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    You are here: Company information - GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

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    Company information

    GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

    Germany, Düsseldorf

    05.09.2018   GEA receives accolade for the aseptic blow-fill-cap technology, ABF 1.2, with FDA certification    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: With the ABF-Technology, LA and HA aseptic beverages with different shelf lives can be filled on the same system

    In July 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded GEA a letter of no objection (LONO) for its ABF 1.2 technology, an integrated blowing, filling and capping solution featuring a fully aseptic rotary blowing machine. It is the only system equipped with a 100% aseptic blower that is allowed to produce shelf-stable low acid (LA) beverages free from preservatives for distribution at ambient temperature in the U.S. market.

    FDA validated product safety with installed ABF 1.2
    The FDA testing is considered one of the most comprehensive validation protocols available in the aseptic beverage market. Their stringent requirements ensure enhanced product safety, and their approval is highly valued even outside the U.S. The FDA clearance confirms that GEA’s ABF 1.2 technology ensures maximum sterilization efficiency and reliability during every step of sensitive beverage bottling. GEA successfully passed the validation tests which were performed on an ABF 1.2 system installed in the U.S. – and which is now already producing and delivering shelf-stable liquid dairy products to the North-American market.

    “The FDA certification is an accolade for the ABF 1.2 technology – the world’s first fully aseptic blow-fill-cap system,” says Alessandro Bellò, Head of Blowing, Filling and Packaging applications at GEA. “For us technology developers, food safety is our highest priority. That is why we have developed the GEA ABF 1.2, which erases the risk of recontamination of any drinks during filling through fully automated operations. With ABF, we achieve a full decontamination process control that is unique in the market.”

    Complete control of sterilization performance
    The GEA solution is based on an integrated blowing, filling and capping process that runs within a 100% aseptic environment. Thanks to the microbiological isolator, GEA ABF 1.2 aseptically blows preforms that have been previously treated with hydrogen peroxide vapor (VHP). The result is a single zone sterilization process that requires no water and significantly fewer chemicals.

    “How do we manage to maintain complete sterility during operations?” says GEA Product Manager Massimo Nascimbeni. “We achieve this by placing the aseptic blowing wheel in the same sterile zone where the filling and capping processes are performed. The newly blown sterile bottles are transferred to the filling and capping carousels without leaving the sterile zone. That’s why we don’t need any unnecessary H2O2 carry-over in the following modules.” Beverage producers can completely monitor and control the preform sterilization process with the unique GEA Smart Sensor™, which checks the spraying performance of each sterilization nozzle just before the preforms are treated. The environmental sterilization process is completely automated requiring no manual intervention from the operator, therefore greatly decreasing any risk of system recontamination.

    Future-proofing customers via aseptic technology
    GEA is the only supplier in the world today that is able to provide both PAA- and H2O2-based sterilization technologies that are FDA approved. GEA’s latest FDA approval was made easier in part due to its extensive experience in filing FDA projects – its first FDA certification having been awarded more than ten years ago for its PAA-based bottle sterilization platform, and given the number of installation references GEA has in the U.S. without a single bottle claim.

    Bellò concludes: “Without a doubt, aseptic technology is the safest and most efficient production system for bottling sensitive beverages without preservatives, which never shies away from comparing costs and benefits. The higher the production volumes, the higher the desired production quality and the higher the need for flexibility in bottle design, the clearer the advantages of aseptic systems become when compared to other solutions. With our ABF 1.2 FDA certification we can finally service customers with VHP based sterilization platforms in the U.S.”
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    16.01.2018   Processing, filling, sealing: GEA supplements its portfolio with bottle and can filling    ( Company news )

    Company news GEA strengthens its market position as a total solutions provider in the beverage processing industry with finalizing the acquisition of the Slovenian machine manufacturer VIPOLL d.o.o. in January 2018. VIPOLL develops and produces filling technologies for soft drinks, beer and fresh dairy products. GEA can now also fill beverages that do not require sterile processing into glass bottles, can and plastic containers. The company is already the innovation leader in blowing and filling processes in the aseptic as well as all sensitive beverage segment, especially for PET and HDPE bottles.

