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

The VTC Team

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.

Christian Kalasch
Christian Kalasch
Senior Investment Manager

Christian is with VTC since 2016. He supports transaction processes as well as the development of group companies (e.g. in add on acquisitions).

From 2011 to 2015 he worked for Commerzbank M&A in Frankfurt and London and William Blair in their Frankfurt, London and Chicago offices. He was involved in numerous buy side and sell side mandates and advised clients on strategic portfolio optimizations. His industry focus was on industrials, health care and services.

Christian holds a bachelor degree in business (finance and accounting) from Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and a master’s degree in finance from St. Andrews University in Scotland.

Christian A. König
Christian A. König
Investment Analyst

Christian König joined the VTC team in 2019. He works on current transactions and is screening potential investment opportunities and markets.

During his time at university he already gained first experience in the investment industry, amongst others with Maxburg Capital Partners, Waterland Private Equity and the Leveraged Finance Division of UniCredit Bank.

Christian holds Bachelor degrees in Economics and Business Administration as well as a Master of Science degree with focus on Finance & Accounting from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

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.

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.

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):


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.


Using artificial intelligence for sustainably profitable food processing

Using artificial intelligence for sustainably profitable food processing

Overcoming product effect and improving detection accuracy

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Using artificial intelligence for sustainably profitable food processing

Using artificial intelligence for sustainably profitable food processing

Despite the breadth of technology available for foreign object detection, certain types of foods display a strong product effect, making them difficult to inspect via conventional methods. Inductive metal detectors have a serious disadvantage when it comes to difficult products such as these: by increasing the detection sensitivity to adjust for product effect, the rate of false rejects increases. This leads to loss of good product.

X-ray-based product inspection systems are a possible alternative, but come with the disadvantage of being more expensive than metal detectors.

New technologies that combine high accuracy and affordability provide a promising solution to theses challenges.

“THiNK,” the latest innovation from the Sesotec headquarters, is a metal detection system equipped with artificial intelligence. This technology makes it possible to virtually eliminate the interference caused by product effect.

How does metal detection with THiNK work?

Like conventional metal detectors, THiNK uses multi-simultaneous technology to apply several frequencies to the product being inspected. Using AI technology, THiNK isolates the signals from product effect, creating additional detection thresholds. All signals that lie outside of these thresholds are identified as metallic contaminants. The detection sensitivity increases, but false rejects are reduced by means of more “intelligent” threshold calculation.

How THiNK metal detection benefits customers

Products with high or fluctuating levels of product effect (due, for example, to metallized packaging or storage in brine or water) can be more reliably inspected. False rejects, and the food waste they cause, are reduced. Food safety regulations and standards (e.g. IFS, BRCGS, M&S, etc.) can be reliably upheld. Compared with an x-ray inspection machine, a metal detector with THiNK is the more cost-effective option.

THiNK about it…

AI algorithms increase the reliability and precision with which contaminants are detected in the food manufacturing process. AI-enabled metal detectors can even efficiently inspect products packaged in metallized films. Food waste is reduced, food safety standards are upheld, resources are saved, and profit climbs as productivity rises. THiNK technology from Sesotec will be available as a licensed model starting in November 2020.


UVC-Luftentkeimung von JK : PURE AIR LUFTHYGIENE

UVC-Luftentkeimung von JK : PURE AIR LUFTHYGIENE

Hygienekonzepte schützen vor einer Ansteckung über Kontaktflächen und Tröpfcheninfektion. Inzwischen rückt jedoch die Infektion über Aerosole immer stärker in den Fokus der Wissenschaftler, denn Viren und Bakterien können sich über Stunden in der Raumluft halten.

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UVC-Luftentkeimung von JK : PURE AIR LUFTHYGIENE

UVC-Luftentkeimung von JK : PURE AIR LUFTHYGIENE

Hygienekonzepte schützen durch regelmäßige Desinfektion und Einhaltung der Mindestabstände vor einer Ansteckung über Kontaktflächen und Tröpfcheninfektion. Inzwischen rückt jedoch die Infektion über Aerosole immer stärker in den Fokus der Wissenschaftler, denn Viren und Bakterien können sich über Stunden in der Raumluft halten.

