The frozen food industry has traditionally relied heavily on technology, and recent advancements in this area have increased the sector’s value for all parties involved, and freezing is obviously one the more important steps on a product’s journey. Today’s manufacturers have a wide variety of machines to select from thanks to the existence of a variety of methods that may be implemented to achieve the optimal balance between costs and production.
In 2021, the individual quick freezing (IQF) market across the globe was estimated to be worth approximately USD18.59 billion. In the period between 2023 and 2028, it is anticipated that the market would expand at a compound annual growth rate of 5.60%, bringing the total value to USD25.78bn by 2027. The spiral freezer category is responsible for a sizeable portion of the market share when broken down by types of equipment. Because they can preserve the product’s quality, texture, and flavor throughout the entirety of the freezing process, spiral freezers are an excellent choice for freezing a large quantity of food items such as frozen pizzas, baked goods, or ready-made meals. Because of their space-saving and streamlined form, spiral freezers are widely utilized in the food processing industry. An additional benefit of this segment is that it is simple to clean, and it also has a straightforward installation process. The presence of the leading IQF producers in both the United States and Canada is the primary factor driving growth in the individual quick-freezing business across North America.
How self-stacking freezers can become your number one inflation-fighter
Food processors across Europe are facing cost pressures arguably as never before and making savings are now essential to the survival of many businesses. Investing in a JBT Frigoscandia GYRoCOMPACT® self-stacking spiral freezer is one of the quickest ways of making significant savings in energy, water and manpower while at the same time becoming more efficient. In fact, customer data indicates that a self-stacking spiral freezer can save up to 60% in energy compared with traditional drum freezers.
For Europe’s food companies, 2022 to date has delivered a perfect storm. Soaring inflation and utilities costs have put many processors under huge pressure in an industry where margins are often tight, and retailers continue to demand low prices. In such an environment, the ability to make savings whenever possible is crucial, and one of the simplest ways is replacing inefficient freezer units with alternatives that enable companies to substantially reduce costs. JBT Frigoscandia’s GYRoCOMPACT self-stacking spiral freezer comes with some significant advantages.
As Jan Grundmann, sales manager at JBT, explains, the GYRoCOMPACT straight away delivers energy savings once installed, thanks to its effective, efficient design. “In a recent meeting with a customer who runs both systems, the customer’s data-records uncovered that their GYRoCOMPACT-freezers consume up to 60% less electrical power compared to their drum freezer at a comparable product-throughput,” he says. “This example equated to an annual saving potential of more than EUR300.000. This might sound too good to be true, but it was the customer’s daily operation figures that provided the proof and reason enough to approve a freezer-replacement because of the fast return of investment.”
However, JBT self-stacking freezers don’t just make a difference when it comes to energy savings, they also make a positive impact on other utilities – such as water consumption – as well as factors as basic as manpower and time. Due to its minimal design, the GYRoCOMPACT has up to 12 tons less installed material compared to a traditional freezer system, meaning there is significantly less area to clean.
“On traditional freezers, many of our customers suffer from product residues remaining on the belt-support-frames that requires a lot of additional cleaning,” Grundmann continues. “As we simply have less material, fewer corners and surfaces, we ensure a 100% cleanable product-zone on the GYRoCOMPACT, which requires far less time and far fewer people to maintain optimal hygiene.” In fact, a GYRoCOMPACT typically only requires about 20% of the manual cleaning resource that’s needed for a traditional system, leading to significant savings on manpower, time, and water consumption. “There are customers reporting up to double the cleaning time, three times the water consumption and three-five times the number of cleaning staff for their drum-freezers compared to their GYRoCOMPACTs,” says Grundmann.
Helping the fight against inflation
JBT engineers’ understanding of the advantages of the self-stacking freezer versus a traditional drum system were reinforced by the experience of one major European customer over recent months. The customer, as Grundmann explains, previously had JBT freezers only, but took a decision to invest in a competitor drum unit several years ago. However, product related and technical issues soon became apparent and forced the customer to review this decision.
The final “GO” to replace the freezer with a GYRoCOMPACT again was taken based on the substantial cost-saving potential found in the freezer, which turned out to be the largest across the entire processing line, leading to it becoming an integral part of the customer’s fight against inflation. “In many cases, customers don’t replace JBT freezers even after 30 years. This gives you an idea of the situation if a customer felt compelled to replace a drum freezer after only five years,” Grundmann adds. The GYRoCOMPACT can be complemented by the LVS (Low Volume System), an add-on unit developed to improve refrigerator efficiency, which is up to 20% more efficient than traditional pumped refrigerant systems.
The LVS’s patented dry suction system delivers more capacity from the compressor and enhanced evaporator performance, all of which adds up to greater freezer performance. In a traditional pumped refrigeration system, pressure drops cause temperature losses of between 3-5°C; with an LVS, customers only lose 0.5°C, even over long piping distances. Adding to the savings generated by the GYRoCOMPACT, the LVS can deliver a further 15% in energy savings in refrigeration compared with traditional systems.
To read the entire article, please access your complimentary e-copy of Frozen Food Europe November-December, 2022 issue here.