About us

We are an industrial holding company with steady growth, which originates from acquisitions as well as the organic development of our group companies.

Entrepreneurs with long track record

We started building VTC from the mid 1990ies. At that time we were one of the first private equity firms in Germany, investing external capital mostly from high net worth individuals. Since 2004 we are able to live our dream: by investing our own equity, we became entrepreneurs ourselves. This allows us to take a long view concerning VTC and its group companies. Unlike a private equity investor, we have no exit focus.

Holding with added value

As sparring partners for the top management of our group companies we provide support in strategic discussions or selected projects. Our group companies are fully independent of each other, and the holding does not provide any central functions for the group. We emphasize the importance of flexibility and quick decision making.

Professional acquirer

Our strong experience and solid financial background (our holding is fully equity financed) makes us a trusted partner for corporates or entrepreneurs in divestment processes. Due to our lean structure we can take quick decisions and offer flexible deal structures. Being entrepreneurs ourselves helps us to understand the motivation and  emotions of private sellers.

Strong corporate values

Our team has grown organically over the last 20 years. The resulting company culture is based on strong values, which we carry into our group companies. We rate the long term impact of our actions higher than short term financial results. An investment in a company is also a commitment from our side towards customers, employees and financing partners.

Our Values

VTC in Numbers

EUR > 600 m
> 4.500
EUR 300 m
up to EUR 50 m
equity per transaction

The VTC Team

Natalia Chaban
Natalia Chaban
Finance Director

Natalia Chaban joined VTC in July 2021 as Finance Director. She is responsible for finance, taxes, treasury and consolidated financial statements at holding level.

Previously, Natalia Chaban worked for many years in auditing and audit-related consulting at one of the Big Four companies as well as at large medium-sized auditing and tax consulting firms, most recently as an associate partner. During this time, she worked as an auditor/tax consultant for both medium-sized family-run companies as well as capital market-oriented corporates.

Natalia Chaban holds a degree in economics from the University of Ulm and successfully passed both professional examinations as German Certified Public Accountant and tax consultant.

Sara Grauenhorst
Sara Grauenhorst
HR Manager

Sara joined VTC in 2021. She is responsible for Human Resource Management and is involved in the support of the group companies.

Before joining VTC Sara worked for Eversheds Sutherland in Munich, where she was responsible for all HR issues of the Practice Groups Litigation & Dispute Management and Employment Law. During this time she supported the firm in the context of various restructurings in all HR-related topics.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Laws degree with a focus on Human Resource Management from the FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management, Munich.

Philipp Härtel
Philipp Härtel
Investment Associate

Philipp Härtel is with VTC since 2020. He works on current transactions and is screening potential investment opportunities and markets.

Before joining VTC he worked in the M&A team of Harris Williams in Frankfurt, where he was involved in buyside and sell side mandates. Moreover, he gained previous experience at Gimv, KPMG and ING Corporate Finance.

Philipp holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Econometrics and Operations Research from Maastricht University as well as a Master of Science degree with focus on Corporate Finance from the Rotterdam School of Management.

Andreas Joha
Andreas Joha
Senior Investment Associate

Andreas Joha joined the investment team of VTC in 2021. He works on transactions as well as portfolio management tasks and screens potential investment opportunities and markets.

Previously, he spent several years at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Munich advising private equity clients on buyside and sellside transactions.

Andreas received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration with a major in Finance & Accounting from Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, and a Master of Science in Finance with a major in Corporate Finance from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.

Jürgen Leuze
Jürgen Leuze
Managing Partner

In the early years of VTC Jürgen worked on a number of industry roll ups and held management positions in portfolio companies. Since then he has responsible for many transactions and gained broad experience in the industrials and renewables space. Jürgen is in charge of Baettr Holding GmbH.

Before his time at university he worked as a trainee for HypoVereinsbank AG in Munich. He is an active shareholder in the Leuze family business.

Jürgen holds a business degree (lic.oec.HSG) from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Stefan Leuze
Stefan Leuze
Managing Partner

Stefan has overseen a number of VTC‘s transactions in Germany and Switzerland, mostly in the mechanical and plant engineering businesses. He is in charge of Sesotec GmbH and JK Group.

Before joining VTC Stefan was partner in a turnaround consulting firm where he also took on interim management positions. He started his career as a trainee at HypoVereinsbank AG and later worked for Bain & Company in Munich and London.

Stefan serves as a board member of the Leuze Group.

He has a business degree from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

Julius Mährlein
Julius Mährlein
Investment Director

Julius joined VTC in 2015. He works on transactions as well as portfolio management tasks.

From 2011 to 2014 he worked for GCA Altium and was involved in numerous buy side and sell side mandates, mainly in consumer goods and retail. In addition he was able to gain in-depth capital markets know how.

Julius holds Bachelor and Master of Science in International Business degrees from Maastricht University, Netherlands.

Richard G. Ramsauer
Richard G. Ramsauer
Managing Partner

During his time at VTC Richard was responsible for a number of transactions in the industrials, infrastructure and electronics space. He manages VTC’s interests in FRIWO AG. He is also in charge of public relations at VTC.

Before joining VTC Richard worked for Bain & Company as a project manager in the Munich and Stockholm offices. During his time at Bain he focused on strategy work and efficiency programs in the industrials and commodities sectors. Richard also spends some time on his forestry estate in Austria.

