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 > 500 m
turnover
> 4.500
employees
EUR 300 m
equity
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 Analyst

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.

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
Partner

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.

Career

Currently we offer the following vacancies:

Investment Associate (m/w/d)

Majority shareholdings

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.

Headquarter:
Stade (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
240
Employees:
1.100
FRIWO AG

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.

Headquarter:
Ostbevern (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
100
Employees:
>2.500
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.

Headquarter:
Windhagen (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
85
Employees:
350
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%.

Headquarter:
Schönberg (Germany)
Sales (EUR m):
75
Employees:
500

Acquisitions

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:

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

Size:
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.

News

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.

JK- Gruppe übernimmt die Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH

JK- Gruppe übernimmt die Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH

Die in Hamburg ansässige Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH gehört mit „Tan Discounter“ zu den größten europäischen Großhändlern für Indoor Tanning Lotion. Als exklusiver Distributor von qualitativ hochwertigen Produkten und bekannten Marken wie „Devoted Creations“ ist die Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH einer der wichtigsten Kosmetik Lieferanten von Sonnenstudios in Europa.

Die JK-Gruppe ist der weltweite Marktführer gewerblich genutzter Solarien und ein führender Anbieter in den Bereichen Wellness, Lifestyle und Healthcare. Mit dem Erwerb von 100 Prozent der Anteile an der Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH wird die JK-Gruppe ihr bestehendes Kosmetikgeschäft weiter ausbauen. Ausschlaggebend für die Übernahme waren vor allem die langjährige, erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit der Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH mit ihren Lieferanten und Kunden. Die gute und vertrauensvolle Kommunikation wird auch in Zukunft fortgeführt und weiter intensiviert. Um Synergien zu nutzen, werden bestehende Prozesse in den nächsten Wochen in die JK-Struktur integriert. Die Ansprechpartner bleiben auch in Zukunft erhalten, so dass sich für Kunden und Partner der Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH nichts ändert.
Wir freuen uns darauf, den Erfolg der Rottmann-Scheffel GmbH gemeinsam mit unseren Lieferanten und Partnern auch in Zukunft fortzuführen.

Sesotec FLAKE SCAN in the final round of the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2021

Sesotec FLAKE SCAN in the final round of the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2021

The FLAKE SCAN plastic flake analysis system from Sesotec has been nominated for the prestigious award of “Recycling Machinery Innovation of the Year” in this year’s ...

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Sesotec FLAKE SCAN in the final round of the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2021

Sesotec FLAKE SCAN in the final round of the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe 2021

The FLAKE SCAN plastic flake analysis system from Sesotec has been nominated for the prestigious award of “Recycling Machinery Innovation of the Year” in this year’s Plastics Recycling Awards Europe. The FLAKE SCAN material analysis system makes it possible to determine the precise quality of plastic flakes and regrind within minutes.

The quality of plastic flakes and regrind is crucial in determining whether plastic processors and manufacturers can profitably use and sell plastic recyclate. Depending on how the recyclate will be used, elaborate manual, visual, or thermal sample analyses are often necessary in order to assess the quality of a batch of materials. Sample analyses are also used as a means of evaluating the effectiveness of the recycling sorting process. Such sample analyses are hardly representative, and furthermore require additional resources, costs, and time.

Compared to traditional sampling methods for plastic flakes and regrind, FLAKE SCAN from Sesotec offers significant improvements in terms of analysis accuracy and time and resources spent. The FLAKE SCAN analysis system delivers data that can be quickly leveraged to make decisions about whether plastic flakes and regrind are pure enough for profitable use. It can also provide insights into the effectiveness of an entire recycling process and helps to ensure individual plant components are functioning as they should be.

“We are delighted that FLAKE SCAN has made it to the final round of consideration for the Plastics Recycling Awards Europe,” says Michael Perl, Group Director of Sorting & Recycling at Sesotec. “FLAKE SCAN’s advantage is the ability to determine the composition of a batch of flakes in just a few minutes. A combination of up to three sensors (color, near infrared, and metal) automatically provides precise, reproducible analyses of material samples by detecting color errors, plastic types, and metallic contaminants.”

The Plastics Recycling Show Europe is set to take place at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Center on November 4th and 5th. The 2021 award winners will be announced on the second day of the event.

