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Please find here all news about developments in our companies, products and services.

  • 13 Dec

    2016

    GEA brings customer and supplier together to trial GE Blister Free membranes for the dairy processing industry (news)    

    For the last two years, GEA in the USA has been working closely with General Electric (GE) to support the company’s membrane manufacturing technology to better meet their joint customers’ needs.

    This cooperation has resulted in the recent development of new ‘GE Blister Free’ reverse osmosis (RO) membranes that have the potential to significantly reduce costs for dairy processing plants.

    In 2014 GEA and GE agreed to work jointly to solve the problem of blistering RO membranes in dairy processing that has plagued the industry for quite some time. RO membranes are especially susceptible to blistering owing to the high pressures experienced during the process. The problem can also occur in nanofiltration (NF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes when used in some applications.

    These blisters pose a risk since they can harbor microorganisms and, when discovered during routine USDA (United Stated Department of Agriculture) inspections, can result in the plant being shut down immediately until the membranes have been replaced. Not only are the membranes themselves expensive, the cost of an unscheduled shutdown of the plant can be extreme. This high cost, plus the adverse publicity that could arise, have made the avoidance of blisters a key ambition in the industry for 30 years or more.

    Following the GEA initiative, GE set about enhancing their RO membranes to stop blistering. GEA, with the cooperation of an end user, provided testing and evaluation facilities allowing membranes to work under operational conditions for over one year in GEA equipment. Applications tested included whey concentration and water recovery operations and several different membrane formulations were used during the test period. During testing, the final revision of membranes showed prevention of blistering.

    “Our customer, just like many others, had been having a problem with the blistering of RO membranes for some time,” explains Mike Roberts, GEA Process Engineer. “By joining forces and working closely with GE we have been able to provide a solution that enhances GE’s product range giving it a competitive edge, reduces costs for our customers and helps to prevent the risk of product contamination. It also means that the USDA is happy – which has got to be a good thing!"

    Mike Roberts continues by thanking his customer for its cooperation and congratulating GE for its ingenuity and perseverance in solving a problem that has existed in the industry for many years. “We were the intermediary,” he says. “The customer used our equipment which, in turn, used GE membranes. It shows that through cooperation it’s often possible to achieve remarkable results.”

    Fred Liberatore, Global Commercial Director at GE explains, “Partnering GE’s technology with GEA’s processing knowledge to ultimately reduce product contamination is in everyone’s interest, especially the consumers.”

    The improved ’Blister Free RO Membranes’ are available from GE since November

  • 12 Dec

    2016

    GEA awarded large-scale contract for nutritional powders plant in New Zealand

    GEA has been awarded a contract by Mataura Valley Milk Limited to construct a nutritional powders plant in McNab near to Gore in the south island of New Zealand.

    The plant will process fresh milk and ingredients into added value nutritional powders as well as standard skimmilk and wholemilk powders. The value of the order to GEA is a figure in the mid double-digit millions (EUR).

    The new plant, expected to begin production for the 2018 season, will produce around 140 tonnes of nutritional powder per day. Included in the GEA scope is a milk reception and standardisation plant, powdered and liquid ingredients handling, batch formulation, evaporation and drying, powder handling and filling into 25kg bags. It will also feature a high degree of process automation and product traceability. Energy efficiency and environmental impact have also been a key focus in the plant design.

    Mataura Valley Milk is majority-owned by Chinese Animal Husbandry Group (CAHG), a Chinese company. Roughly half of the premium nutritional powder produced by the new plant will be exported to China, where Mataura Valley Milk expects steady growth in demand for this product.

    “This contract, which was long-awaited to win by GEA, serves as further proof of our technological leadership and strong market position in the field of dairy processing,” explains Jürg Oleas, CEO of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft. “It also demonstrates the continuing investment appetite of our customers as they attempt to satisfy the growing consumer demand on the Chinese market for milk-based infant formula and other high-quality milk products – and that in an environment impacted by regulatory changes. Although the challenging economic conditions mean that GEA’s order intake in the fourth quarter of 2016 will not repeat the record level achieved in the same quarter of the previous year, we are confident that customers throughout the world will continue to invest in our process technologies and place major orders for all product areas and applications.” 

  • 08 Dec

    2016

    GEA’s booth at EuroTier 2016

    The huge interest in GEA’s smart technologies for the dairy industry at the EuroTier 2016 trade fair in Hanover exceeded all expectations. The company’s “Smart Technology for Future Farming” concept links applications intelligently to one another and in doing so, optimizes interactions between people, animals and technology throughout the milk production process. This appeals to the many modern farmers who are on the lookout for future-oriented technologies that can help them to better manage their various processes.