Richard is an Austrian citizen and holds a business degree from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and an MBA from the University of Chicago, USA.


Dr. Thomas Robl
Dr. Thomas Robl
Managing Partner

Before co-founding VTC in 1992 Thomas had worked for IMM Industrie Management München, back then one of the first private equity firms in Germany.

During his time at VTC Thomas applied his long experience at numerous transactions. In the early years of VTC he initiated and implemented a number of industry roll-ups and took on executive positions in portfolio companies. Thomas co-founded one of the leading German private equity fund-of-funds and today is a member of the company’s supervisory board.

Thomas holds a PhD (Dr.rer.nat.) in physics from the Technische Universität Munich and an INSEAD MBA, France.

Dr. Ulrich Wolfrum
Dr. Ulrich Wolfrum

Since 2000 Ulrich has worked on numerous transactions at VTC. In addition he chaired strategic projects and add-on acquisitions at portfolio companies. He is responsible for deal sourcing at VTC and is the contact person for investment banks and M&A advisors.

Ulrich started his career at A.T. Kearney in Munich and Dusseldorf. There he focused on efficiency programs and strategy development in the consumer goods, retail and energy sectors, where he could apply the experiences from his family business.

Ulrich holds a business degree and a PhD in business from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.


Currently we offer the following vacancies:

Investment Associate (m/w/d)


Baettr Holding GmbH

Baettr is a leading component supplier for the wind industry. The company is specialized in the serial production of large cast products for on- and off-shore markets incl. CNC-machining, metal finishing as well as subassembly offerings according to customer specifications. The international footprint with three foundries, two machining and two surface treatment facilities in Europe and Asia is ideally positioned to serve its customers worldwide.

Stade (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):

FRIWO AG is an internationally operating systems provider developing, producing and marketing high-performance, high-quality hard- and software solutions along the electrical drive train. FRIWO’s main market segments are e-mobility, household appliances and tools, medical equipment and industrial applications. Based on a global manufacturing and sourcing footprint, FRIWO is able to deliver leading edge technology at highly competitive prices.

Ostbevern (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
JK-Gruppe GmbH

JK Group is a worldwide leading manufacturer of devices for the tanning, fitness, and beauty industry. At the Company’s headquarter in Windhagen (Germany), JK develops and produces devices under the brand names “Ergoline”, “Beauty Angel”, “Sun Angel” and “Wellsystem”. The fields of application include cosmetic tanning, red light and near infrared applications for skin care as well as dry water massage.

Windhagen (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
Sesotec GmbH

Sesotec develops and manufactures machines and systems for the detection and separation of contaminants, for product inspection and for the sorting of material flows. Product sales primarily focus on the global food, plastics, pharmaceutical, wood, textile, and recycling industries. Sesotec’s global market leadership is based on a high competence in a wide range of technologies. The leading facility for design, development and manufacturing is located in Germany. Sesotec’s export quota amounts to over 50%.

Schönberg (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
United Souvenirs GmbH

United Souvenirs GmbH is a leading retailer and wholesaler of souvenirs and gift items in Europe. With its wholesale activities, the company is present throughout Europe. In addition, United Souvenirs operates over 60 stores in tourist hot spots in Austria, Germany, Spain, Poland and Slovakia.

Sales (EUR m):


We are constantly looking for new investments for further growth. Due to our lean decision making processes any new investment opportunity will be analyzed quickly by our team. We have earned a reputation for finding creative solutions suited for every new transaction. Since we invest our own money, we think long term and do not focus on exit strategies.

We are looking for companies which fulfill the following criteria:

We have no sector focus. In the past we have done transactions in manufacturing, services and wholesale.

Our group companies range from EUR 75m to EUR 240m in sales. Even with substantial growth potential investments should have revenues of at least EUR 10m.
We also look for add on acquisitions for our portfolio companies which can be smaller.

Investment amount and regional focus:
We are looking for majority stakes but will also consider a qualified minority. We invest equity tickets of up to EUR 50m per deal, in case of larger transactions we would work with a partner.
Our regional focus lies on Germany, and neighbouring countries.


Sesotec opens branch in Italy

Sesotec opens branch in Italy

Timely and efficient customer service in the local language

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Sesotec opens branch in Italy

Sesotec opens branch in Italy

Joachim Schulz, CEO of Sesotec (pictured left) and Johannes von Stein, Vice President of Sales, Food (pictured right) greet their new Italian colleagues: Ulf Stöckelmann, Country Sales Manager Plast (second from left); Paolo Mauri, Country Manager (center); Paolo Regazzoni, Country Sales Manager Food (second from right).

Sesotec GmbH, a manufacturer of equipment and systems for foreign object detection and material sorting and analysis, is expanding its presence in Europe. The German company, based in Schönberg, Lower Bavaria, has established a new subsidiary in Italy. With this latest international branch, Sesotec now has offices in seven countries.

Joachim Schulz, CEO at Sesotec, explains the decision to open a branch in Milan, Corso di Porta Vigentina 35, by citing the Italian market’s great potential in the food and plastics sectors.