Plastics Recycling Awards Europe is organized by Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) and Crain Communications. The event brings together companies, organizations, and individuals involved in the European plastics recycling industry. www.prseventeurope.com
Infographic: Circular Economy - Plastics Industry in Transition

Infographic: Circular Economy - Plastics Industry in Transition

The plastics industry is undergoing a transformation. The shift to a circular economy is in focus and this has significant implications: Society's attitude towards plastics is changing,....

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Infographic: Circular Economy - Plastics Industry in Transition

Infographic: Circular Economy - Plastics Industry in Transition

The plastics industry is undergoing a transformation. The shift to a circular economy is in focus and this has significant implications: Society's attitude towards plastics is changing, politics is reacting with new regulations and laws, and the plastics industry is faced with the challenge of creating the conditions to meet its customers' demand for products made entirely or partly from recycled materials.

The complexity of the topic "plastics cycle" is shown in the following infographic. It clearly shows that the willingness to contribute to solving the problem exists in many forms and shapes. It also shows the EU targets for packaging waste recycling by 2030, depending on the material type, and that there is still a long way to go to meet the demand targets for plastic packaging made from post-consumer recycled material. PET is presented as a prime example of a functioning circular economy. Finally, the infographic shows at the end the main factors why plastic recyclates have not been used sufficiently to date and what solutions there are to increase the recyclate share in the future.

How to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

How to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

In this article about testing contaminant detection and production inspection devices...

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How to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

How to test foreign material detection systems: validation, verification & monitoring

For food manufactures and processors, product inspection and contaminant detection devices are an important part of an effective foreign material control programme. In order to ensure the safety of their products, food industry businesses rely upon detection technology – often metal detectors and x-ray inspection systems – to identify physical contaminants and remove defective products from the production flow.

But just as production processes vary tremendously according to a plant’s products and scale, contaminant detection devices also differ. In order to safeguard consumer health, international food safety standards require that companies validate, verify and monitor their contaminant detection technology on an ongoing basis.

Validation, verification, monitoring: what they mean and how they differ

Validation, verification and monitoring are three distinct phases of testing product inspection devices. Each phase relates to a different period in a device’s lifecycle and uses different criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the device within a given process.

Depending on the global food safety and quality standards applied, specific requirements for each phase of testing inspection devices may vary slightly. In this piece, we refer to the requirements laid out in IFS Food Version 7.

1. Validation: can my device achieve the intended outcomes?

In testing contaminant detection technology, validation refers to the initial processes of qualifying whether a device can adequately fulfil the specific, documented requirements of its intended use.

Validation takes place before a food company purchases and/or implements a contaminant detection system. According to IFS Food V7, validation requires “the provision of objective evidence.” This evidence takes the form of specific criteria, such as the probability of detection (POD) and the false rejection rate (FRR), which are determined and documented before testing begins.

For instance, after assessing the foreign body risks present in their process, a company may determine they require a metal detector that can detect metallic particles of a certain size with a POD no lower than 99.998% and a FRR no higher than 0.001%. Factors such as packaging, product effect and production line speed should also be taken into account. These metal detector sensitivity criteria are then documented and different metal detection devices are tested accordingly. Only the devices that perform according to these standards will pass the validation phase.

2. Verification: is my device performing as expected?

After a contaminant detection device has been implemented, verification refers to scheduled, periodic testing procedures designed to ensure the device continues to function as expected.

To be compliant with IFS Food V7, verification should take place annually and include a series of thorough control tests, training sessions for personnel and the complete documentation thereof. Beyond detection sensitivity, the verification process should also include controls to ensure the device is reliably separating defective and/or contaminated products from the production flow.

As it only happens once annually, IFS Food V7 stipulates that the verification process should involve tests and documentation that are more exhaustive than the regular monitoring protocols detailed in the next section.

3. Monitoring: is my process under control?

In regard to foreign material controls, monitoring refers to frequent, ongoing performance tests designed to assess whether any changes have taken place since the last test that could impact the performance of an inspection device.

Monitoring is a routine protocol carried out multiple times per shift, usually at the beginning and end of a shift and whenever a product or batch is changed over. According to IFS Food V7, monitoring consists of “a planned sequence of observations or measurements of control parameters.” Such observations and measurements include, amongst others:

  • ensuring the device is operating according to the correct settings
  • running a series of test pieces thru the device to ensure they are rejected
  • ensuring the catch basin for rejected products has been emptied and nothing is obstructing the ejection chute

Monitoring processes must also be documented, though not with the same exhaustiveness required in the verification process.

