Gamechangerz in Food On Tour

26 September 2023

26 September 2023

On Sept. 20, we organized the third edition of GCIF that focused on Mechanization and Robotization.

This time a special edition as we took our participants “on tour” of several progressive companies on this topic. It was an inspiring day in collaboration with fantastic contributions from Verhoeven Family of Companies, Hessing Supervers, FruitMasters, QING, Rabobank and Next Tech Food Factories.

Technology continues to evolve, and with it, new opportunities arise every day that seemed unattainable just a few years ago. With a structural focus on cost and scarcity of employees, we see food companies continually looking for options to mechanize and or robotize. As tempting as the prospect of new technology seems, there are plenty of examples that it is not always easy. A good reason for us to host a special edition of Gamechangerz in Food.

The first visit was at Verhoeven Family of Companies. They develop, manufacture and supply systems for material handling, storage, material handlig and custom equipment. They have a long history in the baking industry for which they have developed new innovations. At Verhoeven, we got a demonstration of one of these innovations on vacuum “baking.” This is a revolutionary technique that leads to significant improvements in the production process.

The bus then drove on to Venlo where we were given a unique tour inside the brand new building of Hessing Supervers. The production site in Venlo has only just opened and houses 100 production lines using robotization for cutting, washing, drying and packaging fresh vegetables. From the various production sites, millions of packages of fresh produce are shipped every week.

After Venlo, the bus drove on to QING in Arnhem, a high-tech engineering company for food producers. There we were explained how to get started in a manageable way with all these new technologies followed by live demonstrations of AI and robotics applied in food.

The finale was at FruitMasters in Geldermalsen. The specialist in hard and soft fruit able to optimally sort and pack large volumes with smart automation. We were given a tour there by enthusiastic employees who showed us how an apple from the land eventually gets into packaging and goes to retail.

During the ride, participants had time to network and presentations were given by Next Tech Food Factories and Rabobank on trends and developments.

Main conclusion:

Mechanization is not an end in itself!

But can be a solution for staff shortages, reducing costs, sustainability and improving quality. The point has been reached where a new generation of technology is accelerating to conquer the food sector. Waiting is no longer an option.

Therefore, it is not unexpected that our survey showed that 95% of the participants see mechanization and robotization as necessary to remain competitive in the future, 68% invested in it last year.

Yet automation is not always easy, and there are several reasons why it gets off the ground. Therefore, 5 crucial practice lessons on behalf of Gwynt:

  • Carried vision of the future: Provide a razor-sharp vision of product portfolio development, volumes and flexibility between management, commerce and operations.
  • Scope and impact on capabilities: Also look at non-obvious factors in the business case.
  • Control of tolerances in chain: Take into account mode of automation, quality of packaging materials and factory conditions.
  • Work with Future Proof partners: Develop with future-proof vendors and also establish performance contracts: pay per use.
  • Involve your people from the start: Include your operators and maintenance engineers, ensure a multidisciplinary project team and hand over project when operators agree.

Learn more:

If you did not attend and are curious about the highlights of the event feel free to send us a message at