“In Italy, there are many manufacturers and processors of food and plastics who focus on innovative foreign object detection technologies in order to ensure the utmost product quality, optimal processes, and the highest economic efficiency,” says Schulz. “Our customers and partners will benefit significantly from our proximity onsite, as well as through timely and efficient support in the local language.”

Sesotec’s new Italian branch is led by: Paolo Mauri, Country Manager for Italy; Ulf Stöckelmann, Country Sales Manager Plast; and Paolo Regazzoni, Country Sales Manager Food. They look forward to assisting Italian customers in the food and plastics industries.

Joint Venture between FRIWO AG and UNO MINDA Group

Joint Venture between FRIWO AG and UNO MINDA Group

Creating a technology and market leader in the two and three wheeler e-vehicle market...

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Joint Venture between FRIWO AG and UNO MINDA Group

Joint Venture between FRIWO AG and UNO MINDA Group

  • Creating a technology and market leader in the two and three wheeler e-vehicle market
  • India offers huge growth potential due to its government’s mission plan to push for e-mobility
  • Sound financial basis will be established due to capital measures by UNO MINDA and VTC

Ostbevern, 10th December 2021: FRIWO AG – a leading international manufacturer of innovative power supply units and e-drive solutions – entered a Joint Venture with UNO MINDA Group – a leading global supplier of proprietary automotive solutions to OEMs – enabling both companies to benefit from and even accelerate the electric vehicle revolution on the Indian subcontinent. FRIWO will hold a minority stake of 49.9 percent and will consolidate the income from the Joint Venture through the company’s financial result. UNO MINDA plans a 15 million euro investment in FRIWO AG via a capital increase in order to strengthen the industrial partnership between the two groups. The planned transaction and the capital measure are subject to regulatory approval, including of the Reserve Bank of India.

Unique position in the dynamically growing Indian e-mobility market

The Joint Venture will perfectly combine FRIWO’s long-term experience in providing sophisticated e-mobility solutions with the unmatched manufacturing track record of UNO MINDA in the Indian automotive industry to market e-drive solutions for electrical two-and three wheelers in India. The respective markets promise high growth rates facilitated by governmental initiatives such as the FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India) Scheme and PLI that offers incentives to customers, OEMs and auto component manufacturers of electric two- or three-wheeler products.

In the framework of the Joint Venture, FRIWO and UNO MINDA will combine their technologies and production capabilities. As a result, the combined entity will be able to offer full-line e-drive solutions for the Indian market, combining extremely robust hardware and an outstanding software architecture. The Joint Venture will be supported by UNO MINDA’s well-established and successful marketing, sales and support functions based in India. The newly formed Joint Venture will also utilize the state-of-the-art production facilities in India from UNO MINDA to fulfil increasing client requirements and to offer high-quality customized e-solutions in record speed.

Rolf Schwirz, CEO of FRIWO, comments, “This Joint Venture is a great opportunity for FRIWO to facilitate its expertise and innovation driven e-mobility business. The Joint Venture will have a distinct product portfolio with shared facilities, sophisticated, but also market-proven technology, high quality and engineering standards from both FRIWO and UNO MINDA, at optimized costs to the customers’ benefit. This winning combination will enable the Joint Venture to successfully establish a leading position in the two- and three-wheeler electric vehicles markets in India, as well as unlock the potential of other markets”.

Mr. Nirmal K. Minda, Chairman and Managing Director of UNO MINDA, adds: “Electrification will play an important role in the transformation of the mobility industry and presents major opportunities to the entire mobility ecosystem. We are delighted to partner with FRIWO to expand our product capabilities to serve such rising EV opportunities. By combining UNO MINDA’s production skills and leading position on the Indian subcontinent with FRIWO’s technological knowledge, we can create a true leader in the rapidly growing e-vehicles market. The partnership has been forged at an opportune time where the EV industry is on the cusp of a growth trajectory facilitated by a favorable government policy and incentives. We are confident to play a key catalyst role in the electric vehicle revolution and sustainability mobility in India.”

Substantial improvement of balance sheet quality

In parallel to the investment of UNO MINDA, FRIWO’s main shareholder VTC GmbH & Co. KG through its subsidiary CARDEA will also enhance the financial soundness and balance sheet quality of the company via a debt-equity swap in the amount of 13.6 million euros. In that context, the Management Board, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, has passed a resolution to increase the share capital of FRIWO AG by issuing 406,334 new ordinary shares utilizing the Authorized Capital, excluding pre-emptive rights of existing shareholders. The new shares will be issued at a price of 33.47 euros per share. With the transaction, VTC converts existing loans from VTC into equity, which will significantly strengthen the balance sheet of FRIWO AG, thereby showing its commitment and confidence regarding FRIWO’s growth prospects.

Furthermore, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board have passed the necessary resolutions to offer UNO MINDA 448,162 new shares at the same price as stated above. FRIWO is utilizing another portion of the Authorized Capital to offer 448,162 new ordinary shares exclusively to UNO MINDA and is thus excluding pre-emptive rights of the existing shareholders. This capital increase for cash of 15 million euros is subject to regulatory approval, including of the Reserve Bank of India.

The new ordinary shares of both transactions represent 9.99 percent of the future registered share capital of FRIWO. After the completion of both transactions, VTC will hold 81.59 percent and UNO MINDA 5.24 percent of the then existing total share capital in FRIWO AG.