In Sonnenstudios gibt es durch die Zu- und Abluft der Solarien einen so hohen Luftaustausch, dass das Risiko einer Infektion über Aerosole extrem gering ist. In Warte- oder Empfangsbereichen, die nicht an die zentrale Abluft angeschlossen sind, können Sie mit pure Sicherheit und Vertrauen Ihrer Mitarbeitenden und Kunden deutlich erhöhen.

Was genau ist pure?

  • Patentierte UVC-Luftentkeimung aus der Medizin
  • Neutralisiert über 99,9 % der Viren und Bakterien
  • Sofort nachweislich bessere Lufthygiene
  • Reduziert Infektionsrisiko und Krankenstände
  • Erhöht die Sicherheit von Mitarbeitenden und Kunden
  • Ozonfrei, keine Chemikalien oder Sondermüll
  • Absolut sichere Technologie ohne Risiken oder Nebenwirkungen
  • Plug & Play: sofort einsetzbar
  • Ideal für alle Räume ohne zentrale Zu- & Abluft
  • Inklusive Media Kit zur Information Ihrer Kunden

Hier erfahren Sie mehr: www.pure-lufthygiene.de / Download Prospekt
Gerne beraten wir Sie auch individuell, wie Sie mit pure Sicherheit und Vertrauen in Ihrem Studio erhöhen können: 

Zur sicheren Desinfektion Ihrer Solarien und aller Oberflächen empfehlen wir Solarfix Care. Als Konzentrat auch ideal zur sanften Handdesinfektion (Dermatest "Sehr gut"). 

Don’t forget the circular economy

Don’t forget the circular economy

From the compulsory wearing of masks and the use disposable cups to working from home, the coronavirus pandemic has turned life upside down. The effects can also be seen in our rubbish bins. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Abfallwirtschaft, Germany’s association for waste management, expects the volume of household waste to increase by 2.26 million tonnes in 2020, with a large portion consisting of plastics. Reports by Der Grüne Punkt, a leading German recycling company, have shown that the amount of plastic waste in recycling bins has increased by 10% in recent months alone.

Why is that? There are currently millions of people working from home, buying food that comes in small packaging and ordering products online, which in turn are packed in plastic. Add to this the fact that fast food businesses and restaurants often hand out disposable cutlery to their customers to ensure hygiene standards are met. Hospital and nursing home staff need more protective clothing these days, much of which is made of plastic. Following their use, gowns, gloves and masks end up in the bin.


This poses a challenge not just for the environment, but also for the recycling industry. While the mountains of waste keep growing, the number of companies purchasing recyclates is declining. Even higher quality products are not selling due to the price of oil, which has plummeted on account of the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus. Crude oil is the most important ingredient in the production of plastic, and the low prices make new plastic the cheaper alternative. As a result, more and more companies are foregoing recyclates for new plastics.

The recycling industry faces a setback

These developments mean lower turnover and shrinking profitability for the recycling industry. The plastics recycling industry as a whole faces the threat of a setback, even though consumer sentiment points the other way. According to surveys by the market research institute GfK, consumers regard plastic waste as the biggest problem for their environment, despite the coronavirus and its effects. They expect future solutions that will favour a sustainable economy.

The solutions have been available for quite some time. An efficient material cycle is technically achievable with current means. Used plastic from household recycling bins can be reprocessed to such a high standard that even the strict requirements for the use of recyclates in cosmetics packaging are met.

The effects of the pandemic could destroy everything that has been achieved to date in establishing a plastics cycle. As the amount of household waste continues to increase, so too does the urgency to rethink the way waste is handled. The need for action is obvious. Even before coronavirus, most plastic packaging waste in Germany was incinerated, meaning that there is room for improvement as far as the recycling rate is concerned. A mere 16% of the plastic waste generated in the final stage of consumption is actually processed into recyclate to be reused.

Bernhard Bauske, an expert from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), demands that the burden should not be shifted solely to the consumer – industry and lawmakers must also play a part: “Especially now in a time of crisis, we need a massive shift in direction so as to open up a future that encompasses more resource protection and a circular economy.” Stricter regulations are needed to ensure that more packaging can be recycled, he says. In addition, the German government must promote reusable systems in food services and online retail trade. Germany is one of Europe’s leading producers of waste. In 2017, residents of the country generated 226.5 kilograms of packaging waste per capita, with the EU average standing at 173 kilograms.

Is the circular economy about to collapse?