    VIPOLL supplies mainly filling machines and components for beverage processing lines, including pasteurizers, mixers, carbonating and capping systems, as well as conveyor, bottle cleaning and CIP technologies. In addition, the engineers are planning and building complete lines for beverage processing, which VIPOLL mostly distributes to breweries, wineries and soft drink specialists in the DACH region (Germany, Austria & Switzerland) and in Slovenia. The VIPOLL strategy as a flexible machine and process integrator gives customers the opportunity to optimally custom-assemble their filling systems according to technical and commercial market requirements.

    Continuous beer and soft drinks production
    Paddy Kenna, Head of Application Center Beverage at GEA: “We are pleased to include VIPOLL in our corporate family. The company specializes in glass and can filling systems with low and mid processing speeds, fitting precisely the requirements of our customers. Breweries in particular, with their high demand for glass bottles, can benefit from the fact that we now support them throughout their entire production process from brewing to bottling and storage. That is an ideal fit to our Brewery 4.0 concept.” In terms of global climate protection goals, glass and cans will become even more important in the future. Refillable bottles are an essential cornerstone for a reutilization strategy and cans are a part of the recycling loops. Both could help mitigate CO2 emissions, says Kenna. Therefore, it is consistent for GEA to invest in the filling expertise.

    Filling is key technology
    For GEA, filling is one of the key technologies in the beverage industry, which increasingly demands more flexibility and efficiency in the highly competitive market. “Customers are increasingly converting from conventional batch production to continuous production, which we need to consider as a process planner,” says Kenna. “As a technology leader, GEA aspires to shape market developments rather than just react to them. Together with VIPOLL, we can now offer our customers the added value of highly flexible, multifunctional beverage lines that can rapidly switch between bottle, can and PET filling.” At the drinktec 2017, VIPOLL presented the new All-in-One monoblock filler (glass/PET/can), which can be adapted to various container types in a very short time thanks to the flexible filling and capping head. The patent procedure is currently ongoing.

    GEA puts VIPOLL on growth course
    Stanko Zver, Managing Director of VIPOLL also expects the acquisition to boost business momentum. “We fit perfectly into GEA’s product range and complement the filling expertise for key customer groups. In addition, we share our consistent customer focus and ambition to develop technologically leading solutions for the beverage industry. With GEA’s large sales and service network, we can also penetrate regions where we have had little or no activity so far.”

    VIPOLL, established in 1991 employs more than 100 employees today in Križevci pri Ljutomeru, near the university town of Maribor in the north-east of Slovenia. In 2016, the formerly family owned company generated sales of approximately EUR 20 million. To meet future demands, GEA will expand on-site production facility during 2018.
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    25.09.2017   GEA impresses at drinktec 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news GEA presented an array of product innovations to numerous industry experts at drinktec 2017, the “World's Leading Trade Fair for Beverage and Liquid Food Technology”. Held every four years in Munich, the 2017 fair broke all records in attracting a total of 76,000 visitors from more than 170 countries and cementing its reputation as the world’s most important platform for innovations in the sector.

    This year, GEA’s innovations and product enhancements were presented under the slogan “Inspiring Beverage Solutions”. An increasingly international public at the booth witnessed how both project-specific one-off and standardized GEA solutions can help customers remain viable in the future, regardless of whether they are producing fruit juice, milk, wine or beer. The key customer requirements are quality results and the absolute reliability and safety of manufacturing processes, not to mention optimum productivity, constantly diminishing operating costs and top-notch ecological ratings.

