Introducing GEA Food Solutions
GEA Food Solutions is part of the GEA Group and indeed one of the most multifaceted suppliers of secondary food processing and packaging equipment in the world: the latest addition to GEA manufacturing machines for the preparation, marination, further processing, slicing and packaging of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese and other foods such as sugar-based products and vegetables. The extensive product range covers everything from individual, stand-alone machines to complete processing lines. Our overriding objective is to improve customers’ operational and financial performance in terms of productivity, yield, quality and cost-effectiveness. We do this by providing reliable and robust solutions that have a positive and measurable impact on our customers’ businesses.
In 2013, GEA generated consolidated revenues in excess of EUR 4.3 billion, more than 70 percent of which came from the food sector, which is a long-term growth industry.
The group employed about 18,000 people worldwide as of December 31, 2013. GEA Group is a market and technology leader in its business areas. It is listed in Germany’s MDAX stock index (G1A, WKN 660 200) and the STOXX® Europe 600 Index.
Our Fact Sheet gives you an overview of the key figures of GEA Group. Please also find our corporate vision and values as well as the company history in the document. The Fact Sheet can be downloaded here.>>
The company is listed in the MDAX index (G1A, WKN 660200). In addition GEA Group has a sponsored level I ADR program in the USA.
GEA Food Solutions equipment for safe, healthy and nutritious products
The GEA equipment produces and packages healthy, nutritious and appealing foods as safely and environmentally responsibly as possible. Typical examples of our customers’ end products include round meat, ham, sausages, caseready meats, sliced meat and cheese, and further processed products such as hamburgers, nuggets and ready-to-eat meals.
We also serve niche branches of the protein industry such as pet food, as well as producers of frozen vegetables, potato products, lollipops and sugar cubes. The “scope of supply” figure summarizes the industries GEA Food Solutions serves (input) and the types of products made on our equipment (output). Note that although medical equipment is not our target market, the stringent criteria for packaging sterile products are similar to those for food, so we serve this segment using the same type of thermoform machine.
The five GEA process steps that we build equipment for:
• Preparation – the grinding, mixing, defrosting, analyzing and transporting of raw materials. read more>>
• Marination – adding value by injecting or adding ingredients to enhance flavor, increase yield or extend shelf-life. read more>>
• Processing – the forming, coating, cooking and freezing of meal components like burgers and nuggets. read more>>
• Slicing – the slicing, handling and transporting of sliced meat and cheese. read more>>
• Packaging – horizontal and vertical form, fill and seal packaging machines for all types of food, including meat, fish, vegetables, bread and candy. read more>>
Of course not every customer needs all five steps, so individual equipment sales remain an important part of our business. However, one of the strengths of GEA is to be able to integrate a complete line or even a complete production facility that incorporates several of these process steps.
Global sales and technology support
The GEA Food Solutions headquarters is also located in Bakel. The global sales force has GEA offices in 40 countries plus a network of agents and distributors. GEA Customer support is also organized on a regional basis, ensuring local language support and fast response times. Some local assembly takes place in China and the United States. There are also four fully equipped GEA Food Solutions Technology Centers, where it is possible to do pre-production runs and trials, test new recipes, see working demonstrations of the equipment and carry out training for operators and maintenance personnel.
Machines to meet today’s operational challenges
The food industry is faced with increasingly demanding consumers. In the developed markets, consumers want easy meal solutions, healthy food, smaller ‘one person’ portions, fresh distribution, safe products and convenient packaging. In contrast, in emerging food markets, the trend is towards a growing fast food industry with modernization of retail and frozen food distribution rapidly taking place. And for all markets, reducing cost remains a major priority, particularly as competition is increasingly global. To help food processors meet these operational challenges, GEA machines are designed to help reduce the cost per kilogram, increase production flexibility, and satisfy stringent health and safety regulations. Customer-driven innovation also plays an important role in our new product /process development, and GEA is an industry leader in several food and packaging processing technologies. Examples include exceptionally high-yield, double-spiral ovens, ultra-fast defrosting solutions, very high volume slicers, yield-boosting scanning systems, and thermoform packaging machines with exceptional reliability. The unique combination of technological expertise, reliable engineering and many years of experience allow for this extensive range of equipment. A few highlights are covered in more detail below.
Food processing performance
In the first stages of food processing, mixers and grinders are used to prepare fresh or frozen meat, fish, vegetables or cheese for further processing. GEA range of industrial scale grinders and mixers – in combination with equipment like in-line fat analyzers and fast defrosting solutions – are designed to maintain quality, optimize yield, and provide the best possible results in high-volume and continuous food production environments. Our long established but continually improved bowl cutter for reducing meat in sausage production still leads the market in terms of consistency and durability.
Enhancing structure, bite and appearance
In addition to taste, the structure of food, bite and appearance of food also influence how people enjoy and experience food. And today’s consumers want juicy, tasty and easy-to-prepare “convenience” products. So our marination equipment is not only effective for preparing traditional marinated food and products like ham, but also for creating added value new food products with a unique flavor, texture and appearance. They turn ordinary and even low-value cuts of meat, poultry or fish into the basis of a succulent meal.
Convenience foods in all shapes and sizes
GEA Food Solutions processing equipment, such as forming and coating machines and spiral cookers, is used to create food products in all shapes and sizes. We coat snacks and meal components to give them extra appeal and taste, then cook to perfection while preserving the quality, freshness, structure and weight. The main differentiators for our equipment in this competitive business are versatility, increased yield and product safety, combined with the flexibility to quickly produce new processed foods to benefit from market trends.
Slicing and packaging performance
GEA set high standards in slicing and packaging performance, enabling our customers to present their products attractively to consumers. The drivers for packaging are food freshness, attractiveness, extended shelflife, cost per pack, food safety and environmental impact. A strong focus on demand-driven innovation has made GEA an industry leader for high-volume slicers and thermoform packaging machines with proven reliability.
Slicing: High yield and low product giveaway
Our slicing equipment maximizes product utilization, guaranteeing the delivery of precise portions and slices, and ensuring high product safety thanks to hygienic machine design. To support the slicing operation, we also offer automatic loading, weighing, optical and x-ray scanning and paper interleaving solutions.
Packaging: Preservation, presentation and distribution
Packaging fulfils the roles of food preservation and presentation, and facilitates space-efficient distribution. Packaging is essential for keeping products safe, fresh, appetizing and tasty, while at the same time eye-catching packs are important for our customers to be able to identify their products on crowded supermarket shelves. The GEA Food Solutions equipment comprises thermoform machines, tray sealers, vertical flow packers, labelers, printers and packaging materials.
In addition to providing the machines, GEA also designs and delivers complete lines on a project basis. A critical part of this is the automation software that integrates the equipment into the customer’s factory and business automation environments, including interfacing with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). read more>>
Guaranteed machine availability
Special emphasis is placed on customer support, which provides quickly deployed technology teams, preventive maintenance plans, optimized spare parts delivery and high-quality parts and tools. Other services include machine upgrades and refurbishments, operator and technical training, and technology and applications support. Operating cost control has also become an integral part of the customer support service.
A positive and measurable impact
Overall, the objective is to provide equipment and solutions that improve customers’ operational and financial performance in terms of productivity, yield, quality and/or costeffectiveness. Whether supplying a stand-alone machine or installing an integrated line, GEA strives to have a positive and measurable impact on its customers’ performance for the equipment’s entire lifecycle.
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