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Factory of the future – GEA focuses on sustainability and digitalization

©GEA, Mike Henning

To meet the growing demand for vaccine production, GEA is building a new pharmaceutical technology center in Elsdorf. The company is investing EUR 80 million in the project. NRW.Global Business supported the project’s search for a location in 2022.

On an area of approximately 40,000 m2, a "factory of the future" is being built to produce freeze-drying systems. The company is focusing on new technologies and the digitalization of work processes. For example, applications for mobile devices will be used for production control and monitoring, and intelligent storage systems will be used for seamless material tracking. Sustainability standards also play an important role for GEA: Among other things, the energy required for the technology center is to be generated by the company's own photovoltaic system. In this way, the company intends to dispense completely with natural gas.

"We want to protect future generations with our sustainable solutions for the food and pharmaceutical industries. This must therefore also be reflected in our own actions. After all, only an industrial location that focuses on sustainability will remain competitive and export-oriented in the future," says CEO Stefan Klebert.

By deciding to build the new plant, GEA intends to expand its production capacities, as the existing plant in Hürth has already reached its full capacity. After the planned completion in the second half of 2025, all 250 employees will move to Elsdorf.