GEA has firmly moved into the bakery sector of the food industry with its acquisition of Italy-based COMAS over the summer.
The baking industry is a new sector for GEA, which is broadening and strengthening its position in the food industry and adding a totally new set of equipment to the GEA product portfolio.
By including bakery technology in the GEA scope of supply, the company has extended its ability to provide turnkey solutions, from a single source, for its food industry customers.
This capability stems from GEA acquiring Torrebelvicino, Italy-based COMAS, a market leader for the supply of bakery technology, this past June.
Since then the company has been integrated into the ‘Solutions’ Business Area of GEA and is now providing a vital role in the growing cake and pastry sector.
COMAS has been a specialist in the bakery sector since 1972 and has grown to become a key player for the supply of top level equipment and complete production lines for cakes, pies, cookies, layer cakes, pastry, pizza and bread.
Its acquisition by GEA is an essential element of the GEA Food Application Center and will allow the organization to use its vast sales and support network worldwide to open up new opportunities for the technology and to provide a high level of know-how and flexibility for customers.
Andrea Filippi, marketing manager COMAS, says he is excited by the new opportunities that are opening up under the new company structure.
“The greatest benefit for us is the tremendous confidence customers have in GEA,” he says. “This has developed considerable customer loyalty and we are both delighted and proud to be playing our part in that continued success.”
One vitally important service now provided by GEA is the Bakery Experience Center (BEC) in Torrebelvicino, which is near Venice. This facility performs daily testing of new recipes on behalf of customers and allows processes to be optimized for throughput and quality.
The BEC includes a wide range of bakery production equipment such as mixers, depositors, filling machines, pizza topping machines, ovens and packaging equipment. More importantly, the Center has an experienced food technologist service to provide support and guidance to customers at all stages of the testing procedure. The BEC is also used for product development and to test all machines leaving the factory prior to delivery.
“The BEC is very popular with our customers,” explains Filippi. “It allows us to prove the quality and efficiency of our production lines for customers and enables them to develop new products and bring them to market quickly.”
Filippi adds that it is a vitally important new resource for GEA customers.
“Recently we have helped a baker to develop a new cake production line to boost throughput while maintaining, or even improving product quality,” he says. “Similarly, a confectionery customer, who wanted to diversify into bakery products, was able to test ingredients, recipes and production processing at the BEC before investing in a new plant.”
GEA recently attended the IBA show in Munich, the leading fair for the bakery, confectionery and snack sectors of the food industry.
The Group will also be exhibiting at Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) in Paris from Dec. 1-3, 2015 with experts on hand to provide advice and guidance for customers on the full range of GEA equipment and solutions.