    A particular highlight at this year’s trade fair was the market launch of the GEA Ariete Homogenizer 5400. In presenting a system which is not only currently the world’s most powerful high-pressure homogenizer, but which also raises the bar in terms of reliability, product safety and operating costs, GEA has opened a brand-new chapter in the history of high-pressure homogenization. With regard to beer manufacture, the company looked to the future and introduced its novel “Brewery 4.0” concept. Essentially a vision where brewing and fermenting take place in a continuous process, the concept is set to place exacting requirements on tomorrow’s technology and IT infrastructure. The pioneering element here is the merging of beer production with just-in-time production technology and the option of evaluating digital data flexibly. Digitalizing the various process stages will require huge volumes of data to be processed, but this will allow medium and long-term analyses of trends to be carried out with the aim of enhancing plant availability. GEA is also taking sustainability aspects into account, which affect both the efficiency and the energy and space requirements of plant and equipment.

    Besides the usual keen interest in GEA’s products and solutions, increasing demand for services was noted. Live demonstrations of GEA PerformancePlus and GEA Remote Eye Wear were focal points of interest, with beverage manufacturers appreciating that concepts like these will help to optimize the life-cycle costs of their plant. With GEA PerformancePlus, experts from GEA analyze online condition monitoring data to derive recommendations for optimizing plant operation. GEA Remote Eye Wear allows experts to provide machinery operators and service technicians with virtual support in real time.
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    29.08.2017   GEA provides inspiration for beverage industry at drinktec 2017    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 GEA invites beverage industry representatives to visit Hall A3, Booth 313, at drinktec, the leading global trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry in Munich from September 11-15, 2017. This year the technology company will present innovations and developments under the motto "Inspiring Beverage Solutions": Covering everything from fruit juice, milk, wine and beer production, GEA uses project-based and standard solutions to help customers prepare for the future. GEA focuses on customer needs, including high quality products providing absolutely reliable and safe production, flexibility in the face of demand fluctuations, improvements to internal productivity with ever lower operating costs and a sustainable ecological balance. Tailoring its engineering know-how to the service of its customers, technology leader GEA develops solutions beyond mere components, accompanying the whole line life cycle. These three GEA innovations premiere at the fair:

    Continuous brewing, just-in-time production technology and digitalization: “Brewery 4.0”
    GEA puts strong focus on the future of beer production with the release of its “Brewery 4.0”: This concept is a vision of continuous brewing and fermentation, placing strong demands on tomorrow's technology and IT infrastructure. Another pioneering feature is the linking of beer production – the continuous mash separation in double decanters, fermentation and maturation processes as well as quality assurance – with just-in-time production technology and flexible processing of digital data. Large quantities of data are processed as these production steps are digitalized and allow for analysis of mid- and long-term trends, increasing the system availability. Customers can thus use Brewery 4.0 to prepare for competition in the coming years and generate the greatest possible flexibility throughout the supply chain. Simultaneously GEA takes into account sustainability with regard to yields, energy consumption and space usage of the plants. At drinktec 2017, GEA will meet with industry representatives to discuss the elements of a semi-continuous process variant and the advantages and challenges facing beer production.

    Launch of the highest performance high-pressure homogenizer in the world
    Drinktec 2017 keyvisual
    A new chapter in high-pressure homogenization systems from GEA is being opened with the market launch of the GEA Ariete Homogenizer 5400: It provides throughput of 80,000 liters an hour with 120 bar of pressure creating the largest capacity a five-piston homogenizer has ever provided, setting new standards in terms of reliability, product safety and operating costs.

    GEA ABF Technology (Aseptic Blow Fill) for sustainable beverage bottling
    At the drinktec GEA will also present GEA ABF, composed of an aseptic rotary blow molding machine with an integrated aseptic filling and aseptic capping systems featuring maximum efficiency for processing sensitive beverages into PET bottles. The aseptic blow molding process reduces the use of chemicals and energy consumptions for sterilizing operations. Innovation GEA Sterilfoil VHP L is a new flexible solution for foil sterilization available for a wide range of applications from ESL to aseptic beverages. Both technologies use a very effective vapor H2O2 based treatment, able to reach over 6 log reductions on both preform or foil decontamination and suitable for High Acid or Low Acid products. Further GEA exhibits at the drinktec shall also include:

    Flexibility, efficiency and quality for craft-beer brewers
    GEA shows two solutions for the medium-sized specialty breweries such as those on the craft-beer market: The three-vessel GEA CRAFT-STAR™ brewhouse has excellent extract efficiency of 98 percent and helps the customer consistently create prize-winning beers. The GEA ‘Plug & Win’ separator for craft brewers is a multifunctional compact system, performing five processes in a single machine – a benefit in terms of profitability and efficiency. The separator skid reduces the production time by 30 percent while generating up to ten percent higher yields.