Der Grüne Punkt, one of Germany’s market leaders for dual systems, sees major problems ahead for the recycling industry in view of the sluggish progress and warns of a collapse. “The extremely low price of oil and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic constitute a massive threat to all successes and efforts for recycling plastic and retaining it in the circular economy,” says Michael Wiener, CEO of Der Grüne Punkt.


He talks of a market failure at the cost of the environment. Recycled plastic saves up to 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by new plastic. Werner demands that politicians finally create a breakthrough in the circular economy for plastic. In his opinion, companies at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic need to be supported. He recommends abolishing the competitive advantage that new plastics have over recycled plastics.

The age-old problems remain despite coronavirus

There is a risk that politicians and the wider public will focus only on coronavirus and lose sight of the progress made with the circular economy, despite its immense importance for the future of our society due to the integral role it plays in ensuring environmental protection and sustainability.


“Industrial companies have to rethink their approach,” says Michael Perl, Group Director Sorting Recycling at Sesotec. “They should continue to work in profit-oriented fashion while also operating with foresight.” Although coronavirus has brought with it new, serious risks and challenges, the existing problems have not disappeared. “In the long run, climate change and the circular economy remain prominent concerns for humanity and must be actively addressed,” Perl adds.

eBook: Driving Impact - Closing the plastic cycle

Closing the plastic cycle is the cleanest solution for humans and the environment. That is something politics have come to realise. Still, the industry also needs to lead by example. In our eBook we show you, amongst others, which challenges plastic recyclers, manufacturers and processors are faced with in the context of the circular economy.

When the machine stops, you can count on us

When the machine stops, you can count on us

Sesotec Remote Support – Offering six months of quick and reliable help free of charge, no service visit required

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When the machine stops, you can count on us

When the machine stops, you can count on us

In a time when personal contact and travel must be reduced to a minimum, essential businesses are forced to restructure the way they access production facilities. The coronavirus crisis had made it abundantly clear: innovative service solutions are of vital importance to ongoing plant availability.  

To ensure that metal detectors, X-ray inspection devices, sorting and material analysis systems continue to function reliably, Sesotec offers remote support from its headquarters in Germany. Their services include the following:  

Telephone support - Sesotec hotline

Many questions and problems can be addressed through a phone call. Sesotec offers free telephone support between 6 AM and 8 PM CET during the week, and between 8 AM and 5PM CET on the weekends.

Contact Sesotec service representatives for product inspection devices:

Tel. +49 (0) 8554 - 308 173

Contact Sesotec service representatives for sorting systems:

Tel. +49 (0) 8554 - 308 129


Remote access

Errors in metal detectors, X-ray inspection devices, sorting and material analysis systems can frequently be corrected via remote access. Sesotec service technicians can access the software via Ethernet in order to troubleshoot, optimize, and set parameters. This data will then be processed in the Sesotec Service Center and sent to the customer as feedback.

Many Sesotec devices offer remote servicing functionality as standard. Any customer who wishes to confirm whether their Sesotec system has remote access capabilities can simply complete the contact form at this URL: https://www.sesotec.com/emea/en/lp/remote-support.


Remote support with augmented reality

Sesotec also offers video-based support using augmented reality technologies. Customers can download a free app to their PC, smartphone, or tablet and forward the access data to Sesotec. This way, Sesotec representatives can provide step-by-step support until the issue has been resolved.


Express service for spare parts

The Sesotec Service Center keeps a stockpile of all current circuit boards, as well as many older models. Spare parts can be shipped within 24 hours on weekdays. The boards are largely pre-programmed so that customers can simply "plug and play.” Sesotec representatives can give step-by-step guidance via telephone as the customer replaces the part. 


Markus Grimm, Group Director of Service at Sesotec summarizes: "We currently provide up to five remote support sessions per day, accessing our customers' systems and solving many problems online without the need for an onsite visit. The advantages for our customers are obvious: high plant availability, process reliability, and productivity, as well as no travel costs. Furthermore, these benefits are universal, and not exclusive to times of crisis or unplanned downtime. In light of the current coronavirus situation, we are offering our remote support services to all our customers free of charge for the next six months.”

Medizintechnik in der Coronakrise: Produzieren mit höchster Priorität

Medizintechnik in der Coronakrise: Produzieren mit höchster Priorität

Der Bedarf aus der Medizintechnik ist sprunghaft nach oben gegangen. Wir verzeichnen derzeit horrende Nachfragesteigerungen von nahezu all unseren bestehenden Kunden...