Download the press release as PDF


Further Information:
Investor Relations
Ina Klassen


About FRIWO: The listed FRIWO AG (General Standard, Frankfurt) with its headquarters in Ostbevern/Northrhine Westphalia is an international manufacturer of technically leading power-supply devices and e-drive solutions. FRIWO provides a whole host of applications with tailored systems from a single source. FRIWO, founded in 1971, has transformed itself from a provider of power-supply products to a full line supplier of sophisticated and tailorized e-mobility solutions. Today, the product portfolio does not only include premium power supply solutions, but also battery charging solutions for a wide range of applications. Furthermore, all components of a modern electric drive solution are also available: from the display, motor control unit and drive unit to the control software. With modern development centers, manufacturing facilities and sales locations in Europe, Asia and the US, FRIWO is present in all of the world’s key markets. FRIWO’s key customers are leading brands in their respective markets and have embedded FRIWO products in order to provide superior quality to their customers. Main shareholder of FRIWO AG is a subsidiary of VTC GmbH & Co. KG, Munich. For further information, please visit our website at friwo.com.

About UNO MINDA Group: UNO MINDA, a technology leader in Auto Components Industry, is a leading global supplier of proprietary automotive solutions to OEMs as Tier-1. Minda Industries Limited (MIL) is a flagship Company of UNO MINDA Group. It manufactures automobile components for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and is rapidly expanding with growing market shares across all its product lines. It endeavors to deliver high technology and high quality products to its customers globally.

The Group is a global player in the automotive sector with overseas manufacturing facilities in Indonesia, Vietnam, Spain, Mexico, as well as Design Offices in Taiwan, Japan and Spain. It has over 71 manufacturing plants globally and has JVs/Technical Agreements with world-renowned manufactures from Japan, Italy and Taiwan.

Baettr named Vestas’ supplier of the year 2021 for sustainability

Baettr named Vestas’ supplier of the year 2021 for sustainability

Vestas has awarded Baettr with the Supplier of the Year 2021 award for our work in sustainability. The award was presented to Baettr at Vestas' annual Supplier Forum in late November 2021.

"Briefly put, this award is a big win for us. Not only is it a reminder to ourselves - all of us at Baettr - to take pride in the work we do in the name of the green transition. It is also a recognition that brings credibility to the message that we attempt to convey everyday, to our partners and clients: That sustainability, to us, is not just a seperate business area with seperate goals. It is at the very core of our way of doing business, and that is why we are geared to compete on the future global stage," states Peter Pallishøj, CEO of Baettr.

The award for best in sustainability is not simply presented to the supplier with the smallest carbon footprint. Vestas judges suppliers across a range of parameters, to find the top performer each year: "Baettr takes the award this year due to multiple factors: Documented ability to decrease their carbon footprint, investments made in technology that enables better utilization of resources in the future, as well as a proactive effort to facilitate a more sustainable industry in general, by proactively sharing knowledge and experiences with other key players in the wind industry," states Michael Leth, Purchase Manager at Vestas.

Lilian Winkler, HSE and Sustainability Lead at Baettr points to the work carried out in Momentum Network as one of several importants driver behind the nomination and award: "We have a clear sustainability road map set out for ourselves, all the way toward 2030. But the impact we can create on the green transition is multiplied tenfold if we can help facilitiate greener production for the broader industry, rather than just focusing on ourselves. That is why we founded Momentum Network with SustainX, bringing together multiple industry players and sharing sustainable experience, knowhow and technology. The network has quickly gained traction and has become a platform for dialogue with the wind turbine OEMs, enabling us to enhance our impact on the green transition throughout the supply chain".

For further information, please contact Lilian Smith Winkler on , or on +45 22423668.

A strong showing for Sesotec at Fakuma 2021

A strong showing for Sesotec at Fakuma 2021

Innovations for the circular economy: sustainable, environmentally friendly, and profitable

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A strong showing for Sesotec at Fakuma 2021

A strong showing for Sesotec at Fakuma 2021

From October 12 to 16, 2021, the 27th Fakuma International Trade Fair for Plastics Processing took place in Friedrichshafen, Germany. In terms of content, this year's Fakuma was centered on the topics of the circular economy, sustainability, and digitalization.

Under the motto “Material purity in all process steps of the circular economy,” Sesotec presented technologies and services that help plastics manufacturers, processors, and recyclers achieve circularity and efficiency in their production. Trade show highlights included the FLAKE SCAN material analysis system and the debut appearance of the mobile RE-SORT metal separation unit.

Being the first major plastics industry convention since the beginning of the pandemic, this year’s Fakuma attracted fewer visitors than in previous years. However, the Sesotec booth saw more than 300 visitors – many more than expected.

“We are back, and stronger than ever!” said Dietmar Dieing, Vice President of PI Plast at Sesotec. “This Fakuma was the ideal platform for presenting Sesotec’s latest innovations designed to help the plastics industry achieve sustainable, environmentally-friendly production that is also profitable. We feel optimistic about both the number of visitors as well as the quality of the conversations.”

Michael Perl, Group Director of Sorting & Recycling at Sesotec, observed: “Fakuma 2021 was also a success in terms of the sorting sector. The plastics recycling industry is picking up speed. The only downside for trade show visitors continues to be the lack of an international presence. This is of course due to ongoing travel restrictions amidst COVID-19.”

