Technology group GEA offers a wide range of engineering excellence in the area food processing and packaging for meat, cheese, bakery, confectionery and pasta. GEA’s mission is to provide 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, providing 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 special method for calculating the oxygen concentration based on the light emitted and the temperature. The new measurement system has no effect on 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 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 include 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 & 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.”