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Over hundreds of these Transformer-like bots are leveraged on a daily basis to complete the production cycles rapidly and with maximum efficiency. However, the technological revolution that the food manufacturers and producers are reaping the benefit of—just like Rome—was not built in a day. From the time when industrialization first enabled food producers to circumvent the perishable nature of organic goods, the distance between the field and the fork has been growing. From incorporating safety measures in food system to the artistic endeavors of culinarian population, the food system has now consolidated into a closely interlinked system of food production, processing, distribution, and consumption.
While there have been many companies, who played an integral role in the evolution of food systems and technology, there is only a handful of them when it comes to displaying a persistent contribution to the said evolution. Enter JBT (John Bean Technology) Corporation [NYSE:JBT], an American food processing machinery and airport equipment producing company from Chicago, IL, and one of the oldest innovators in the food technology arena.
A Rich History to Bank On
Today JBT Corporation is a conglomerate of three verticals—FoodTech, AeroTech, and automated systems. Through its FoodTech segment, JBT serves as a leading supplier of customized industrial food processing solutions and services used for high-value applications across the breadth of the global food processing industry. Despite being one of the leading names in the food processing industry, JBT had a humble start in the 1880s when John Bean first invented a continuous spray pump to battle scale in his almond orchards. He soon set up the Bean Spray Pump Company and began large-scale manufacturing. And during the 1920s, Bean partnered with Anderson- Barngrover, developer of world’s first continuous rotary pressure sterilizer for processing low acid foods, such as vegetables, milk, and soup. The partnership saw the formation of the largest food machinery manufacturing company in the world at that time and was renamed as Food Machinery Corporation (FMC).
Since the early years as FMC, the company has acted as a wishing well for the global food industry.
JBT supplements its industrial food processing solutions and services with iOPS Systems, a new cloud-based performance optimization platform for the food processing industry
"The company’s motivation for innovative solutions and products comes from within as well as from newly acquired technologies and product lines"
Focus on Innovation
From the early days of John Bean’s sprayer to today’s diverse product offerings spanning multiple facets of the food industry, JBT has always been driven by innovation. The company’s motivation for innovative solutions and products comes from within as well as from newly acquired technologies and product lines. The goal of JBT is to build upon its proud heritage and continue to be an industry leader in every market segment in which it competes. Through innovation, JBT designs, manufactures, tests, and services food processing equipment for the preparation of meat, seafood, and poultry products, ready-to-eat meals, shelf-stable packaged foods, bakery products, high-value powdered products, juice and dairy products, and fresh fruit and vegetable products. JBT’s equipment sterilizes more than 50 percent of the world’s shelf-stable canned foods, freezes more than 50 percent of the world’s frozen foods, and squeezes more than 75 percent of the world’s citrus juices. The JBT FoodTech portfolio includes some of the well-known brands under its banner like A&B Process Systems, Avure Technologies, Cooling & Applied Technologies (CAT), Double D, Formcook, FranRica, Fresh’n Squeeze, Frigoscandia, MEPSCO, PLF International, Schröder, Stein, TIPPER TIE, and XVision.
In addition to its wide range of food processing solutions, JBT also offers fully-integrated automated guided vehicle (AGV) systems for repetitive material handling tasks in industries including automotive, food and beverage, hospital, manufacturing, and warehousing.
JBT supplements its industrial food processing solutions and services with iOPS Systems, a new cloud-based performance optimization platform for the food processing industry. When food manufacturers add iOPS system to their infrastructure, the secured big data analytics technology will gather and analyze the performance of JBT equipment and their related processes in real-time before uploading the data securely to the iOPS cloud service. If the iOPS platform detects failures in the system, it will instantly notify the concerned team through text, email, voice, or custom reports. This specific solution from JBT enables the maintenance team to order spare parts and plan work orders in time.
To connect the client’s machines to the iOPS IIoT solution, JBT provides a gateway that will connect iOPS with the cloud solution via the client’s network and internet connection. The highest security network and encryption standards of iOPS ensure that the collected data is immune to information theft. The fixed connection allows clients’ IT teams to accept only dedicated connections to the JBT server, without opening the servers to the internet.
A Partnership of Equals
In a highly competitive market, JBT cements its position as a leading name through accelerated new product development, recurring revenue, impact initiatives, and disciplined acquisition program. JBT believes in partnership of equals. Working in line with its business philosophy, JBT employs a single purpose and set of values across the entire organization, underpinned by a strong foundation of keeping “customer first.” The company facilitates an increase in customers’ profitability with higher levels of engagement and a thorough understanding of their business, and it adds long-term benefits like above-market growth rates and margin expansion in the bargain.
One of the crucial elements of JBT’s customer relationship is its PRoCARE service agreement. The service contracts are built to maximize clients’ uptime and financial predictability, with the goal of reducing clients’ total cost of ownership. PRoCARE from JBT gives users scheduled preventive inspections and maintenance of their equipment, along with a range of other benefits—minimizing unexpected and budget-shattering costs for reactive maintenance. Further, it is designed to give users a predictable monthly cost based on actual equipment used for each machine it covers, and the simple administration that comes with it is a plus. Keeping production running without disruption is key to a successful business.
JBT looks promising at the moment on its stellar third-quarter 2019 performance and encouraging outlook for 2020. Its focus on acquisitions, developing innovative products, and expanding recurring revenue base is likely to drive results and make way for new products as JBT is now poised to retain the momentum.