focus on optimizing equipment settings, we can help customers achieve maximum throughput and yield using less energy,” says Lee Fryer, Turn-Key & Solutions Manager at JBT. Some key areas for optimization include:

  • Cooking and frying equipment: These machines typically consume the most energy in a food production line and therefore have the highest potential for energy savings.
  • Freezing and chilling equipment: Although these machines use less energy, optimizing their settings can still lead to significant savings.
  • Steam systems: For customers that rely on steam, optimizing the use of these systems can result in further energy conservation.

Adjusting Equipment Settings for Energy Savings and Improved Efficiency

Once potential areas for optimization have been identified, you can trust JBT’s skilled professionals to make the most effective equipment adjustments  to specific settings, programs, and cooking methods. Examples of adjustments include:

  • Altering belt speeds: Adjusting the speed of belts in cooking and frying equipment can lead to more efficient energy use.
  • Balancing energy distribution: Shifting energy from one machine to another, such as from the fryer to the oven, can optimize energy usage and improve efficiency.
  • Optimizing temperatures and throughput: Ensuring that equipment operates at the ideal temperatures and throughput rates can significantly reduce energy consumption.

The OmniBlu Platform: Monitoring and Maintaining Optimized Settings

JBT´s OmniBlu platform plays a crucial role in monitoring and maintaining optimized machine settings. “Operators often have different approaches to running equipment, leading to changes in settings between shifts and people operating. OmniBlu can flag any deviations from the ideal settings, alerting production managers to potential increases in energy usage,” says Fryer. This real-time monitoring helps maintain consistent product quality, low energy use and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements.

Quantifiable Results: Energy Savings and Improved Product Quality

Machine optimization can lead to substantial energy savings, as evidenced by a recent case study involving a European customer. The project, carried out by JBT, resulted in savings of 300 kilowatts per hour, translating to potential annual savings of $150,000-$200,000, depending on energy prices. Lee Fryer led the successful project and leveraged JBT´s extensive equipment knowledge, as well as expertise in food processing and application, to establish the best processing line configurations. Aside from energy savings, machine optimization offers other benefits, such as:

  • Increased throughput: Optimizing yield throughput can result in fewer production hours, allowing for higher throughput or reduced overtime.
  • Enhanced product quality: Optimizing equipment settings can lead to better product quality, ensuring a higher-end product for consumers.
  • Maintaining product color: Proper machine optimization not only helps improve energy efficiency but also ensures that product color remains consistent, meeting consumer and production requirements.

The Environmental Impact and the Future of Machine Optimization

Machine optimization allows companies to lower their carbon footprint by using less energy and reducing food waste. As digitalization and AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology continue to advance, tools like JBT’s OmniBlu platform will play an increasingly important role in streamlining production and maintaining consistent product quality.

By embracing machine optimization, production and plant managers in the food processing industry can not only achieve significant energy savings and improved product quality but also contribute to a more sustainable future. JBT is proud to be at the forefront of this movement, offering innovative solutions for our customers’ evolving needs.

Tailored Optimization Strategies for Enhanced Processing Efficiency

JBT is committed to helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals. We offer a wide range of products and services that can help reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, and protect the environment. For example, our OmniBlu platform provides real-time monitoring and maintenance of equipment settings, which can help reduce energy consumption and improve product quality. We also offer a variety of energy-efficient equipment, from waterjet portioning and cooking systems to freezing and packaging solutions, JBT has the equipment, digital tools, and expertise to help its customers optimize their operations and achieve their sustainability goals.

JBT is proud to be a leader in the sustainable protein processing industry. We are committed to helping our customers reduce their environmental impact while also improving their bottom line. We believe that sustainability is essential to our long-term success and are proud to help our customers and the environment by providing innovative solutions that reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, and protect the planet.

Achieve Energy Savings and Improved Product Quality with JBT’s Optimization Services

Lee Fryer emphasizes the importance of continued innovation and collaboration: “As the protein processing industry evolves, so too must the technology and processes supporting it. By working closely with our customers and understanding their unique challenges, we can develop tailored optimization strategies that deliver tangible benefits.”

Optimizing food processing equipment is essential for reducing energy consumption, increasing throughput, and enhancing product quality. With the support of experts like Lee Fryer and the innovative tools offered by JBT, companies in the food industry can effectively address the challenges of rising energy costs and improve their overall efficiency. By doing so, they not only secure their position in the market but also contribute to a more sustainable future for all.

Interested in achieving energy savings and boosting product quality simultaneously? Learn more about setting up an optimized production line with JBT’s expertise. Contact our team here.