Dispatches from IPPE 2015

TRENDSPOTTING: Consolidation continues to change who's who among meat/poultry equipment suppliers

By Heidi Parsons

- Last updated on GMT

Business is brisk at the International Production & Processing Expo.
Business is brisk at the International Production & Processing Expo.

Related tags Gea refrigeration technologies Gea process engineering New product development Gea

Talking with exhibitors at the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, one thing is clear: the trend of legacy brands being consolidated under fewer large umbrellas shows no signs of slowing.

“Our overall strategy is to provide full-line solutions to our customers,”​ Brian Perkins, vice president of global product management for Provisur, told FoodProductionDaily. “We’re doing more and more of that, especially in emerging countries.”

He said that is particularly true in Asia, where meat and poultry processing are experiencing considerable growth and plants are being built from the ground up in many areas.

In contrast, he said, “You don’t see many greenfield projects here in the US these days.”

Provisur, originally formed in 2009 and based in Mokena, Illinois, subsumes the following equipment brands: AM2C, Beehive, Cashin, Formax, Multitec, TST, and Weiler. The total portfolio includes grinding and mixing, separating, forming, coating, cooking, slicing and autoloading technologies.

Beyond acquisition

After five years of growing through acquisition, now Provisur is looking to grow through new product development, Perkins said. Toward that end, the company has hired Nick Pearson as a global product manager.

In addition, in March Provisur will open a newly constructed, USDA-certified R&D facility.

"It's essentially a mini meat processing plant,"​ Perkins said. "It will be equipped with all of our technologies, and the USDA certification will allow us not only to demonstrate the machinery, but also to test how it will run a customer's product so we can assist with product development."

In 2014, Provisur signed an agreement with Scanico, a Danish manufacturer of industrial freezers, to incorporate Scanico freezers into full-line packages for food manufacturers who need that capability.

Expansion and contraction

Another machinery supplier that has grown rapidly through acquisition is GEA. Based in Dusseldorf, Germany, the company has four major divisions: GEA Mechanical Equipment, GEA Process Engineering, GEA Refrigeration Technologies and GEA Farm Technologies.

The Mechanical Equipment, Process Engineering and Refrigeration Technologies segments all sell equipment for primary and secondary food and beverage processing.

At the end of 2010, GEA increased its presence in food and beverage processing substantially by acquiring Convenience Food Systems (CFS). In that deal, GEA gained the following equipment brands: Kramer-Grebe, Wolfking, Tiromate, Dixie Union, Aquarius, Belam, Koppens and Scanio,

Marketing specialist Todd Watlington also came to GEA from CFS in that deal. “GEA bought [CFS] because we had 10 years of experience in integrating businesses,”​ he said.

“There are so many efficiencies that can be gained from providing full-line solutions.”

He pointed out that GEA recently spun off its Heat Exchangers business to sharpen its focus on its food-related operations. “Within 10 years, the company expects to be 75% focused on food,”​ he said.

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