Founded in 1881, GEA Group is one of the world’s largest technology and equipment suppliers for the dairy, food, beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries. As a preferred supplier across diverse industries, the company enhances the sustainability and efficiency of production processes across the value chain.
The company has five technology-oriented business divisions supported by more than 18,000 dedicated employees across 62 countries. Each division has up to six business units.
Deepak Singh, vice president, Separation Business, India Cluster, shared, “GEA has five divisions across all the business verticals. These include Separation and Flow Technologies (SFT), Liquid and Powder Technologies (LPT), Food and Healthcare Technologies (FHT), Farm Technologies, and Heating and Refrigeration Technologies (HRT). The SFT division comprises separators, homogenizers, hygienic valves, and pumps. We started in India in 1989 and this is one of the largest businesses of GEA Group worldwide.”
A strong passion for innovation
GEA combines a rich heritage with a strong passion for engineering innovation and a commitment to sustainable business practices. Talking about their R&D efforts, Deepak said, “We continuously focus and invest in R&D activities at GEA. We have launched a new hygienic valve series called GEA FLOWVENT with mix proof and seat valve range. This new series will be manufactured at our Bengaluru facility for the Indian and global markets. We import homogenizers from Italy and also do value additions here in India to provide value to our customers.”
Engineering sustainable solutions for a better world
GEA aims to provide its customers with sustainable value creation and future-proof ideas for continued success. These include technologies for water treatment, safe food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, marine, oil and gas, power, renewable energy, and chemicals.
Elaborating on their sustainability efforts, Deepak remarked, “We are working towards zero water discharge by trying to recover the CIP (Cleaning in Place) liquids, which form a big chunk of the effluents in the dairy industry. If we succeed, which I think we will, the effluent will be reduced volumetrically by almost 90% and can be reused. That is a big step towards sustainability. It's one of the main drivers in our business.”
In its latest sustainability report, GEA informed its investors, customers, employees as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and all other stakeholders on the implementation of sustainability in the company’s strategy regarding ecology and social responsibility.
GEA contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions, plastic usage, and food waste. In doing so, GEA makes a key contribution toward a sustainable future, in line with the company’s purpose: "Engineering for a better world".
Lesson learned the hard way from the global pandemic
Deepak believes that the pandemic has changed the way the company does business. As an organization, GEA is agile and adapts quickly. GEA was able to offer remote support for its customers through its advanced technologies. Over the years, a gradual shift has been observed from manual processing plants to automated lines. He added, “We also see a dramatic shift of consumers from an unorganized to an organized market due to hygiene and health concerns and GEA is only focusing on that. The pandemic has made the staff stronger. This is also reflected positively in the company’s performance.”
According to Deepak, GEA puts all its energy in the direction of making the world a better place. The company is investing in technologies that will be appreciated by its customers and help GEA achieve its sustainability goals by reducing wastage and energy consumption. “We are in the process of launching more products early next year,” he added.
GEA participated in the recently concluded beverage technology event called DrinkTec in Mumbai from December 7 to 9, where it displayed its products like GEA FLOWVENT seat valves and mix-proof valves, and Hilge pumps among others. He said, “India is the third country in the world after Germany and China to have manufacturing facilities for hygienic valves. This explains our commitment to India. We want to support the industry with technologies which are far superior, efficient, and also cost-effective by producing locally.”
Deepak wrapped up the interaction with a message for its customers, “India is a focus country for GEA. We have been supporting and will support all of our customers in the future as best as we can. We are like partners for life, not only equipment suppliers.”