GEA is investing $A9.1 million to modernize production at the GEA AWP site in Prenzlau, Germany.
As part of this project, seven older machining centres will be upgraded.
The new CNC machining centres and lathes will enable a reduction in machining time of up to 20 per cent and a reduction in set-up times of up to 70 per cent.
In addition, the new machines save valuable space in production and can be used for other purposes. Another important advantage of the new machines is the improved ergonomics for employees.
The first new milling machining centre went into operation at the end of 2023 with the project set for completion in 2026.
GEA AWP managing director Tobias Länge, said efficiency and flexibility in production and development are top priorities.
The investment in new machines is also linked to an increase in production jobs at the GEA AWP site.
Around 20 additional production employees in machining, welding and logistics are to be recruited by 2026.
Länge said recruiting these employees will not be easy due to the shortage of skilled workers.
“Nevertheless, we are convinced that we will be able to attract qualified employees from Prenzlau, the Berlin metropolitan region and the federal states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in particular,” he said.
"The opportunity to work in a globally successful company and an attractive workplace are the plus points that we can offer applicants."
GEA AWP develops and produces valves and components for industrial refrigeration systems and machines.
In particular, the company manufactures valves that are specially designed for heat pump applications.
The main products include safety valves, shut-off valves, ball valves, suction filters and oil management valves.
The components are used for all types of heating and cooling systems, for example in the heat pump industry, in cooling and freezing technology in the food industry, in cooling in the dairy industry, in component equipment for oil drilling platforms and ships, as well as in cooling processes in the brewing industry, in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and also in special cooling applications such as indoor winter sports facilities, artificial ice rinks and indoor ski slopes.
AWP began producing refrigeration valves in 1972. Initially, shut-off, control and non-return valves were manufactured, followed by safety valves from 1974 and main and solenoid valves from 1978.