GEA offers future-proof engineering excellence

Sustainable and efficient packaging solutions

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GEA
Complete GEA slicing and packaging line. Photo - GEA

The technology group GEA offers a wide range of engineering excellence in the area of food processing and packaging for meat, cheese, bakery, confectionery, and pasta. GEA’s mission is to offer customers with sustainable value creation and future-proof ideas for their continued success – whether it’s a single piece of equipment, a specialized production line for an entire process or an entirely new plant on a greenfield site. More sustainable packaging solutions and the advantages of complete processing lines from once source are focus themes for the company.

More sustainable packaging solutions

One latest innovation is the GEA PowerPak PLUS, a new thermoforming packaging machine, offering better packaging quality, reduced film consumption, simple handling, and higher productivity. Fully integrated the machine is GEA OxyCheck, a non-destructive quality control system for modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) that checks the oxygen content and seal integrity of every single food product packaged. The GEA technology uses a sensor spot made of a polystyrene-based fluorescent dye that is printed on the inside of the top film. Similar to an indicator strip, the wavelength of the dye changes depending upon the oxygen content inside the package. Sensors on the GEA PowerPak thermoformer activate this sensor spot and then take a reading. GEA has developed a particular method for calculating the oxygen concentration based on the light emitted and the temperature. The new measurement system does not affect either the line speed or the throughput of the GEA PowerPak. Defective packages are automatically sorted out individually.

Based on customer requirements, more environmentally-friendly pack solutions will be produced in the future – such as FoodTray – a pack made from paperboard and plastic film, which uses up to 80% less film compared to classical packs. The slicing, loading, and packaging line includes a powerful human-machine interface from GEA, which monitors and controls all line components.

Line competence creates holistic solutions

“We have decades of experience in designing automatic slicing, loading, and packaging systems of all sizes. GEA also offers a wide range of efficient and functional modules that can be customized to meet the customer’s specifications,” explains Norbert Brunnquell, senior product manager- Slicing and Loading for GEA. “By constantly expanding our range, including all production line needs, we’re able to offer our customers individual components as well as holistic solutions for slicing and packaging of various products like sausages, cheese, or ham, all from a single source,” says Brunnquell. “All components on-site are brought into sync with one another, ensuring no machine is either oversized or undersized.”

As food processing and packaging companies seek to meet changing end-user needs in terms of convenience, compliance and safety, GEA supports with packaging and manufacturing technologies that are reliable and maximize operational efficiency. Providing smart solutions for sophisticated process industries, particularly in the increasingly interconnected and digitalized environment, GEA’s goal is to be the first choice, a single-source solution provider in the industries they serve.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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