At GEA, our commitment to “Engineering for a better world” has taken on even greater significance since the onslaught of the coronavirus. As a leading systems provider to several critical sectors, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to support these customers and are working shoulder-to-shoulder with them, remotely if necessary, to ensure long shelf-life foods, beverages, hygiene products and vaccines continue to reach consumers during these difficult times.

As COVID-19 spread in China in early 2020, GEA took immediate action, first and foremost by securing the safety and well-being of our employees there. Without further delay, GEA set up a global COVID-19 taskforce composed of a member of the Executive Board and senior managers from all relevant global, divisional and local functions to facilitate the daily exchange of information and analysis to ensure immediate and proactive action could be taken. We are also coordinating local donation initiatives to help communities, hospitals and organizations fight the virus.

Together against corona – delivering what we promise

Our first task was to make sure we provided for the safety of our own people, while also maintaining an overview of any changes in their health status. With safety measures in place for employees, we then reached out to our customers and stakeholders to let them know that GEA would do everything in its power to ensure the on-time delivery of plants, equipment, spare parts and services, particularly for critical infrastructure sectors.

Given GEA’s key role as a technology provider in the food, beverage, pharma and other industries globally, we have maintained our focus on being a reliable partner to these customers, who must themselves continue to deliver during these challenging times. Following strict hygiene measures has helped us to secure our supply chains. 

Think global, act local: A team of healthcare workers from the HM Sanchinarro hospital in Madrid, Spain, takes time to recognize their shipment of much-needed supplies from GEA, April 2020.
Think global, act local: A team of healthcare workers from the HM Sanchinarro hospital in Madrid, Spain, takes time to recognize their shipment of much-needed supplies from GEA, April 2020.

Over the last few months GEA has continued to work closely with customers to provide real-time, remote services. Likewise, our production control and optimization systems and VR technologies help keep plants and projects running smoothly, reducing the need for onsite maintenance and face-to-face meetings. Via webinars we’re bringing customers and experts together in lieu of large gatherings and trade fairs; these provide a platform for discussion and for offering solutions to challenges that are close to the hearts of many manufacturers, such has broadening their product portfolio using existing equipment or plants or reducing their carbon footprint through smart refrigeration and heat-recovery systems.

Across the globe and every day, GEA colleagues are going above and beyond to support their customers. Our service teams are helping them safeguard their projects and production, which includes support in commissioning plants remotely. Our employees continue to perform well despite the severe limitations and increased hygiene requirements brought on by this pandemic. We are extremely proud of our people at GEA. 

Even in these difficult times, GEA is delivering several milestone projects – not only in terms of volume, but also complexity and sustainability. We’re pulling out all the stops to ensure projects, updates and services are delivered in a safe and timely manner – and we will continue to do so. This is our commitment to “Engineering for a better world”.

Stay healthy!

Stefan Klebert, CEO, GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

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