    CMIQ monitoring improves the health of the herd

    Visitors proved to be particularly interested in automated and digital solutions. One such product GEA presented was its new CMIQ monitoring system. Due to be released in 2017, it is a system for early detection of a mastitis suspicion based on the latest sensor technology – a product that puts the animals’ health front and centre.

    Web-based herd management system provides greater transparency

    Another of the innovations GEA presented at the trade fair was its herd management software, DairyNet. It gives farmers the option to integrate and manage their crop management, cattle rearing, milking, animal health and reproduction processes together on a single interface. This opens up opportunities for completely new applications. The free web-based herd management option with basic functionalities was particularly popular with visitors to the stand.

    The company also saw increased demand for its fully-automated milking rotary, the GEA DairyProQ, and the GEA Monobox, which was launched in the spring and already looks set to be a success.

    Development and service expertise in smart technologies

    Over the last two years, GEA has redesigned both its product development process and its service and maintenance portfolio, aligning them with long-term customer requirements. This has led to the development of future-oriented, intelligent, integrated technologies that appealed to a great number of this year’s EuroTier attendees. GEA recognized this trend early on and will continue to develop smart technologies with the aim of improving animal health and milk quality and making farm management more economical.

  • 08 Dec

    2016

    GEA Imaforni Cookie Oven

    GEA has brought together the long-term expertise of its leading bakery technology companies – COMAS and IMAFORNI – to build a complete line for the production of wire-cut and soft centre biscuits at the Khong Guan factory in Jakarta, Indonesia. The new line includes the latest hybrid oven configuration that uses indirect cyclotherm (radiation) and convection heating for better control of product characteristics.

    The customer

    Khong Guan is a top Indonesian manufacturer specializing in biscuits, wafers and wafer sticks. The company’s success has resulted from its insistence on using the finest ingredients, the latest machinery and robotized packaging systems to meet customers’ re­quirements, hygiene standards and food safety regulations.

    The company has used Imaforni equipment before and has always been impressed with its performance. However, this is the first time Khong Guan has built a complete line using just a single supplier. “The latest addition (2016) is a soft cookie line made up of GEA Comas and GEA Imaforni equipment,” explained Mr. Chew Soo Kok, Director of Khong Guan. “It is capable of doing jam-filled cookies, wire-cut cookies, deposited biscuits, and bars. With the help of a food technologist to fine-tune the recipes, we were able to start-up the production line in a short period of time.” The line now runs wonderfully and provides significant benefits in terms of product quality and consistency, productivity and reliability.

    The GEA line

    The GEA line includes a high capacity DFV3 extruder capable of simultaneously depositing two different types of dough and a fluid filling; the hybrid steel band tunnel baking oven; and all the necessary mixing and conveying equipment. The hybrid configuration, using both indirect cyclotherm and convection heating, increases the flexibility of the baking process by allowing different products to be baked at the same time in the same oven. The system also provides a much more accurate control of the final moisture content, improves the product color and texture and achieves higher outputs than the traditional systems.

    But according to Marco Gandini, GEA’s Head of Bakery Applications, the technology itself is only part of the story. “What makes this line special is the way in which the experience of both the GEA brands has been able to come together to provide the highest performing solution,” he explained. “By choosing equipment that is of the highest quality and perfectly compatible, we have been able to build a line that is reliable and capable of producing large amounts of cookies of the finest quality for Khong Guan.”

    GEA responsibility

    As GEA designed and built the whole line, it has full responsibility for its maintenance. As Marco Gandina said: “In the unlikely event of a problem there can be no doubt as to who is responsible for fixing it,” he said. “It’s a 100% GEA line: we built it and we will maintain it at optimum performance for our customer throughout its working life.”

    What the customer thinks

    The relationship between customer and supplier is always critical but, in this case, Mr. Soo Kok has no doubt that he has made the right choice with GEA. “The services provided have been first class; and the engineers are well-trained, knowledgeable and friendly which made the installation and commissioning process a smooth one. The after-sales service is equally good with prompt replies and follow-ups to our queries.”

    Mr. Soo Kok also explained that with the increase in population in Indonesia and good economic growth, the market size for Khong Guan’s products has grown tremendously. As the purchasing power of the Indonesian consumer has grown and the middle-income population is increasing, he believes that the market will continue to grow. “However, we must introduce better quality products and new varieties of biscuits and cookies,” he explained. “To prepare ourselves for the future, we will need to continue to invest in good, and reliable equipment to ensure a high quality production output.”

    All food manufacturers operate in an intensely competitive environment in which the highest standards of hygiene, production, and product innovation are essential to prosper. By choosing GEA to provide a complete production line, Khong Guan has ensured that its facilities are world class and has secured the combined expertise of some of the industry’s finest process engineers to make sure that its leading position is maintained well into the future.

