Innovation in Vacuum Busch Award 2013
Gea Food Solutions GmbH
The first Innovation in Vacuum Busch Award was won by GEA Food Solutions GmbH, based in Düsseldorf. GEA is the successor to the Union Verpackungsgesellschaft, which was founded in Kempten in 1957.
In the early sixties Union developed a new method of packaging fresh food: vacuum packaging
. The first plastic foil suitable for this process was available – the challenge was to develop a machine capable of forming the foil to a tray into which items to be packaged are placed. The tray is then covered with another layer of foil to create an airtight seal, and the air in the tray is extracted. The process must be carried out rapidly and effectively, and a high vacuum in the tray must be guaranteed. Busch took over the technical development of the vacuum generator, and soon came up with an efficient solution: the Huckepack vacuum pump
. Union were then able to manufacture the world's first automatic thermoforming machine. Vacuum packaging was born – the result of innovative ideas and effective cooperation.
This technical innovation has had a profound positive effect on human nutrition that continues to this day. Vacuum packaging protects food from oxygen, insects, bacteria and fungi, and prevents dehydration. The result is less spoilage and greater choice. Vacuum packaging has made it possible for more people throughout the world to enjoy a complete and healthy diet.
Dr. Karl Busch presented the award as part of the company's 50th anniversary celebrations. It was received by Manfred Schmidt, Purchasing Director of GEA Food Solutions, and Christoph Ullmann, who was the designer of the first automatic vacuum packaging machine – and Busch's first customer. The award recognises an idea implemented 50 years ago that conquered the world, and has since become the industry technical standard.