The importance of testing product inspection systems

While validation, verification and monitoring are distinct testing phases, all three phases are interconnected and serve broader food safety goals. These include, amongst others:

  • Ensuring food industry businesses implement contaminant detection technology that is appropriate and effective for their products and processes
  • Ensuring contaminant detection technology is consistently calibrated to perform with the necessary sensitivity
  • Promptly identifying variables that may impact the performance of a detection device, enabling businesses to make adjustments accordingly
  • Enabling thorough, ongoing documentation of food safety protocols
  • Reducing the number of false rejects and thus the volume of wasted food
  • Facilitating compliance with food safety standards, such as IFS
  • Reducing the risk of undetected contaminants which could lead to costly product recalls

How to test your metal detectors and x-ray inspection systems

Monitoring the performance of your product inspection device is not only necessary in compliance with food safety standards, it is also essential for protecting your customers and your brand. The performance and sensitivity of your device can change over time and so thorough controls can help you identify and correct minor issues before they escalate.

Here is an overview of the steps involved in regular performance monitoring for metal detectors and x-ray systems:1. Select a representative range of test pieces

Control procedures for x-ray inspection and metal detection devices should use a range of test pieces that are representative of the risks inherent in your process. Amongst these test pieces should be a few that represent the worst-case scenario: the smallest, most difficult to identify particles that could be present in your products.

X-ray and metal detector test pieces come in a variety of formats (cards, sticks, cubes, balls, etc.), materials (FE, NFE, V2A, etc.) and sizes, each of which are suitable for different processes and applications.2. Use the correct test packaging & positioning

In the case of packing and filling lines, test pieces should be placed inside the same type of packaging as your products, be they glass jars, plastic trays or tin cans. Additionally, some test pieces should be placed inside the packaging in positions where the device sensitivity is at its lowest, such as the very centre of the detector.

3. Select the appropriate control procedures

When it comes to control procedures, the number of tests you run, the frequency with which you run them and types of contaminants you test for are ultimately dependant on the requirements with which you must comply and the level of risk your company is willing to tolerate.

One of the quickest and most basic control procedures involves placing a series of test pieces (FE, NE, V2A) at different positions (front, middle, back) in three packages one after the other. These packages should be spaced at normal distances and flow thru the metal detector at normal operating speeds to test whether the device can reliably eject all three packages in succession.

This procedure may be combined with other, more extensive procedures performed at different intervals.

4. Establish intervals for testing

As part of routine monitoring, controls should be carried out at the following times:

  • At the beginning and end of a shift or production cycle
  • At regular intervals during a product cycle, such as once every hour
  • Immediately following a batch or product changeover
  • After the settings on the device have been changed
  • After locating and correcting errors on the device
  • After maintenance or servicing on the device

5. Document your tests results in compliance with requirements

Different distribution networks, food safety standards and legal authorities have different standards for the documentation of ongoing performance controls. Sophisticated product inspection technology is equipped with software that can be programmed to automatically log and send test results to the responsible parties.

Conclusion: ensuring consistently excellent performance

Every food product and processing line is unique and brings its own particular set of challenges for foreign material controls. Extensive validation testing is necessary to choose a contaminant detection device that will reliably protect your products and ongoing verification and monitoring are necessary to ensuring the device continues to perform as expected. Because the ongoing testing of equipment performance requires a significant amount of time and resources, contaminant detection technology should be designed to simplify control procedures for companies.

 


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.

 

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

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

As the world population grows and global living standards rise, the food industry is confronted with a number of challenges and opportunities.

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

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

As the world population grows and global living standards rise, the food industry is confronted with a number of challenges and opportunities. Expectations are higher than ever. Food products must not only taste good, but must also fulfil demanding requirements for safety, quality, and availability. In order to adequately meet these demands, food production is reliant on new technologies, automation, and digitalization.

Improved food safety is one of the crowning achievements of the modern food industry. Comprehensive quality management systems make it possible to uphold the strictest food safety standards at all times. Through risk analyses and systematic controls, food industry businesses take seriously their responsibility to ensure the safety and quality of their products.

Industrial food production also faces issues of resource scarcity. Sustainable managementsolutions will be key to the long-term economic success of food industry businesses. Losses in the production process involve costs and waste, presenting problems with both economic and ethical consequences.

Last but not least, 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.