    Combined GEA innovations improve predictability of beer production
    GEA experts have conceived, designed and installed individual components and entire systems for breweries around the world. Their field experience, intense development work within the Group and close cooperation with customers allow them to question the status quo, move forward and set standards for the industry. GEA is also formulating their understanding of today's state-of-the-art technology under the title "Brewery Advanced". The concept is based on GEA's sophisticated technology and a process design, creating significant advantages when it comes to customer capacity and energy consumption. GEA is thus able to increase the number of brews in the lauter tun from 12 to 14 a day, while the evaporation rate has been reduced from the standard four percent to merely one percent. The GEA stand will also display their efficient evaporation technology, the waste-free GEA clearamic BeerFiltration as well the ECO-MATRIX™ piping concept and ECO-FERM™, a technology for homogenizing fermentation tank contents.

    Golden sealing avoids ingress of micro-organisms into the product
    At drinktec GEA TEFASEP® gold debuts as part of the GEA D-tec® valve line. The hard and inert material compound together with the valve seat seal design allows for a minimized contact area between housing and seal and therewith increases cleanability and process safety. TEFASEP® gold belongs to the D-tec® stem diaphragm valves which are characterized by a high safety protection against contamination.

    Energy-saving ceramic cross-flow filters
    The GEA rotoramic is an energy-saving filter for beer recovery from surplus yeast, helping brewers achieve maximum yields. The ceramic cross-flow filter uses about 75 percent less energy than standard cross-flow processes.

    Modular batch mixing system for non-alcoholic beverages
    For non-alcoholic beverage applications the GEA DI-BATCH™ allows for complete control and high flexibility of the production process, featuring accurate dosing, material traceability and parallel operations. As partial amounts can be taken from the containers by means of a suction lance, manufacturers are more flexible in their production volumes and can purchase their base materials in varying container sizes – all of these are strengths that make DIBATCH™ also attractive for smaller test batches for product launches or research and development.

    Live demonstrations of GEA service products for the beverage industry
    With GEA Service, beverage manufacturers can improve the life cycle costs of their production plant. Especially for the brewery and beverage industry, GEA Audits are offered, for example, that recognize the hidden potential of components, systems and processes; Optimization proposals are being developed. GEA will also be demonstrating the PerformancePlus concept live: Based on the data from an online condition monitoring system, GEA experts carry out analyzes and recommend measures for the best possible plant operation. Moreover, visitors can test GEA Remote Eye Wear live, a groundbreaking service innovation that enables virtual experts to support machine operators and service technicians in-real time. GEA’s service staff at drinktec will inform customers about all further options of the service concept "GEA Service - For your continuous success" on the stand.

    GEA at the drinktec: Hall A3, booth 313
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    09.10.2015   GEA successfully completes acquisition of Hilge    ( Company news )

    Company news GEA has successfully completed the acquisition of Hilge, domiciled in Bodenheim, Germany, after approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. GEA is using this acquisition to expand its portfolio in the area of high performance sanitary pumps, strengthening its position as a system solutions provider for hygienic and aseptic process environments.

