12/01/2021 | Process Innovation

Interview with Klaus Stojentin | GEA

Many businesses are now keen to improve their market position and open up new areas with sustainable engineering. Here, Klaus Stojentin, Division CEO, Separation and Flow Technologies gives GEA’s position.

ACHEMA Inspire: You clearly live up to the claim of “engineering for a better world”. But it covers many aspects. What’s your main area of focus here?

  • __Klaus Stojentin: GEA’s mission statement, „engineering for a better world” simply explains in five words the DNA of our company: that is, what drives our actions and generally what drives us. We are about better health, healthier nutrition, food security and tackling climate change. It’s about a better quality of life. These are all global megatrends and, at the same time, challenges facing our society today.
    Let me give you an example: our customers, including all globally positioned pharmaceutical manufacturers, demand a fully qualified separator for singe use. After all, without single-use technology, the incredibly fast development of Covid vaccines would be unthinkable. With the introduction of the GEA kytero® separator, we are supporting our customers in this endeavor. It also avoids the need for costly and long-term validations. The kytero® series is, thus: a good example of our guiding principle “engineering for a better world”.

ACHEMA Inspire: You appear extremely active in many sectors. Does that define you – or has the past year merely been a particularly busy one?

  • __Klaus Stojentin: The past year was – as for other industries – a special year. Regardless of this, we strive every day to make production processes ever more sustainable and efficient for our customers. GEA’s plants, processes and components help to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, the use of plastics and food waste in production worldwide. The Separation & Flow Technologies (SFT) Division, for which I am responsible, has also implemented a number of strategic projects that contribute to this.

ACHEMA Inspire: Impressive statistics are underpinning your technological reach. Where does a company with that level of achievement go next?

  • __Klaus Stojentin: Nothing is more constant than change. Since the use of separators and decanters is constantly changing and expanding, and since they are not standard products, they must be selected and adapted according to their application. With our Process Test Center (PTC), we support our customers in this process. Here, our teams carry out product analyses, analytical measurements, machine tests and process developments to meet the requirements of manufacturers and their respective process engineering tasks.
    The knowledge accumulated over the decades is held in a database so customers can draw on a broad spectrum of expertise covering all GEA process technology applications to help them calculate their investment costs and ROI.
    We also support our customers on their increasingly digital and automated journey with a range of digital solutions that support smart and sustainable production. These include self-optimising and self-learning systems, condition monitoring technology and service concepts that cover the entire life cycle of GEA machines and plants to enable sustainable plant operations. The so-called “digital twin” is an example. We have software tests already in the development phase as well as during FAT (Factory Acceptance Test) and for virtual commissioning. In the process, the tool creates a digital twin of the plant. This simulation model is an image of the centrifuge and the entire subsequent installation and shows dynamic behaviour during I/O simulation and fieldbus emulation. During DAT, the software can be tested independently of the actual availability of the centrifuge. This allows potential software errors to be detected and corrected much earlier, resulting in better project execution, faster commissioning and lower risks for our customers.

ACHEMA Inspire: Speaking as an organisation striving to maintain its reputation as one which is highly customer-focused, what’s the secret of good relationships?

  • __Klaus Stojentin: Our employees make the difference for our customers. We are a high-performance organisation with competent and highly committed employees. This is how we want to be successful with and for the customer, in order to create profitable growth together with the customer.
    The example of process optimisation is a good illustration of this. In the engineering world of yesterday, process optimisation mainly referred to the company’s own production processes. Back then, it was mainly about developing a great machine or system, producing it and then selling it. In today’s engineering world, “process optimisation” is a 360-degree topic. Back then, no one really had an eye on the overall systemic consequences of the sold machine after the sale. GEA has been positioned differently here for decades. Many processes that are now considered industry standards were developed by GEA engineers together with our customers. All in the spirit of “engineering for a better world”.


ACHEMA Inspire staff

World Show Media


Keywords in this article:

#sustainability, #co2, #decarbonisation

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