 

Download E-Book

 

Recycling rate, recyclate content and the impact on the plastics industry

Recycling rate, recyclate content and the impact on the plastics industry

On the way to a functioning circular economy, it is the declared goal of industry, society and policymakers to turn today’s waste into tomorrow’s secondary raw materials....

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Recycling rate, recyclate content and the impact on the plastics industry

Recycling rate, recyclate content and the impact on the plastics industry

What is meant by recycling rate?

The recycling rate is the percentage of recyclable materials actually recycled from waste. A distinction is made here between secondary components (complete, recyclable components) and secondary raw materials. However, the exact reference figures used to calculate the recycling rate are as varied as they are controversial. This is because the recycling rate is often equated with the recovery rate. However, while the latter also includes the energetic recovery of valuable materials from waste - i.e. energy recovery through incineration and thus a waste of resources - the recycling rate excludes this type of recovery.

The Waste Management Act (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz – KrWG) defines recycling in Article 3 (25) as “any recovery operation by which waste is reprocessed into products, materials or substances either for the original purpose or for other purposes”. It also states that recycling excludes “energy recovery and reprocessing into materials intended for use as fuel or for backfilling” (23a).

According to the study Plastics Material Flow Diagram in Germany 2019, 99.4% of the total 6.3 million tons of plastic waste in this country is recovered, but only 47% is recycled. In fact, only 33% of plastic waste from private households is recycled. The reason for this discrepancy is that plastics in industry are mostly clean and sorted by type, but in households they are heavily mixed.

Among other things, the proper separation of waste by consumers is important here, because mixed waste is difficult to recycle. The better it is separated at home, the easier it is for different types of packaging to be sorted in the plants and consequently recycled.

EU Waste Framework Directive

In order to increase the recycling rate for municipal waste, the EU Waste Framework Directive of 2008 was strengthened again in 2018. While the original directive stipulated a recycling rate of 50% for certain materials for each country by 2020, the amended Waste Framework Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/851) stipulates 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and even 65% by 2035. The calculation of the recycling rate has also changed with the new EU requirements. Up to then, the EU member states used “input calculations” as their guideline. This means that what is recycled from a collection system is counted. In the future, output-oriented quotas will apply throughout the EU. This means that only waste that is actually recycled will be counted as recycled.To ensure uniform application of the calculation rules, the EU Commission has defined specific calculation and measurement points for the most common wastes and recycling processes.

How has the recycling rate for plastics developed in recent years?

In 2019, 6.28 million tons of plastic waste were generated in Germany. Around 85.2% of this waste was generated after use (“post-consumer waste”). The remaining 14.8% was generated during the production and, above all, the processing of plastics. That sounds like a lot of recycled material. But far from it. As shown in the Plastic Atlas published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation in 2019, 60% of our plastic waste is “combusted with energy recovery”. The nearly 40 percent remaining is recycled.

Development of plastic packaging recycling

According to IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V., there has been a clear positive trend in the recycling rates of plastic packaging since the German Packaging Act came into force in 2019. According to a study conducted by GVM Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung, they rose by 12.3% in the sector of end consumer use in 2019. As a result, in 2019 plastic packaging rates total 55.2%, based on the overall market. Thus, according to the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR), the very ambitious statutory recycling rate of 58.5% was nearly achieved.

IK Managing Director Dr. Isabell Schmidt is pleased with this development: “The surge in recycling is a terrific success of the new packaging law that our industry has championed.”

At the same time, Schmidt emphasized that the circular economy must now continue to pick up speed and that it is now a matter of strengthening the financial incentives for recyclable packaging design so that investments in new packaging designs also pay off for everyone. A renewed review of the Packaging Act is planned for 2022.

What is meant by recyclates?

The term “recyclate” is primarily used in the plastics industry and is synonymous with reprocessed plastic waste. Recyclates are obtained by means of different reprocessing methods depending on the condition of the plastic waste being recycled. Plastic recyclates are generally divided into two categories: “post-industrial recyclates” and “post-consumer recyclates”.

Post-industrial recyclates

Post-industrial recyclates are obtained from industrial waste that is generated as rejects during the production process. In most cases, they are of a single type and can therefore be crushed and recycled with the help of special plastic mills without any major sorting or cleaning effort. Post-industrial recyclates are of particularly high quality due to their clean starting material and are therefore preferred by many companies. And yet there are areas of application, such as food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, in which even the single-variety post-industrial recyclates may not be used, or may only be used to a limited extent, due to the most stringent requirements for product safety and hygiene.

