“Go West” is the slogan for GEA's range of pumps, which aims to conquer the US market in 2020. Of course, there is nothing as peaceful and free as the Village People suggested in the 1970s or the Pet Shop Boys in the 1990s.
A tough market, according to GEA experts Martin Zickler and Dave Medlar, where it is better to start planning from the back in order to make everything right from the beginning.
That's why they first built up the service network and a local assembly and then made a promise: GEA pumps will bring a new level of quality, efficiency and hygiene to the US dairy, pharmaceutical, food and beverage markets. GEA acquired Hilge, a leading German pump manufacturer, in June 2015.
Since then the company has been integrated into GEA and has benefitted from its engineering experience and global network of customers, suppliers and agents. Now that the pumps have received 3-A certification, the time is right to meet the US market head on.
Martin Zickler is the product manager for hygienic pumps, based in Germany. He worked with Hilge before the GEA acquisition. “The old company had no footprint in the USA,” he said. “But now that we have the backing of GEA and a comprehensive service and distribution network in the country, we are ready to take on the challenge.”
Michael Brandt is the business development manager charged with the job of making the US launch a success. He said that he had never had any doubts about the quality of the pumps and the opportunities for them in the US, but he had to make sure that the service and support structure was up to American standards before introducing them to the market.