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Medizintechnik in der Coronakrise: Produzieren mit höchster Priorität

Medizintechnik in der Coronakrise: Produzieren mit höchster Priorität

„Der Bedarf aus der Medizintechnik ist sprunghaft nach oben gegangen. Wir verzeichnen derzeit horrende Nachfragesteigerungen von nahezu all unseren bestehenden Kunden, deren Applikationen dem Kampf gegen Corona zugeordnet werden können. Auch neue Kundenkontakte werden in dieser Zeit deutlich häufiger und wesentlich schneller geschmiedet als zuvor – ein mehr als eindeutiges Signal, wenn nicht gar ein Hilferuf der Branche.

Deutliche Bedarfserhöhungen erleben wir nicht nur bei den Geräten, die man aufgrund der täglichen Nachrichten im Zusammenhang mit COVID-19 im ersten Moment auf dem Schirm hat – etwa Beatmungsgeräte, Patientenmonitore oder Desinfektionslösungen – sondern auch in allen anderen, verwandten Bereichen. Seien es zusätzliche Krankenhausbetten für die eilends geschaffenen Quarantänestationen, benötigte Labortechnik zur Abstrichanalyse oder Infusions- und Ernährungspumpen für die Ernstfälle: Medizinische Netzteile, Ladegeräte und Batterien werden derzeit stärker und schneller benötigt, als wir uns zu erinnern vermögen. Vergleicht man die Auftragseingänge des ersten Quartals aus dem Medizinsektor mit denen des Vorjahres, sehen wir die Wachstumsrate stark in Richtung des dreistelligen Prozentbereichs klettern.

FRIWO ist insgesamt sehr gut gerüstet, die Medizintechnik im Kampf gegen die Pandemie bestmöglich unterstützen zu können.

Dank unseres weltweiten Fertigungs-Setups sind wir glücklicherweise in der Lage, flexibel auf derartige Zusatzbedarfe reagieren zu können. Neben unserem Produktionsstandort in Deutschland haben wir in den letzten Jahren in Vietnam nahe Ho-Chi-Minh-City eine Fertigungsstätte aufgebaut, welche uns auch innerhalb kürzester Zeit die Produktion hoher Volumina ermöglicht – ganz gleich ob vorhandenes Produkt eines Bestandskunden oder komplettes Neuprojekt. Mit dem schnellen Ramp-up von Produkten kennen wir uns darum bereits aus unseren anderen Kompetenzmärkten, etwa der Elektromobilität bestens aus. Zudem unterhalten wir seit vielen Jahren ein Netz an erfahrenen Produktionspartnern, welche uns im Notfall jederzeit unter die Armen greifen können.

Bezüglich der möglichen Versorgungsprobleme auf der Materialseite haben wir uns vor geraumer Zeit entschlossen, uns für die Zukunft möglichst unabhängig aufzustellen und ein hohes Maß an vertikaler Integration bertrieben. So fertigen wir heute in Vietnam nicht mehr nur unsere Endgeräte, sondern in mehreren Werken auch viele benötigte Komponenten selbst – etwa Wandler und Drosseln, Kabel und Leitungen oder Gehäuseteile.

Natürlich produzieren auch wir längst nicht alles in Eigenregie und sind auf eine funktionierende Supply Chain angewiesen, um die lebenswichtigen Zusatzbedarfe der Medizintechnik zu decken – beispielsweise im Bereich der aktiven Bauelemente. Als sich die aktuelle Krise in Ihren Grundzügen abzeichnete, haben wir uns daher gezielt mit Bauteilen bevorratet, großflächig auf Luftfrachten umgestellt und gemeinsam mit den Kunden die gezielte Freigabe von Alternativen für versorgungskritische Komponenten geprüft. Auf dieser Basis sehe wir uns heute insgesamt sehr gut gerüstet, die Medizintechnik im Kampf gegen die Pandemie bestmöglich unterstützen zu können.“

Der Artikel online bei Markt&Technik

Der Beitrag Medizintechnik in der Coronakrise: Produzieren mit höchster Priorität erschien zuerst auf FRIWO.

How better food safety technology can help minimise waste

How better food safety technology can help minimise waste

Each year, nearly one trillion dollars’ worth of food produced for human consumption goes uneaten….