  • 07 Dec

    2016

    milk powder factory at Lichfield

    After a two-year construction period and initial commissioning in September, Fonterra inaugurated its state-of-the-art, high-efficiency milk powder factory at Lichfield, New Zealand. The expansion included a new milk powder processing plant, services, wastewater plant and distribution center. The centerpiece of the facility is the largest milk powder spray dryer currently available on the market, which was built by GEA. In terms of material usage, energy consumption and waste, the milk processing plant is now the most efficient facility of its kind in the industry.

    GEA constructed the milk powder plant as a turnkey solution, providing all the process technology – from reception of the milk tanker and evaporation, to drying, powder handling and packaging. The drying chamber weighs around 200 tons and has a diameter of 18 meters. The processing capacity of 30 tons of high-quality milk powder per hour equates to over 4.4 million liters of milk a day. This corresponds to the volume of almost two Olympic-standard swimming pools. The spray dryer is the second of its kind built by GEA. Its sister plant Darfield II, which is also operated by Fonterra in New Zealand, has been producing high-quality powdered milk reliably since December 2013. For Lichfield, the GEA experts developed several innovations to improve sustainability and further reduce the total cost of ownership to the customer. In particular, energy efficiency was a key focus for the project team. For instance, the plant requires very little process water as the evaporator condensate is filtered in a specific way and, thanks to GEA technology, can then be re-used during processing. As a result, Fonterra has reduced its demand for ground water for the site.

    Fonterra is one of the world’s major milk producers. Its Chairman of the Board of Directors, John Wilson emphasizes the strategic importance of powder production to the co-operative’s overall asset mix: “This new plant will help us to strike a balance in our processing that allows us to switch between products quickly to meet demand changes in global markets, push the pace on production when milk volumes dictate, and ultimately deliver the best product mix to generate returns.” Fonterra wants to export the premium milk powder from its site in Lichfield to as many as 20 different markets, including the Middle East, China and South-East Asia.

    “This project is testament to the high degree of trust leading global food producers place in GEA’s reliable process technology. High-performance, efficient spray dryers like the one in Lichfield play a key role in the industry because demand for milk in expanding markets such as China can only be met by easily transportable, stable milk powder which needs to be imported into these markets. For the processing of milk and subsequent production and packaging of high-quality dairy powder products, GEA offers its global customers comprehensive process know-how spanning all stages of production," says Niels Erik Olsen, Member of GEA’s Management Board and responsible for the Business Area Solutions.

  • 06 Dec

    2016

    Homogenizers

    The Centre Technique du Papier is located in Grenoble (France) and is the French technical center (Pulp, Paper, Board, Printing and Processing) for Applied Research, Consultancy, Testing Laboratories and Training Courses. CTP helps industrialist for innovative products & processes at lab and pilot scales and develops knowledge with high level of Scientific Expertise.

    A dedicated team of engineers and highly qualified and competent technologists at CTP worked for several years in the development of microfibrillated cellulose production and use for different new applications, including for papers and boards.

    For its research projects and the design of its NaMiCell pilot plant, CTP conducted an extensive review on the different technologies available on the market for converting lignocellulosic fibres into microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), taking into account the properties of cellulosic fibres and the viscosity of the produced MFC suspension (gel-like structure). After some preliminary tests, CTP decided to invest in a high-pressure homogeniser and choose GEA high-pressure homogenising technology for continuing its research activity on this promising topic.

    The reasons that led to CTP to adopt GEA homogenizers are different, but some of the main reasons are due to the robustness of the proposed technology against abrasive cellulosic products and to the easy use of the technology, especially in conducting the machine and changing of spare parts. Another important advantage is the homogenizer technology to be scaled-up for a continuous industrial production. this last point is crucial for CTP missions towards the industry to transfer the applied research to the industrial reality.

    In order to adapt the GEA technology to the cellulose material and production environment, the close collaboration between CTP and GEA proves once again a winning in the technology world homogenization, bringing the company to a leadership position in the field of cellulose.

  • 18 Nov

    2016

    SHG34 PB Plusbox

    From November 21 to 24, 2016, GEA presented innovations and proven solutions in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning at the Big5 International Building and Construction Show. With over 3,100 international exhibitors, Big5 is the largest building trade fair in the Middle East, dealing with the industrial sectors construction, air conditioning, refrigeration, water technology and environmental engineering.

    GEA presented the GEA Plusbox: a series of complete, modular-design outdoor condenser sets based on semi-hermetic GEA compressors and GEA condensers.The GEA Plusbox, which can be configured according to the individual requirements of plant-systems contractors, is characterized by excellent energy efficiency. With a considerably higher COP (coefficient of performance) than comparable condenser sets from other manufacturers, the Plusbox is an energy pioneer. The product offers generous interior space, which makes work on the system easier.