The next Fakuma will take place from Oct. 17 to 21, 2023. Before then, the plastics industry will meet again next year at the 2022 K trade show in Düsseldorf (Oct. 18 to 26, 2022). Perhaps this time under “normal” conditions?

VTC beteiligt sich an der United Souvenirs GmbH

VTC beteiligt sich an der United Souvenirs GmbH

United Souvenirs, führender Einzel- und Großhändler von Souvenirs und Geschenkartikeln in Europa, stellt die Weichen für die Zukunft. In Erwartung einer dynamischen Erholung des internationalen Tourismus,...

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VTC beteiligt sich an der United Souvenirs GmbH

VTC beteiligt sich an der United Souvenirs GmbH

Wien/München, 16. November 2021

United Souvenirs, führender Einzel- und Großhändler von Souvenirs und Geschenkartikeln in Europa, stellt die Weichen für die Zukunft. In Erwartung einer dynamischen Erholung des internationalen Tourismus, geht das Unternehmen aus Wien eine Partnerschaft mit der VTC GmbH & Co. KG ("VTC") ein. Gründer und bisheriger Alleingesellschafter Guntram Fessler war auf der Suche nach einem Partner, mit dem zusammen er die weitere Expansion vorantreiben und strukturieren kann. Die private Münchner Beteiligungsgesellschaft VTC hat in der Vergangenheit mehrfach bewiesen, dass sie ein perfekter Partner für Unternehmer sein kann, die ihr Geschäft langfristig und nachhaltig in eine andere Größenordnung entwickeln wollen.

Die VTC ist neben dem Gründungsgesellschafter und Geschäftsführer Guntram Fessler eine Beteiligung von 49% an der United Souvenirs GmbH ("United Souvenirs") mit Sitz in Wien eingegangen. United Souvenirs ist führender europäischer Einzel- und Großhändler von Souvenirs und Geschenkartikeln. Das konstant wachsende Unternehmen ist mit seinen Großhandelsaktivitäten europaweit präsent. Darüber hinaus betreibt United Souvenirs heute schon über 50 Filialen an touristischen Hot Spots in Österreich, Deutschland, Spanien, Polen und der Slowakei.

VTC unterstützt Guntram Fessler mit ihrem nachhaltigen, unternehmerisch geprägten Investmentansatz beim weiteren Wachstum des Unternehmens. Im Zuge dessen wird weiterhin umfassend investiert – unter anderem in die stetige Erweiterung des Filialportfolios in Europa, die Digitalisierung sämtlicher Prozesse und in eine Verbreiterung des Management Teams. VTC bringt dabei ihre langjährige Erfahrung in der Optimierung und Professionalisierung von Organisationen und Prozessen sowie beim Ausbau erfolgreicher Geschäftsmodelle ein.

Für VTC markiert die Beteiligung an United Souvenirs die 15. unternehmerische Beteiligung in den vergangenen 17 Jahren.

Hygienic design and its role in certified food safety management

Hygienic design and its role in certified food safety management

By ensuring their buildings and machinery comply with hygienic design guidelines, food manufacturers not only reduce risk within their processes, but also incur a number of additional benefits...

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Hygienic design and its role in certified food safety management

Hygienic design and its role in certified food safety management

What is hygienic design for food processing equipment?

Hygienic design refers to designing all components of food processing machinery in order to facilitate cleaning and reduce the risk of contaminating food products with biological, chemical or physical hazards.

A few examples of hygienic design for food processing machinery include:

  • Sealing off dead spaces, such as crevices and gaps
  • Ensuring all food contact areas are accessible for cleaning
  • Eliminating the build-up of condensation
  • Using materials that can be repeatedly and intensively cleaned without abrasion
  • Eliminating components that may loosen, break off and fall into food products
  • Installing drying or draining mechanisms for equipment sanitised with wet-cleaning methods

Why is hygienic design important for food safety?

The hygienic design of food processing equipment has a significant impact on food safety.

Food manufacturing and processing businesses are required to ensure their products are free from biological, chemical and physical contaminants. Inadequate hygienic design can heighten food safety risks by increasing the likelihood that food processing equipment itself becomes a vector for cross-contamination.

By building sanitary equipment that is easy to clean, resistant to wear and free of areas where moisture can accumulate, hygienic design greatly helps to reduce the contamination risks inherent in food processing.

The role of hygienic design guidelines in food safety standards

Another compelling reason to comply with hygienic design best practises is that applying them is necessary to receive regulatory approval and food safety certifications.

Around the world, regulatory authorities and certification programme owners incorporate hygienic design best practises into their standards for the fabrication, installation, maintenance and cleanability of food processing facilities and equipment. In order to comply with food safety law or become certified with a third-party food safety standard, food manufacturers must invariably adhere to the best practises of hygienic design.

In the European Union and the United States, there are two prominent organisations whose guidelines for hygienic design inform both food safety law and international food safety standards: the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) and 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc. (3-A SSI).

Here is an overview of how these organisations promote their guidelines for hygienic design in partnership with certification programmes and regulatory authorities:

EHEDG in the European Union

The EHEDG is a non-governmental organisation based in Europe that is dedicated to the promotion of hygienic design in food engineering. Their team of food safety experts and engineers has published upwards of 50 guidelines for the hygienic design of food processing facilities, production environments and a wide range of food processing equipment.