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How better food safety technology can help minimise waste

How better food safety technology can help minimise waste

From farm to factory to fork, nearly 1.3 billion tons and 1 trillion USD worth of food products slip through the cracks of the global food supply chain each year. According to studies by the United Nations, roughly a third of all food products end up discarded, constituting a tremendous waste of natural resources, labour and capital, and amounting to a major source of needless greenhouse gas emissions.

In a supply chain that grows more intricate with each passing year, the problem of global food waste is not attributable to any single player in the food production life cycle alone. Food waste happens at every stage of food production and consumption, and the volume of waste differs dramatically by region. In industrial nations, the largest volume of food is wasted at the hands of end-consumers. In developing nations, however, the FAO cites a lack of infrastructure to facilitate coordination between farmers, manufacturers and distributors as the most significant source of food waste.

Share of Food Waste in Germany by Value Chain Sector - 2015 (Source: bmel.de pg. 4)

In developed nations, nearly a fifth of food wastage happens during manufacturing and production. Beyond the environmental impact of food processing waste, there is a sizable financial incentive for manufacturers to reduce food waste within their facilities. In the face of narrowing profit margins and a rising pressure to ramp up productivity in order to feed a growing global population, reducing industrial food waste may be a necessity in order to remain competitive in a changing market.

Causes of food processing waste

There are many causes of industrial food waste, some of which are avoidable while others are virtually inevitable. In terms of preventable and recurring waste, inefficient working procedures and inadequate employee training are amongst the major drivers of wasted food in manufacturing environments. A study by researchers at Brunel University London and Ghent University found that roughly 11 per cent of all food processing waste was due to routine human errors. However irregular and monumental product losses can also occur in the face of unforeseen power outages, natural disasters or unplanned downtime due to equipment failure.

But paradoxically, food safety protocol is another major contributor to the problem of pre-consumer food waste. In order to ensure that no contaminated or otherwise defective products end up on consumers’ plates, global food safety standards are designed to diminish risk at every turn. This means that even the slightest detectable chance of contamination within a product results in its rejection from the production line.  

The role of food safety technology in reducing pre-consumer food waste

While a zero-tolerance approach to food safety risks is crucial to protecting consumers from foodborne illness and injury, unoptimised inspection systems may be wasting a disproportionately high amount of food. Between traceability issues, product recalls and false rejects, inferior food safety technology may be contributing to food waste problems.

Innovative contaminant detection and inspection technology makes it possible to both maintain compliance with rigorous food safety standards and minimise the volume of food discarded during manufacturing. Here is how improving the food safety devices within a manufacturing facility can help reduce food processing waste:

1. Early detection of contaminated products

End-of-line product inspection is a necessary feature in any food manufacturing facility, ensuring that packaged products are safe to continue their journey along the supply chain. But relying on end-of-line inspection alone to control for physical contamination in food products has several downsides. One of these downsides is a higher volume of food waste.

Food products may become physically contaminated at any juncture in the production line. It may even be the case that raw ingredients arrive at the facilities already harbouring physical contaminants. If there are no controls in place to screen for contaminants until the final stage of production, a contaminated food product may have made a complete journey through the manufacturing process before being identified and rejected. In this scenario, it is not just the contaminated product that is being thrown out, but also all the additional ingredients, energy and resources that went into its processing up until that point.

Product purity is best ensured when food manufacturing facilities implement a sophisticated, multi-tiered food safety concept in which food products are inspected at several critical control points along the production line. By integrating advanced detection technology at strategic processing junctures, such as at raw-ingredient intake and after mechanical processes like pulverisation, physical contaminants can be identified and rejected at the source. This not only provides more precise data in regards to tracing contaminants, but it also saves companies from investing resources into products that will only be rejected later and prevents foreign bodies from dispersing and contaminating further product batches.


2. Avoiding the waste associated with food recalls

Food product recalls are on the rise worldwide. In the United Kingdom alone, food recalls across all product categories increased 40 per cent over the course of the 2018 calendar year. An unfortunate but often necessary measure, food recalls are imperative in order to prevent illness and injury. But in terms of food waste, the tradeoff is enormous.

When food products are recalled, it is not just the contaminated products that get thrown out. Rightly preferring to err on the side of caution, companies and consumers toss out a tremendous of volume of food that may actually be safe to consume. A single contaminated specimen entering the market could theoretically lead to the waste of thousands of pounds of perfectly edible food products.

