“engineering for a better world“: This statement embodies the core value proposition of the GEA Group. Apart from responsibly shaping its own value creation processes, the company fosters sustainable business practices and contributes to the protection of the natural environment by offering its customers efficient products and process solutions. As a rule, the technologies and processes they employ are energy- and water-intensive, which is why energy and water savings as well as reductions in emissions or waste increasingly impact customers’ investment decisions. For this reason, GEA’s ambition is to come up with more solutions that drive the more efficient use of resources.
Lower consumption of resources, less floor space, extensive energy recovery potential, ease of operation – these are the criteria currently applied by customers when making their purchasing decisions. In turn, the latter have a direct and favorable impact on climate-relevant emissions and the protection of natural resources. More often than not, the economic and ecological criteria governing investment decisions made in GEA’s customer industries are virtually identical since lower emissions based on enhanced efficiency also result in lower costs. Among others, GEA’s business success depends on products and solutions that are more efficient than previous generations and, thus, reduce environmental impacts.
As a society, we are under tremendous pressure to address how we can take better care of our world, which includes rethinking how we use our diverse resources today and going forward. No one feels this more acutely than our customers and partners who are tasked with finding the right balance between the environment, the economy and society, which includes meeting the increasingly complex needs and demands of consumers, investors and other stakeholders all along the value chain. – Stefan Klebert, CEO, GEA
GEA offers a wide range of components, systems and process equipment while never tiring of improving them in terms of resource efficiency, flexibility, quality and costs. GEA has defined around 200 core technologies that offer tremendous potential for optimization, also when combined with other technologies.
The front end of innovation management, i.e. the systematic generation of ideas as well as a feasibility check, includes tools for problem solving and advancing the number and quality of submitted ideas, the systematic analysis of market- and technology-driven trends and customer needs, as well as an ideas platform.
Throughout the year 2018, GEA continued to roll out its innovation management program which includes the innovation process, the state-of-the-art “InnoVate” IT system for generating ideas and allowing them to mature, as well as defined roles and responsibilities for steering the further development of innovative ideas.
To allow for a goal-oriented and swifter transition from product idea to product development, the company established a number of specific methods and put them into practice. GEA does not define agile product development exclusively as an approach designed to accelerate product development, but puts much more emphasis on integrating customer feedback into the concept and pre-development stage as early as possible in order to assess applicability and identify the right specifications of the product-to-be. Opting for this course of action, GEA meets two major challenges: Customer acceptance as well as possible obstacles in the sales process that need to be tackled, especially when it comes to complex applications that require broader explanations.
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