GEA is investing around EUR 5.5 million in the modernization of production at the GEA AWP site in Prenzlau until 2026. By expanding its capacities, GEA is targeting further growth in the important market for heating and cooling technologies.
As part of this project, seven older machining centers will be replaced by new models. The new CNC machining centers and lathes enable a reduction in machining time of up to 20 percent and a reduction in set-up times of up to 70 percent. In addition, the new machines save valuable space in production and can be used for other purposes. Another important advantage of the new machines is the improved ergonomic situation for employees. The first new milling machining center went into operation at the end of 2023.
GEA AWP Managing Director Tobias Länge says: “At GEA AWP, efficiency and flexibility in production and development are top priorities. We convince our customers with products of the highest reliability for trouble-free operation of their plants.”
Staff positions at the GEA AWP site in Prenzlau to be increased
The investment in the new machines is also linked to an increase in production jobs at the GEA AWP site in Prenzlau. Around 20 additional production employees in machining, welding and logistics are to be recruited by 2026. GEA AWP site manager Tobias Länge says: “Recruiting these employees will not be easy due to the shortage of skilled workers. Nevertheless, we are convinced that we will be able to attract qualified employees from Prenzlau, the Berlin metropolitan region and the federal states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in particular.” And he adds: “The opportunity to work in a globally successful company and an attractive workplace are the plus points that we can offer applicants.”
The mayor of Prenzlau, Hendrik Sommer, points out the importance of GEA for Prenzlau. “GEA is an important employer for the people of Prenzlau and the entire Uckermark region. Training young people in professions such as office management assistant, warehouse logistics specialist and cutting machine operator is also a top priority. I am delighted that a successful, globally active company is based in our town.”
GEA AWP Prenzlau
GEA AWP develops and produces valves and components for industrial refrigeration systems and machines. In particular, the company manufactures valves that are specially designed for heat pump applications. The main products include safety valves, shut-off valves, ball valves, suction filters and oil management valves. The components are used for all types of heating and cooling systems, for example in the heat pump industry, in cooling and freezing technology in the food industry, in cooling in the dairy industry, in component equipment for oil drilling platforms and ships, as well as in cooling processes in the brewing industry, in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and also in special cooling applications such as indoor winter sports facilities, artificial ice rinks and indoor ski slopes.
The history of the GEA AWP site in Prenzlau
The metalworking industry in the Uckermark, around 100 kilometers north-east of Berlin, has a long tradition that began in 1856 when the “Eisengießerei und Maschinenbauanstalt Hoffmann” produced covers for sewer systems. In keeping with this tradition, Armaturenwerk Prenzlau (AWP) began producing refrigeration valves in 1972. Initially, shut-off, control and non-return valves were manufactured, followed by safety valves from 1974 and main and solenoid valves from 1978.
In 1990, Armaturenwerk Prenzlau was gradually privatized by the Treuhandanstalt. In 1992, the refrigeration valve manufacturing division was re-established as AWP Kälte-Klima-Armaturen GmbH. In 1994, AWP started manufacturing components and specialized in customer-specific solutions for the construction of compressor units. In this context, the first suction filter combinations were designed and manufactured. GEA Group AG acquired the company in 2006. Today it is part of the GEA Heating & Refrigeration Division.
The GEA AWP site in figures
Total area: 13,000 m²
Building area: 8,000 m²
Production area: 5,000 m²