In the third edition of their hygienic design principles, EHEDG describes a series of provisions intended to prevent contamination by foreign particulate (Doc. 8, chp. 4.5). These guidelines include considerations about the selection of construction materials, the use of hygienic shields over all open products and containers and the implementation of an effective preventative maintenance programme, amongst other things.

EHEDG offers certification programmes for food manufacturers as well as suppliers of sanitary food manufacturing equipment. While official certification is voluntary for food processors, applying EHEDG guidelines is a necessary part of compliance with legal requirements for hygiene and food safety as prescribed by European laws. These laws include EU Nr. 10/2011 and EC 1935/2004, which regulate the kinds of materials and articles that may come into contact with foods.

3 A SSI in the United States

3‑A SSI was created in the 1920s as a collaboration between American professional sanitarians, equipment fabricators and processors to improve the hygienic design of milk pipe fittings. Today, 3‑A SSI maintains 70 different sanitary standards for a wide range of food processing equipment with particular emphasis on dairy products. The 3‑A symbol is a registered mark that can be featured on food processing equipment that meets their sanitary standards.

3-A guidelines for equipment manufacturers also include criteria that can help to prevent physical contamination. These criteria cover topics such as material selection, requirements for the surface finish of equipment and the elimination of flaws such as pits, folds and crevices.

Like EHEDG, 3‑A certification is voluntary. However, 3-A standards serve as important references for regulatory authorities in the United States, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA). For example, the USDA Dairy Division has an approval process for all equipment used in dairy facilities – and all equipment that that conforms with relevant 3-A standards meets these requirements by default.

International food safety certification and hygienic design

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a leading international organisation dedicated to the continuous improvement of food safety management systems worldwide. They develop benchmarking requirements for owners of food safety certification programmes, such as IFS Food, SQF, BRCGS and more.

In 2020, GFSI published a new and more robust set of benchmarking requirements for hygienic design: GFSI JI (for building constructors and equipment manufacturers) and GFSI JII (for building and equipment users).

The criteria laid out in GFSI JI and JII were not only informed by standards from the EHEDG and 3‑A SSI, but were actively indorsed by these organisations. As such, all international food safety certification programmes recognised by GFSI involve implementing hygienic design best practises developed by EHEDG and 3-A SSI.

What additional benefits can hygienic design in food processing equipment offer food manufacturers?

Beyond reducing contamination risks and helping achieve compliance with food safety standards, food processors and manufacturers stand to boost productivity by ensuring their facilities and processing equipment are built according to hygienic design principles.

Cleaning is amongst the most time- and resource-intensive aspects of running a food manufacturing or processing facility. According to one study, half of food industry business reportedly spend at least 10% of their annual turnover on cleaning.

Food processing equipment that adheres to hygienic design principles helps to expedite thorough cleaning processes and reduce the time and money that businesses spend sanitising machinery, thus boosting their profitability.


From their mixing machines, to their packaging lines, to their metal detectors and x-ray inspection devices, food industry businesses have a lot to gain by ensuring their equipment is built according to recognised standards for hygienic design. In addition to helping improve the safety and quality of their products, hygienic design can boost a business’s profitability by reducing the time and resources spent cleaning. Furthermore, because both legal regulations and third-party certification programmes evaluate hygienic design, food industry businesses can facilitate approvals and certifications by complying with hygienic design guidelines throughout their processes.

E-Book: Food Safety - What food processors need to know

The food industry is among the most regulated industries in the world. Manufacturers and processors must comply with a multitude of laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, and guidelines in order to produce and market foods in different regions.

This e-book is meant to offer a comprehensive overview of the varying and influential factors shaping the future of food manufacturing and processing. We hope you find many valuable and interesting pieces of information inside.


Die neueste Marke der JK-Gruppe: DAYON

Die neueste Marke der JK-Gruppe: DAYON

DAYON LightSpa ist die neue Wellness-Oase für Zuhause. Wissenschaftlich anerkannt und mit modernster Technologie sorgt die Licht- & Sonnen-Anwendung für Wohlbefinden und eine natürlich schöne Ausstrahlung...

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Die neueste Marke der JK-Gruppe: DAYON

Die neueste Marke der JK-Gruppe: DAYON

DAYON LightSpa ist die neue Wellness-Oase für Zuhause. Wissenschaftlich anerkannt und mit modernster Technologie sorgt die Licht- & Sonnen-Anwendung für Wohlbefinden und eine natürlich schöne Ausstrahlung.

Die zeitgemäße Licht- und Sonnen-Anwendung.

Licht ist lebenswichtig und hat einen direkten Einfluss auf Leistungsfähigkeit, Wohlbefinden und sogar unser Aussehen. Dabei hat jedes Lichtspektrum unterschiedliche Wirkungen auf unseren Organismus. LightSpa nutzt die biopositiven Wirkungen von wohldosiertem Sonnenlicht und pflegendem, rotem Licht.

