GEA has brought together the long-term expertise of its leading bakery technology companies – COMAS and IMAFORNI – to build a complete line for the production of wire-cut and soft centre biscuits at the Khong Guan factory in Jakarta, Indonesia. The new line includes the latest hybrid oven configuration that uses indirect cyclotherm (radiation) and convection heating for better control of product characteristics.

The customer

Khong Guan is a top Indonesian manufacturer specializing in biscuits, wafers and wafer sticks. The company’s success has resulted from its insistence on using the finest ingredients, the latest machinery and robotized packaging systems to meet customers’ re­quirements, hygiene standards and food safety regulations.

The company has used Imaforni equipment before and has always been impressed with its performance. However, this is the first time Khong Guan has built a complete line using just a single supplier. “The latest addition (2016) is a soft cookie line made up of GEA Comas and GEA Imaforni equipment,” explained Mr. Chew Soo Kok, Director of Khong Guan. “It is capable of doing jam-filled cookies, wire-cut cookies, deposited biscuits, and bars. With the help of a food technologist to fine-tune the recipes, we were able to start-up the production line in a short period of time.” The line now runs wonderfully and provides significant benefits in terms of product quality and consistency, productivity and reliability.

The GEA line

The GEA line includes a high capacity DFV3 extruder capable of simultaneously depositing two different types of dough and a fluid filling; the hybrid steel band tunnel baking oven; and all the necessary mixing and conveying equipment. The hybrid configuration, using both indirect cyclotherm and convection heating, increases the flexibility of the baking process by allowing different products to be baked at the same time in the same oven. The system also provides a much more accurate control of the final moisture content, improves the product color and texture and achieves higher outputs than the traditional systems.

But according to Marco Gandini, GEA’s Head of Bakery Applications, the technology itself is only part of the story. “What makes this line special is the way in which the experience of both the GEA brands has been able to come together to provide the highest performing solution,” he explained. “By choosing equipment that is of the highest quality and perfectly compatible, we have been able to build a line that is reliable and capable of producing large amounts of cookies of the finest quality for Khong Guan.” 

GEA responsibility

As GEA designed and built the whole line, it has full responsibility for its maintenance. As Marco Gandina said: “In the unlikely event of a problem there can be no doubt as to who is responsible for fixing it,” he said.  “It’s a 100% GEA line: we built it and we will maintain it at optimum performance for our customer throughout its working life.” 

What the customer thinks

The relationship between customer and supplier is always critical but, in this case, Mr. Soo Kok has no doubt that he has made the right choice with GEA. “The services provided have been first class; and the engineers are well-trained, knowledgeable and friendly which made the installation and commissioning process a smooth one. The after-sales service is equally good with prompt replies and follow-ups to our queries.” 

Mr. Soo Kok also explained that with the increase in population in Indonesia and good economic growth, the market size for Khong Guan’s products has grown tremendously. As the purchasing power of the Indonesian consumer has grown and the middle-income population is increasing, he believes that the market will continue to grow. “However, we must introduce better quality products and new varieties of biscuits and cookies,” he explained. “To prepare ourselves for the future, we will need to continue to invest in good, and reliable equipment to ensure a high quality production output.” 

All food manufacturers operate in an intensely competitive environment in which the highest standards of hygiene, production, and product innovation are essential to prosper. By choosing GEA to provide a complete production line, Khong Guan has ensured that its facilities are world class and has secured the combined expertise of some of the industry’s finest process engineers to make sure that its leading position is maintained well into the future. 

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