No food manufacturer wants to recall a food product. Beyond the lost resources and high costs of pulling products from store shelves, recalls wreak serious damage to a company’s reputation. Reliable food safety technology is key to preventing consumer injury, food wastage and the PR crisis that follows in the wake of a product recall.


3. Reducing false rejects caused by product effect

Amongst the most complex challenges in metal contaminant detection is the phenomenon of “product effect.” Some common food products such as fresh fish, meat and dairy have a moisture- and salt-content that creates the right conditions for the product to have a certain electrical conductivity. This can lead these perfectly safe products to trigger the rejection mechanism on industrial metal detectors meant to control for the presence of foreign bodies in food.

International food safety standards demand that any food rejected by a contaminant detector is discarded, even if a false reject due product effect is suspected. A metal detector that is not properly configured to adjust for product effect can lead to a high rate of false rejects, resulting in unnecessary food waste. Industrial metal detectors used to inspect foods with high moisture and saline levels must be equipped with intelligent software that is flexible enough to accommodate such adjustments.

The most advanced industrial metal detectors use artificial intelligence in order to differentiate between metal contaminants and the product effect generated by meat, fish and dairy products. These innovative, AI-integrated metal detectors can both reduce the food waste associated with false rejects and improve the overall accuracy of product inspection.

In other cases, it may be necessary to employ x-ray inspection technology instead of metal detectors in order to prevent excessive food waste due to false rejects.



In order to meaningfully address the problem of food waste, players at every stage in the food product life cycle must take action to reduce waste within their sphere of influence. In food manufacturing, the financial and ethical imperatives to minimise industrial food waste may at times conflict with critical food safety measures. Advanced food safety technology can help eliminate the friction between these two important causes. In addition to diminishing the threats that physical contaminants can pose to consumer health, the improved accuracy of a robust inspection system can prevent large amounts of food and valuable resources from ending up in the bin.

About Sesotec

For more than 40 years, Sesotec has been a market leader in the field of contaminant removal and sorting technology. We develop both standardised and customised food safety solutions for food and beverage manufacturers around the world.

eBook: Driving Impact – Safe food and saving food

The world population stood at 7.71 billion in 2019. That figure is set to reach 9.74 billion in 2050. In order to secure the global supply of food in the future, waste must be reduced and productivity increased. In our eBook we show you, amongst others, what challenges the development of the world's population and especially food safety pose for manufacturers and processors and how they can still be mastered.

FRIWO founds subsidiary in India

FRIWO founds subsidiary in India

Ostbevern, 04.02.2020 - As an innovative system provider for power supply and drive Technology...

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FRIWO founds subsidiary in India

FRIWO founds subsidiary in India

In order to serve one of the world's most rapidly developing markets in a targeted manner, FRIWO has now founded its own subsidiary in India. The core tasks of the new subsidiary will be support and project management for local customers as well as the coordination of local manufacturing. With the goal of being able to flexibly serve the demanding Indian market with high-quality solutions, FRIWO will manufacture "made in India".

Ms. Rutuja Raverkar has been won as Managing Director for the new company. Ms. Raverkar has many years of experience in the field of electric mobility and has already worked for renowned companies such as TATA, Mahindra or Ola.

The newly founded branch "FRIEMANN & WOLF INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED" is located in Bangalore, capital of the state of Karnataka and centre of the Indian high-tech industry. The megacity with over 10 million inhabitants is also known as the Indian Silicon Valley.

Baettr Group announces CEO transition as of November 1st

Baettr Group announces CEO transition as of November 1st

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Baettr Group announces CEO transition as of November 1st

Baettr Group announces CEO transition as of November 1st

Baettr Group announces CEO transistion: Stefan Brandt resigns from his position as CEO on November 1st 2019 as planned - Peter Pallishoj becomes new CEO and leads the Baettr Group together with Ina Hannen as CFO

November 1st, 2019: Baettr Group announces today the CEO transistion as planned from Mr. Stefan Brandt to Mr. Peter Pallishøj, effective immediately.

Jürgen Leuze, owner’s representative and chairman of the advisory board of the Baettr Group, said: “I would like to thank Mr. Brandt for succesfully driving the Group's strategic realignment since November 2016. Over the past three years, Mr. Brandt has driven the conversion of Baettr with great energy and passion. We would like to thank Mr. Brandt for the substantial achievements, and we wish him all the best and success for his future career and private life.“

Mr. Peter Pallishøj, the current Group COO will be the successor and will lead together with Mrs. Ina Hannen, Group CFO, the company going forward.