    “The acquisition of Hilge means that we can offer a greater variety of services to our customers in the future, in particular in the food and beverage industry. We are very pleased with this excellent addition to our range of products,” said GEA CEO Jürg Oleas.
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    14.07.2015   GEA acquires leading supplier of hygienic pumps    ( Company news )

    Company news GEA has acquired Hilge, a leading supplier of hygienic pumps, especially stainless steel pumps for food and beverage applications. The company is based at Bodenheim, Germany and generated with about 150 employees revenues of more than EUR 35 million in fiscal year 2014. Hilge’s product range is complementary to the offering of GEA’s flow components portfolio. The transaction remains subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities.

    “With the acquisition of Hilge, we continue implementing our M&A strategy to fill technological gaps by acquiring accretive specialist companies which complement our product portfolio”, commented Juerg Oleas (photo), CEO of GEA. “Hilge strengthens our position as a leading supplier of equipment and provider of solutions in hygienic and aseptic process environments.”

    “Hilge has been a part of the Grundfos Group since 2004. Nevertheless, the increased focus for Grundfos on core business has led to the conclusion that the sanitary business is not a strategic focus area. GEA is a strong strategic fit for Hilge with strong synergies expected given GEA’s focus on the processing industry, including food and beverage. Everyone wins! GEA expands in its focus area, Grundfos concentrates on its core business, and Hilge joins an organization where it will play a strong strategic role”, says Executive Vice President Lars Aagaard, Head of Business Development of Grundfos.
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    24.07.2013   GEA records solid performance in April and May    ( Company news )

    In the first five months of 2013, GEA reduced the year-on-year decline in order intake and revenue still reported for the first quarter thanks to a solid performance in April and May. Order intake in the period from January to May was only around 2 percent lower than the prior-year level, said CFO Helmut Schmale at the Company’s Capital Markets Day today. Revenue has now returned almost to the prior-year level. The Executive Board confirmed the outlook for full-year 2013.

    GEA will publish its Q2 figures on July 30. The presentations from the event are available at
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    11.07.2013   GEA focuses further on core business and pursues separation from segment GEA Heat Exchangers...    ( Company news ) medium term

    GEA Group, the Düsseldorf-based mechanical engineering group, focuses with even greater emphasis on its leading position as system provider to the food industry and other technologically sophisticated process industries. The segment GEA Heat Exchangers (“HX”) is no longer be counted as core business by GEA. GEA has hence decided to separate from this business in the medium term and is reviewing all options for a separation from the HX segment.
    This is the outcome of a comprehensive technological and strategic portfolio review launched by GEA last year. The aim of the review was to identify the core business areas which bear the greatest synergy potential. Those businesses are to be systematically further developed and serve as the foundation for the sustained future growth of the GEA Group.
    “Efficient deployment of our human and financial resources is central to GEA’s continued successful development going forward. This means we have to focus as we expand our business,” said Jürg Oleas, Chairman of the Executive Board of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft. “The in-depth review of all business units has shown that our technologies for the food industry and their deployment in alternative sectors hold very substantial growth potential. Their markets are highly stable and are driven by long-term global megatrends. We therefore plan to sustainably increase the proportion of Group revenue accounted for by food technologies in the medium term to around 70 to 75 percent.”
    The HX segment is highly profitable and has a strong market position. There are only limited potential synergies between HX and the other business units in the GEA Group portfolio, however, as their business profiles differ. The scope for Group-wide use of technologies and capabilities is limited. In light of this, GEA firmly believes that the HX business will be able to develop even better within a new ownership structure.
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    30.03.2011   GEA Group wins prize for best ideas management in the industry     ( Company news )

    At the occasion of the International Ideas Management Conference at Berlin organized by “Zentrum Ideenmanagement” a contest for the best corporate ideas management was held. GEA Group was voted the winner in the mechanical and plant engineering industry and was ranked third overall behind Deutsche Post DHL and Siemens.
    “I am particularly pleased with this distinction, as we rolled out our new ideas management “i2m” globally only a few years ago”, remarked Jürg Oleas, CEO of GEA. “We have evidently succeeded in anchoring a sound ideas management in our corporate culture. I take some pride in this award, as it reflects well upon the creativity and innovative strength of GEA’s employees“. (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)

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