    Additional exhibits are:

    The air-cooled condensing unit SHG34. GEA offers a comprehensive program of condensing units, with displacement ratings from 5.4 to 122.4 m³/h. GEA will also show condensing units especially suited for high ambient temperatures – such as prevail, for example, in the United Arab Emirates.The ATEX (ATmospheres EXplosibles) compressor designed for use in explosion-risk environments. They are, for example, employed in chillers in Kuwait and ensure optimal air conditioning of container-type control centers that coordinate measurements in the oil and gas fields there.

  • 15 Nov

    2016

    Centrifuge - Solid-Wall Bowl Separator GEA easycream for Milk or Whey

    With the easycream separators, GEA showcases the latest small standardized separators catered to small dairy processing plants at this year’s EuroTier trade fair in Hanover, Germany. GEA easycream separators provide an economical solution for skimming, clarification and standardization of milk and whey, coupled with easy handling and high reliability. The product feed and discharges have been designed especially for food.

    The standardized design of GEA easycream ensures a consistent reliable quality, coupled with a shorter delivery time and an attractive economical pricing. Its simple design provides an easy installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the separator. The belt-driven concept warrants a higher drive efficiency along with lesser spare parts and lower service cost and time. GEA easycream offers both solid-wall bowl separators as well as self-cleaning separators.

    Solid-wall bowl separators – easycream

    This is a batch process whereby the separated solids are manually removed. The separators are available in maximum skimming capacities for standardization of 5,000 liter per hour up to 12,500 liter per hour and 1,000 liter per hour up to 10,000 liter per hour for skimming.

    Self-cleaning separators – easycreampro

    This is a continuous process whereby longer production times with significantly increased yields are made possible with. GEA easycreampro separators equipped with the GEA hydrostop system that automatically discharge solids at full bowl speed and open feed. It is possible to integrate the machine in the CIP process. These self-cleaning separators work efficiently at capacities for standardization from 5,000 liter per hour up to 12,500 liter per hour and 2,800 liter per hour up to 10,000 liter per hour for skimming.

  • 15 Nov

    2016

    EuroTier 2016 header

    Digitalization, big data, digital transformation – these topics are also at the very top of the agenda of challenges in the agricultural world. Farm management systems network the information of the individual farming processes. Many data and complex software offerings which are available do not automatically make life easier or more profitable for the individual farmer.

    GEA DairyNet, as a part of the holistic software 365FarmNet, ensures safe, easy and understandable data evaluation so that the farmer can concentrate on farm management. 365FarmNet is a provider-independent, open platform on which each of the skills of the participating partners are bundled and integrated into a modern infrastructure with the latest technology. GEA DairyNet networks the individual herd management using 365FarmNet.

    One view, one philosophy, one concept: With GEA DairyNet a farmer has the control over his herd at all times from everywhere. He can then direct things without expensive and complicated program control systems. The interaction of the crop management, cattle rearing, milking, feeding, health, reproduction and sorting modules are part of a completely new software concept which connects all processes into one display and additionally opens up new applications for herd management.

    With GEA DairyNet the essential data on cows can be called up at any time, in real time via a computer, tablet, smartphone via an app. In this way, the farmer can call up all significant activities of his cows without any complicated administrative work and can work in a focused and efficient manner.

    GEA currently offers the basic module “Cattle”, a web-based basic herd management system free of charge. A dashboard summarizes the information graphically. Thus, at a glance you can see all activities for each cow and can manage the up-coming work in a stress-free and easy manner. A cow file always displays the latest data. The herd management system can be set up simply and quickly via HIT (The origin and information system for livestock).

     

  • 03 Nov

    2016

    GEA Corporate

    The new election of six employee representatives has changed the composition of the Supervisory Board of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft and its Committees. Kurt-Jürgen Löw was elected new Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board as successor to Reinhold Siegers, who had held this position since 1998 and did not stand for re-election on account of his plans to retire. The election of Michaela Hubert to the control body means that five of the twelve positions on the Supervisory Board are now held by women.

    “On behalf of the entire Supervisory Board, I would like to thank Reinhold Siegers for his long-standing commitment to GEA and his constructive cooperation at all times,” said Dr. Perlet, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft. “Kurt-Jürgen Löw, our new Deputy Chairman, has been a member of the Supervisory Board for many years and Michaela Hubert, a new member, has a wealth of experience as a works councilor. I look forward to continuing the trusting working relationship we enjoy with the employee representatives.”

    These personnel changes have also had an effect on the composition of the Presiding Committee, the Audit Committee and the Mediation Committee. The Nomination Committee has not changed. The composition of the new Supervisory Board is available on GEA’s website.

    The employee representatives were appointed by order of Düsseldorf District Court on April 4, 2016 with a mandate to serve until the election proper of these representatives, which has now taken place. As was decided at the constitutive meeting of the new Supervisory Board after the AGM in April, the composition of the group of shareholder representatives has not changed.

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