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Under the Hood - All things PDM and PLM

Autodesk Vault Helps GEA Bridge the Gap Between Custom and Standard

Christa Prokos
January 11, 2021

Based in Dusseldorf, Germany, GEA is one of the largest suppliers of systems and process solutions used in the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, marine, and utility industries. Even if you’re not a GEA customer, you’ve likely enjoyed the end result of their solutions. GEA technology helps produce one-third of the world’s chicken nuggets and half of its beer.

The sheer range of equipment and systems in the GEA portfolio is immense, including everything from compressors, valves and pumps to distillation and fermentation systems, evaporators and crystallizers, cleaners and sterilizers, and much more.

Many of these systems use similar components, such as pumps and valves, in unique ways. Using Autodesk Inventor, iLogic automation technology within Inventor, and Autodesk Vault, GEA’s OneEngineering program outputs “model enhancements” to give internal teams the ability to create custom systems automatically from standard components—simply by adjusting design parameters.

This process adopted by GEA has enabled them to significantly streamline processes—at times reducing engineering time from three weeks to two hours.

GEA plays two distinct roles in the industries it serves. On one hand, it offers a catalog of standard products that can be ordered to meet specific performance parameters (including machines that process the aforementioned chicken nuggets). On the other hand, GEA builds custom solutions to help customers solve new processing challenges. This second task is streamlined by the program OneEngineering–Bhavik Suthar, Dutt Thakar, and Lune Riezebos are all key players in this program.

“The solution side comes into play when a customer wants to launch a new product, for example, frozen pizzas, and they need the new machines to make them,” says Lune Riezebos, Application Specialist in Service Delivery with GEA. “They come to us and we design all the systems in the plant.”

To do this, Riezebos, Suthar, and Thakar rely heavily on Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Vault. “I’ve been an engineer for 20 years, working primarily with Inventor,” Riezebos says. “I provide support for both Inventor and Vault. I’m always looking for new functionality within these tools to see how we can use them throughout GEA.”

Read the full story here.


Image courtesy of GEA.

Christa Prokos

Christa is a product marketing manager at Autodesk. She researches and writes about product development strategies and technologies, including data management and product lifecycle management. Outside work, you can find Christa gravitating toward engineers at social gatherings.