In this interview, Stefan Gebhardt, General Manager of Sales and Strategy of the Food and Pharma Business Unit, offers insight into the strategy and vision of Coperion's new Food, Health and Nutrition Division and expounds upon the advantages for existing and new customers as a result of this development.
Gabler Engineering as Part of Coperion — Stronger Together
Since 2022, German pharmaceutical, food and confectionary specialist Gabler Engineering has been a part of Coperion. Together, both companies now offer an extensive portfolio and additional services for new and existing customers.
Question: Mr. Gebhardt, which strategic direction is Coperion taking in the food & pharma field?
Stefan Gebhardt: Coperion is a leading company in the fields of compounding and extrusion, feeding and weighing technology as well as in bulk material handling. To continue to develop strategically, Coperion’s concentration on the food and pharma sectors will take on greater emphasis in the future. We've been known in the market for decades with a comprehensive portfolio, from ingredient handling to feeding to extrusion. This past year, Hillenbrand, Inc. – Coperion’s parent company – acquired several new companies including the companies of Linxis Group, Peerless Food Equipment and Gabler Engineering. In so doing, a strong new division at Coperion was created called Food, Health and Nutrition Division.Together, we can now offer comprehensive solutions for the food, pet food and pharmaceutical industries.
The food market worldwide gives us the option to mold our future according to our purpose “Shape What Matters for Tomorrow”. With this in mind, Coperion is developing machines and systems for a sustainable future such as our extrusion technology for the manufacturer of alternative meats. These products give consumers the option to reduce their meat intake for personal health reasons, animal welfare concerns, and desire to limit climate change.
Question: Let’s have a look at Gabler Engineering. Why was the decision made to buy the company?
Stefan Gebhardt: For over 115 years, Gabler Engineering has represented the perfect combination of experience and innovation, offering machines and systems for the development, construction and manufacture of complex, tailor-made processing systems. This company provides innovative technology and highly flexible machinery such as extruders (co- and counter-rotating), molding lines, coating machines and spray cabinets. These machines are used for manufacturing chewing gum and chewable candies or for coating lozenges, among other things. Gabler’s employees possess all-encompassing expertise and many years of experience in manufacturing machines according to the strict standards of the food and pharmaceutical industries.
With Gabler, we're expanding our offerings and increasing process know-how. And with Gabler’s location in Malsch (Germany), we have additional assembly capacity at our disposal.
Question: What advantage does this provide for Gabler's customers?
Stefan Gebhardt: By joining Coperion, Gabler is now part of a larger group. Customers can benefit from collaboration in areas such as procurement, engineering, assembly, or sales, for example. As a strong partner, Coperion provides a large sales and service network. Moreover, the companies together provide a broader portfolio. What we offer for various customers can be expanded in the future, such as the combination of products from both companies to optimize production — and all from a single source.
At the same time, the fact that the manufacturing process is as highly flexible as before, ensures that every system can be modified individually to the customer's requirements. Gabler’s systems, like Coperion’s products, represent high quality, reliability and safety. For customers in the food manufacturing sector, there are new possibilities for their processes; the expertise, as well as both companies’ products, can be combined for certain solutions.
Question: What trends do you see in the future that the new Food, Health and Nutrition Division can service?
Stefan Gebhardt: One strong trend as mentioned previously is the manufacturing of meat substitutes. In this field, Coperion is a strong partner. With the ZSK food extruder and its corresponding technical solutions, as the centerpiece of the manufacturing process, we offer companies systems for manufacturing texturized vegetable proteins (TVPs) or high moisture meat analogs (HMMAs). Another focus is pet food manufacturing, such as pet treats. The comprehensive Food, Health and Nutrition Division offers complete solutions, even for the confectionery and chocolate sector, baked goods, and microencapsulation of aromas. Further areas of application for our technologies include breakfast cereals as well as dairy products and nutrition supplements, to name a few examples.
The particular advantage for customers is that we offer individual components, comprehensive solutions and complete systems capabilities – depending on the end product, the process and the customer’s requirements.
See for yourself which solutions Coperion and Gabler can provide for your process — you can find us together at Interpack, Hall 4, Booth 4D25.
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