BRF (Netherlands) bought the prototype of the first CookStar and is still working day in day out with the GEA CookStar since 1993
In the early nineties, as further processing started gaining momentum, BRF (former Plusfood then called Friki) was a pioneer in the Netherlands. Ale Douma, Technical Manager at that time, remembers how GEA (then called Koppens) helped his company turn a labor intensive process into one of the most advanced lines of its time. The collaboration led to the CookStar, and the prototype is running reliably in their plant today.
"1000 kilograms per hour, 24 hours a day, five days a week. For 25 years and counting!"— Jan Bergsma
Ale says, “We were using a lot of manual labor preparing our poultry products, and it was getting expensive. We were frying and then cooking in batch ovens with very limited capacity. I needed an in-line solution”. After investigating what was happening in the US, where in-line oven technology offered up to 20 meters, BRF looked for a partner closer to home. BRF had tested its own ideas. And the relationship with GEA was good. “Our two companies had similar attitude to innovation, similar cultures. There was a click from the start. I needed an oven with a belt length 70 meters. That was longer than our factory! The way to go was spiral!” says Ale. Industrial deep freezers used this configuration, but back then, ovens did not.
"Our two companies had similar attitude to innovation, similar cultures. There was a click from the start."— Ale Douma
The right performance
A complete new product was the result. Production Manager Jan Bergsma adds, “being a double spiral oven, the infeed and outfeed are at the same level. A unique feature that preserves product quality. But the real benefit was the huge leap forward in capacity. 1000 kilograms per hour, 24 hours a day, five days a week. And it keeps working in all conditions”.
Twenty five years later, that original oven is still in the same place. And the strong relationship between the two companies is still as strong as ever. Ale again, “The CookStar changed the way we cook”.
25 years of innovation with GEA CookStar
With the introduction of the world’s first 2-zone spiral oven in 1992, GEA CookStar started to set new standards for industrial cooking. Evolving over time to the world’s only three-phase cooking concept in a double spiral oven, it is still a leader in terms of innovation, performance and reliability. Already for 25 years and counting…