Post-consumer recyclates

These recyclates are recovered from end consumer waste, i.e. the yellow sack or garbage can used in Germany. Post-consumer waste is collected, sorted by type of plastic (PP, PE, PS), shredded, washed and then melted into plastic granulate. Since the yellow sack contains packaging mixed from a wide variety of plastic types, processing it into high-quality recyclate is more demanding and requires state-of-the-art recycling and sorting facilities.

 

 Sesotec supports all industrial areas of the plastics cycle with innovative solutions - 
for more profitability, quality and productivity.
Discover our Circular Economy Systems.

Development of recyclate content and the consequences for the plastics industry

Recyclates are becoming increasingly important as a raw material for new plastic products. This was also demonstrated by the Plastics Material Flow Diagram in Germany published in 2019. In 2019, 13.7% of the total volume of plastics processed was covered by recyclates. Since the last survey in 2017, the volume of recyclates has increased by around 5% per year. However, there is still considerable room for improvement in the use of recyclates.

The IK (Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen), the German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films, sees the main obstacles to the use of recyclate in the lack of availability and, in some cases, inferior quality of the recycled material. Recyclers and waste disposal associations have therefore been calling for political action since the middle of 2020. Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector, Franz Untersteller of the Green Party campaigned for a “mandatory percentage of recyclate content in plastics” at the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Congress held in Stuttgart. The Bundesrat (Germany’s upper house of parliament), however, rejected the call for national recyclate use quotas for certain products. The reason: While plastic recyclates are already routinely used in many sectors, such as construction, packaging and agriculture, the hurdles are very high in other sectors, such as food and cosmetics packaging, which place special demands on the quality of the recyclates. The required quantities and qualities of secondary raw materials are not currently available for such sensitive applications.

However, the quality and safety of products must under no circumstances be compromised by the use of recyclates. According to the IK, optimized waste separation by consumers plays a key role on the one hand, while on the other hand investments in high-tech sorting and high-quality processing are needed to cope with the required volumes and to sort them optimally. Only through the smooth interaction of all parties involved – from consumers and recyclers to manufacturers and processors – can a stable market for recyclates be established in the long term.

Challenge for recyclers, manufacturers and processors of plastic

The increasing demands on recyclate quantity and quality are not only increasing the pressure on recyclers to produce more single-variety material. Manufacturers and processors must also use more recyclate in order to be able to meet customer demands and legal requirements in the future. On the one hand, some machines have to be retrofitted in order to be able to process more materials, and on the other hand, state-of-the-art material analysis systems, sorting equipment and metal separators are required in order to be able to handle lower-grade qualities and reliably remove any impurities.

Conclusion

The terms recycling rate and recyclate content are often used synonymously but have different meanings. While the recycling rate represents the proportion of waste that is recycled, recyclate content is the proportion of secondary raw materials that are incorporated into new products. Both recycling rate and recyclate content are important factors for a functioning circular economy.

However, the recycling rate is difficult to track. Up to now, everything that goes from a sorting plant to recycling has been calculated. Losses in the recycling process, such as the incineration of impurities, have so far been included in the official quota. However, the recycling rate directly determines the availability of secondary raw materials. The more material is recycled, the more material is available for the production of recyclate. To get the cycle going, the recycling rate and thus the use of recyclates in the manufacture of new products must be significantly increased. This requires both further political action and the willingness of everyone involved, whether consumers, recyclers, manufacturers or processors, to make their contribution and pull together.


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Product purity for chemical products through precise quality control

Product purity for chemical products through precise quality control

Schirm GmbH is a production service provider for the chemical and related industries. At its five production sites in Germany and the USA, Schirm GmbH .....

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Product purity for chemical products through precise quality control

Product purity for chemical products through precise quality control

The problem: Strictest quality requirements in the chemical industry

The quality requirements of the chemical industry are particularly high. As a service provider to this industry, Schirm GmbH rises to the challenge and attaches great importance to quality, transparency, reliability, resource conservation, and the protection and safety of people and
the environment.

Metal detectors play an essential role in the refinement of solids to ensure a consistently high product quality and safety. At the same time, the customers expect quick setup times to achieve high flexibility and efficiency. A compact design due to place limitation and the
use in an ATEX 20 zone were additional requirements of the project.

The solution: purest chemical products through multi-stage and precise metal detection.