Licht ist essenziell für Gesundheit und Wohlbefinden.
Schon in der Antike war die Wirkung der Sonne auf Psyche und Gesundheit bekannt. So nutzten Athleten das Sonnenlicht, um sich auf einen Wettkampf vorzubereiten. Hippokrates, einer der bekanntesten Mediziner des Altertums, empfahl sogar eine „Heliotherapie“, um Krankheiten vorzubeugen oder akut zu behandeln. Während die Behandlung von Krankheiten ausschließlich in die Hände von Ärzten gehört, wissen wir aus eigener Erfahrung, wie gut uns die Sonne tut. In den dunklen Jahreszeiten fühlen wir uns häufig träge, müde und anfällig für Krankheiten.

Hier erfahren Sie mehr: https://www.dayon.com/ 

Fakuma 2021: Sesotec Lösungen für einen geschlossenen Kunststoffkreislauf

Fakuma 2021: Sesotec Lösungen für einen geschlossenen Kunststoffkreislauf

High-Tech Metallseparation, Materialanalyse und Service sichern Produktreinheit und steigern Profitabilität

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Fakuma 2021: Sesotec Lösungen für einen geschlossenen Kunststoffkreislauf

Fakuma 2021: Sesotec Lösungen für einen geschlossenen Kunststoffkreislauf

Auf der Fakuma 2021, die vom 12.10. bis 16.10. in Friedrichshafen stattfindet, stellt die Sesotec GmbH in Halle B1, Stand 1302 unter dem Motto „Material purity in all process steps of the circular economy“ Technologien und Services vor, die Herstellern, Verarbeitern und Recyclern von Kunststoffen helfen, zirkulär und gleichzeitig hocheffizient zu produzieren. Messehighlights sind das Materialanalysesystem FLAKE SCAN und die mobile Metall-Separiereinheit RE-SORT, die erstmals vorgestellt wird.

Darüber hinaus zeigt Sesotec den Metallseparator PROTECTOR kombiniert mit einem SAFEMAG Magnetsystem und den Metallseparator GF. Informationen über die Vernetzung der Produktionslandschaft mit OPC UA sowie über die umfangreichen Serviceleistungen runden das Sesotec Ausstellungsspektrum ab.

FLAKE SCAN Materialanalysesystem für höchste Flake-Qualität

Für Hersteller und Verarbeiter von Kunststoff-Flakes und -Mahlgütern ist die Gewährleistung einer hohen Materialqualität ein entscheidender Faktor für einen profitablen Verkauf und Einsatz von Kunststoff-Rezyklat. Um den Aufwand für stichprobenartige manuelle, visuelle oder thermische Analyseverfahren von Materialchargen zu reduzieren, hat Sesotec das Analysesystem FLAKE SCAN entwickelt. FLAKE SCAN liefert die Datenbasis für eine schnelle Entscheidung, ob Kunststoff-Flakes und -Mahlgüter profitabel eingesetzt werden können. Zudem sind damit Rückschlüsse möglich, ob der ganze Recyclingprozess und einzelne Anlagenkomponenten störungsfrei funktionieren.

Auf dem Fakuma Messestand sind von der Sesotec Division Sorting Recycling Experten vor Ort, die für Fragen zum Materialanalysesystem FLAKE SCAN und zu allen anderen Kunststoffsortiersystemen zur Verfügung stehen.

RE-SORT steigert Materialeffizienz

Granulatverlust in der Produktion bedeutet für Hersteller und Verarbeiter von Kunststoffen neben den späteren Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt auch eine Verringerung der Produktivität. Von Metallseparatoren ausgeschleustes Material beinhaltet einen hohen Anteil an Metallfremdkörpern und muss entsorgt werden, was Mehrkosten und Wertverlust bedeutet. Mit der neuen Metall-Separiereinheit RE-SORT lässt sich verunreinigtes Kunststoffgranulat zuverlässig von Metallfremdkörpern reinigen und zur Wiederverwendung in der Produktion rückgewinnen.

Metallseparatoren für verschiedene Materialförderarten

Der Einsatz von Metallseparatoren verhindert, dass Metallverunreinigungen in Kunststoffmaschinen gelangen und schützen somit die Werkzeuge vor Verstopfen und Beschädigung. Der auf der Fakuma ausgestellte PROTECTOR-Metallseparator kombiniert mit SAFEMAG wird zur Untersuchung von langsam fließenden oder stehenden Materialsäulen direkt über dem Materialeinzug einer Spritzgießmaschine, eines Extruders oder einer Blasformmaschine installiert. Metall-Separatoren der GF-Serie können sowohl in Saug- als auch in Druck-Förderleitungen horizontal, vertikal oder schräg eingebaut werden. Selbst bei hohen Fördergeschwindigkeiten gewährleisten GF Metallseparatoren eine sichere Detektion von Metallverunreinigungen im Granulat.

Maschinenvernetzung mit INTERLINK und OPC UA

Mit INTERLINK können Sesotec Metalldetektoren und Metallseparatoren in zentrale Steuerungssysteme der Kunststoffindustrie eingebunden werden. Per OPC UA sorgt INTERLINK für den sicheren und effizienten Austausch von Daten und damit für eine gezielte Produktivitätssteigerung durch zentrale Prozessanalyse. Es ermöglicht die Überwachung und Steuerung im bestehenden Firmennetzwerk und die Früherkennung von Fehlern und Verschleiß durch geräteübergreifenden Datenvergleich.

Last but not least sind die umfangreichen Serviceleistungen ebenfalls Thema auf dem Messestand.

