GEA focuses on digitalisation, sustainability and application at IFFA 2022

The innovative, digital GEA SmartControl HMI (Human-Machine Interface) platform is also new. It offers easy operation through different operator profiles and increases process reliability (Photo credit: GEA)

At IFFA 2022, GEA, a global player in the food industry, will showcase its most recent food processing, freezing and packaging innovations, which bring important benefits in sustainability, digitalisation, product quality and productivity. Outstanding application excellence in the fields of poultry, other meat and plant-based foods will also be key topics. GEA is dedicated to offering comprehensive technological solutions that equip its customers today for the challenges of tomorrow. Trade fair visitors will have the opportunity to view these solutions at the company’s booth in Frankfurt, Germany (Hall 8, Booth G20) from 14-19 May 2022.

Digital empowerment

To showcase its strong technological offering at IFFA, GEA will exhibit a complete, fully automated, slicing and packaging line for calibrated products that uses recyclable mono-material film. This 24m-long line includes the GEA OptiSlicer 6000, a newly integrated robot loading function, the PowerPak PLUS thermoformer with new and unique heating, evacuation and gas injection systems, the new TiroLabel PLUS labeling equipment and a new, end-of-line converger system developed by GEA.

Critical equipment is digitally enhanced by the new GEA SmartControl HMI (Human-Machine-Interface) platform, which offers easy operation based on user roles, increased process safety through version control and logs, access to historic data, and open interface integration with other line equipment. The slice-pack line at the exhibit will also demonstrate GEA LineControl, a digital management platform which can automatically orchestrate the process across the entire line based on pre-programmed scenarios. This feature increases safety while reducing downtime, rework and waste of energy and resources, ultimately enabling food processors to work more efficiently and deliver better quality products.

Condition monitoring system predicts the future

At IFFA, the slicing and packaging line will be connected to a condition monitoring system, part of the GEA PerformancePLUS service programme, continuously tracking in real time the performance and condition of the line in general and each machine in detail. This digital solution prompts the user when the equipment needs maintenance, service or repair, and provides real-data insights on how to improve daily operations to prolong the system’s lifespan and productivity. In addition, this condition monitoring system will also be available on the newest, third generation bowl cutter – the GEA CutMaster GEN 3, debuting at the IFFA. The new bowl cutter features various technical improvements related to hygiene, productivity, ease of use and line integration, enabling reliable and versatile production of plant and meat-based applications.

Sustainability by design

GEA is presenting various technological improvements driven by concern for the environment. The new ProEdge Drive spiral freezer system embraces the “less is more” drum-free design. It boasts 12% greater freezing capacity within the same footprint while using less stainless steel. In vertical packaging, the GEA SmartPacker CX400 with hygienic design will be equipped with an innovative Smart Sealing system featuring recyclable sealing strips with a substantially longer lifespan than any other technology currently on the market. In addition to mono-PE materials, the GEA Smart Sealing System is ideal for a wide variety of laminates, including many recyclable materials such as paper laminates. In particular, the GEA PowerPak PLUS with its latest innovations, such as the new evacuation and gas injection system and the new film heating systems, offers the ideal conditions for the use of extremely thin packaging materials or the use of mono-materials as well as paper-based packaging materials.

Smart cooking technology

As demand grows for more efficient and sustainable food production methods, the latest industrial cooking technology in the GEA CookStar GEN 3 spiral ovens has the potential to transform the mass production of roasted, breaded and smoked products. These new high-performance ovens are extremely accurate and offer more creative cooking options while giving the food industry what it wants: increased yields, improved sustainability and high-quality products.

Application excellence for plant-based and meat-based foods

As a global leader in food processing technology, GEA offers full application expertise that helps food producers to turn their ideas into reality. At IFFA, GEA will present solutions for plant-based nuggets, burgers and fillets as well as complete line solutions for ham, innovative in-line smoking lines for bacon and poultry, and much more.