Mr. Peter Pallishøj has profound experience in the wind energy sector for more than 17 years. He has worked for Baettr for more than 10 years now (former Global Castings and Vestas Machining). He started working at Vestas Machining back in 2008 as Manager of Technology in Lem. He got promoted to Production Manager and shortly after in 2011 to Factory Manager of the site in Lem which got independent of Vestas in 2014. In 2015, he moved to China and succesfully led the site in Tianjin as General Manager for almost 2 years before he started his position as COO of the Global Casting Group back in Lem. Because of all his profound experience and his understanding of the needs to continously optimize and be cost efficient to stay in the industry, the advisory board decided to make him successor of Stefan Brandt as of November 1st.

Mr. Leuze: “We are glad that Peter will take over the Group lead. With his experience he is the most obvious candidate to drive Baettr even further and develop its position as one of the main suppliers within the wind industry for casted compenents.”

Peter added: “It is with a great respect for customers, shareholders, employees and Baettr that I take up this position, and I am both proud and humble about it. If we want to succeed in making our contribution to the green transition, wind energy must be competitive with alternative energy sources, which is why it is important that we continuously develop and do our part to support the wind turbine industry. With my experience in the company since 2008 and my eager to optimize, I am looking forward to shape the positive development together with the management team of Baettr.”

FRIWO gets award for sustainability

FRIWO gets award for sustainability

FRIWO among Germany's 300 most valuable companies

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FRIWO gets award for sustainability

FRIWO gets award for sustainability

The trade magazine "FOCUS-MONEY" has commissioned a study on the subject of sustainability, in which the 5,000 largest German companies were examined for their ecological, economic and social commitment.

Of these, 300 ultimately received the "Germany's most valuable companies" seal of quality - and FRIWO is one of them! As one of only eight companies from the electrical and electronics industry to receive the award, we are in line with industry leaders such as Siemens and Infineon.

Link to the study (german)

Link to the results PDF (german)

Sesotec is member of the “SAVE FOOD” organization

Sesotec is member of the “SAVE FOOD” organization

Concrete contribution to reduce food waste

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Sesotec is member of the “SAVE FOOD” organization

Sesotec is member of the “SAVE FOOD” organization

The company Sesotec GmbH is contributing innovative solutions to reduce food waste. In the picture from left to right: CEO Marc Setzen, Group Director Sales Division Product Inspection Andreas Reckziegel, Group Director Marketing Christian Stadler.

Sesotec is now participating as member of the "SAVE FOOD" organization, and thus actively contributes to reducing the waste and loss of food. "SAVE FOOD" is a joint initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, the environmental program of the United Nations, UNEP, Düsseldorf Trade Fair, and "interpack", the international trade fair for packaging machines and processes. Through a wide range of projects, fairs and conferences, the companies taking part in this initiative want to raise awareness among decision-makers in politics, the economy and industry as well as among consumers, and dedicated themselves to counteract food waste.   

Sustainable management and conservation of resources are cornerstones of Sesotec Group's corporate philosophy. For that reason, the manufacturer of machines and systems for contaminant detection and material sorting decided to become a member of the "SAVE FOOD" initiative. Objective is to provide customers from the food industry with solutions that contribute to the minimisation of food waste and at the same time increase productivity and product quality. 

Andreas Reckziegel, Group Director Sales Division Product Inspection explains: "The availability of sufficient and safe food is one of our driving challenges. Within food production, our highly sensitive contaminant detectors and material sorting systems allow the accurate removal of unwanted parts such as contaminants or faulty products from the material flow, with a minimum loss of good material." 

"With our more than 40 years of experience and our innovative machines and systems we make our contribution to ensure that no contaminated food reaches the customer. Product recalls, for example due to contaminants that were found in a product, not only damage the image of a company, they also involve immense waste because all the products of a recalled batch must be destroyed", says Reckziegel explaining the commitment of Sesotec.

Marc Setzen, CEO of Sesotec, adds: " Being a member of "SAVE FOOD" is very important for Sesotec, because food wastage is not only an ethical, but also an economic problem. The EU accounts for about 88 million tons of food waste each year, estimated to cost € 143 billion. About 13 percent arise during food processing, thereof three to five percent by false reject. By working in partnership with food industry companies, we help to prevent this waste."