Alle Informationen über Sesotec auf der Fakuma sind unter www.sesotec.com/de/fakuma2021 zu finden.

Metal detection with AI ensures the perfect salami

Metal detection with AI ensures the perfect salami

The idyllic town of St. Stefan im Rosental, located in the Styria region of Austria, is home to Loidl Salami. Founded in the 1960s, H. Loidl ...

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Metal detection with AI ensures the perfect salami

Metal detection with AI ensures the perfect salami

The problem: Debris from aluminum clips in the salamis

After bowl chopping the meat and carefully mixing all ingredients, the salamis are filled into an air-permeable casing and closed on both sides with aluminum clip s. The salamis are then hung in the ripe ning chamber where they will remain for as long as three
months. Once ripe, some Loidl salami products are packaged in slices. This requires removing the casing and the aluminum clips by hand.

In some cases, residue from the aluminum clips remains on the salami. The standard metal detection solutions Loidl had used up un til that point were not sensitive enough to reliably detect the metal contaminants. So Loidl turned to Sesotec in search of a solution
for detecting and automatically rejecting metal contaminants from salami sticks with a length of 50 to 60 cm.

The focus quickly turned to methods using artificial intelligence (AI). Sesotec had been actively researching these methods at the time of Loidl’s inquiry. The two companies formed a partnership in the development of “THiNK,” an AI software for metal detectors.

The solution: Combatting product effect by means of AI metal detectors

Meat products have an intrinsic conductivity (product effect) that makes it especially difficult for metal detectors to identify metallic contaminants. Equipping Sesotec INTUITY metal detectors with THiNK software presents a solution to this problem.

THiNK metal detectors use multiple, simultaneous frequencies to inspect the product. Using “intelligent” detection thresholds, the conductivity resulting from product effect can be isolated. All signals that fall outside of these thresholds will trigger the metal detector, considerably increasing the detection sensitivity.

THiNK is capable of virtually eliminating the interference caused by product effect. In other words, the metal detector can distinguish between conductivity caused by product effect and conductivity caused by metal contaminants. This helps to minimize false rejects and increase detection sensitivity.

In order to find the best setting for Loidl products, tests were carried out in the Sesotec technical center. Here it was determined that Loidl’s detection needs could be met by a high-tech INTUITY metal detector equipped with THiNK software. The detector was calibrated for sensitivity to sizes 1.0-1.3 mm for Fe and non-Fe, and 1.3-1.8 mm for VA. Loidl received a UNICON metal detection system consisting of an INTUITY metal detector, a conveyor belt, a control unit with THiNK software, and a pusher rejection mechanism.

The customer benefit: Guaranteed product quality for the end consumer

INTUITY metal detectors equipped with THiNK offer a superior and efficient solution to the challenge presented by the high product effect of salamis. The required level of sensitivity to aluminum and iron is reliably achieved. The field test performed by Sesotec at Loidl’s production facilities delivered valuable insights that made it possible to precisely configure the THiNK software so that INTUITY could perform as required.

Johannes Vogel, Head of Sales for Meat Products and Plant Management, expresses his enthusiasm for Sesotec’s solution: “INTUITY with THiNK is a killer solution. Everything worked out perfectly and continues to run without issue. Our slice rs are spared the damage from metal particles, and it’s a great feeling to know we are using the newest and best technology available in order to guarantee the highest possible quality for our consumers. Sesotec took immediate action to address our concerns and deliver a solution for Loidl. We won’t hesitate to reach out to them again the next time we have a metal detection project on our hands.”

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 Metal detection with AI ensures the perfect salami

Baettr welcomes Jean Marc Lechene as Head of Baettr Advisory Board

Baettr welcomes Jean Marc Lechene as Head of Baettr Advisory Board

The wind industry is continuously developing, and success demands continuous adjustment according to the future needs of the global market. We are therefore very excited and satisfied, that Jean Marc Lechene has taken up position ....

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Baettr welcomes Jean Marc Lechene as Head of Baettr Advisory Board

Baettr welcomes Jean Marc Lechene as Head of Baettr Advisory Board

The wind industry is continuously developing, and success demands continuous adjustment according to the future needs of the global market. We are therefore very excited and satisfied, that Jean Marc Lechene has taken up position as our Head of Baettr Advisory Board.

Jean Marc Lechene brings with him broad experience from a high-level background from various industries. Within our industry, he is recognized for his work as COO at Vestas from 2011 until late 2019. Furthermore, Jean Marc Lechene is has international experience from residing in different locations across the globe.

CEO of Baettr, Peter Pallishøj, states: “With Jean Marc Lechene as Head of Baettr Advisory Board, we will have a very competent sparring partner, who can help us to translate market needs and development, so we can integrate it in our strategy in the best way. Besides the strategic understanding, Jean Marc Lechene also has a strong operational understanding, which - in my view - means a perfect fit: It gives him the ability to support our ambition for continuous development across all levels”.

“I am very honoured to join Baettr’s Advisory Board. I have deep consideration and respect for the tough and relevant decisions that Baettr has taken in the past years to position itself as the strategic partner of choice to the OEMs of the Wind industry. The acceleration of the Green Transition opens up even broader perspectives and I am excited to be part of that journey alongside a great team," states Jean Marc Lechene.