The metal separator RAPID PRO-SENSE with control unit GENIUS+ offers extremely high sensitivity by the specially developed innovative HRF technology (High Resolution Frequency).  The detection signal is sent and evaluated at a special frequency. In addition to
ferrous and non-ferrous metals, RAPID PRO-SENSE detects and separates small particles of non-magnetic stainless steel.

The control unit GENIUS+ with touchscreen facilitates quality control, as the data can be saved in a USB stick for further processing. In addition, the modular device concept offers flexibility and facilitate a customized adjustment to customer and material specific requirements,
e.g. a rotating reject outlet in case of limited space as well as a quick assembly with low effort using standard Jacob System connections.
The metal separator RAPID PRO-SENSE with round reject mechanism without dead corners, is mainly used for outgoing quality control in the production of powder and sensitive materials with high demands on cleaning and frequent material changes.
All in all, the RAPID PRO-SENSE convinces with high performance, easy cleaning and flexible installation options.
In order to increase product quality, a combination with the inline magnetic separator MAGBOX FOOD was recommended. Due to the extremely high forces of the neodymium magnet material, it is possible to separate even iron dust and weakly magnetized stainless steel particles
from the production stream. Magnetic separator,which are placed upstream a inductive metal separator, sort ferrous metals out and thus relieve the inductive separation.

The customer benefit: Schirm delivers the highest quality

As a flexible and experienced production service provider, Schirm is continuously developing its range of services in line with the tasks at hand. With the uncomplicated installation of the combination metal detector and magnet, Schirm GmbH achieves purest products with the
greatest added value for the customers.

It should also be noted that the technical features of the metal separator and the magnet system as well as the close cooperation between the project partners Sesotec and Schirm GmbH were decisive for the success of this project.

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 Product purity for chemical products through precise quality control

Connected – FRIWO & Brekr gestalten gemeinsam die...

Connected – FRIWO & Brekr gestalten gemeinsam die...

„Die Erde erwärmt sich, und die Auswirkungen auf den Lebensraum von Pflanzen, Tieren und Menschen sind enorm. Da CO2 den größten Beitrag zur globalen Erwärmung leistet...

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Connected – FRIWO & Brekr gestalten gemeinsam die...

Connected – FRIWO & Brekr gestalten gemeinsam die...

„Die Erde erwärmt sich, und die Auswirkungen auf den Lebensraum von Pflanzen, Tieren und Menschen sind enorm. Da CO2 den größten Beitrag zur globalen Erwärmung leistet, ist es notwendig, die Emissionen zu reduzieren. Elektrisches Fahren ist eine der Lösungen. Unsere Aufmerksamkeit liegt auf dem Akku, weil sich dort noch Verbesserungen erzielen lassen.“
Brekr Team

Im Jahr 2018 wurde offiziell mit der Entwicklung von Brekr begonnen. Seitdem arbeitet das Team mit Spezialisten, Experten, Enthusiasten und Lieferanten zusammen die dessen Leidenschaft für elektrisches Fahren, Technik und Design teilen. Von Beginn an verfolgten die Gründer Jasper Hagedoorn und Niels Willems eine bestimmte Mission: Die Realisierung eines konsequent zu Ende gedachten E-Mobility-Konzepts.

Seit der Gründung konzentrierte sich das niederländische Unternehmen auf die wichtigsten technischen Komponenten. Das Team suchte nach einem leistungsfähigen Motor, einer Batterie mit optimaler Kapazität und einem Controller, der diese effizient steuert.

FRIWO als Brekrs Systempartner der Wahl

Nach zahlreichen Tests und Untersuchungen stand fest: FRIWOs ganzheitliche Systemlösungen stechen in diesem noch recht jungen Markt besonders hervor. Alle benötigten Informationen konnten von FRIWO jederzeit zur Verfügung gestellt werden, sodass es dem Brekr-Team gelang eine optimale Funktionsfähigkeit zu erreichen. Brekr und FRIWO bilden ein hervorragendes Match und setzen auf eine langfristige Kooperation, um weiterhin höchsten E-Mobility-Fahrkomfort zu bieten.

Details zu dieser Success Story und weiteren spannenden E-Mobility Projekten erfahren Sie hier!

Der Beitrag Connected – FRIWO & Brekr gestalten gemeinsam die Zukunft der Elektromobilität erschien zuerst auf FRIWO.