Last updateWed, 21 Oct 2020 4pm

GEA uses simulation solution from Dassault Systèmes to safely reopen its own canteen for 1,900 employees

- The canteens of the German-based system provider were closed at all locations in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

- SIMULIA applications supported by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enable GEA to investigate the distribution of aerosols in the canteen at the largest site in Oelde and to visualise safe scenarios
- Simulations provided unexpected insights into potential virus concentrations, helping GEA to implement health and safety strategies

Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) announced today that GEA, one of the world's largest systems suppliers to the food processing industry and a wide range of other industries, is using the SIMULIA applications supported by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for the simulation of air flows in the staff canteen in Oelde. The canteen was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Through the simulation, GEA aims to gain further insights into how to ensure a safe re-opening for the 1,900 employees.

Since the corona virus is spread by droplets in the ambient air, GEA wanted to find out how the aerosol distribution in its own canteen behaves and how simulation can be used to take safe countermeasures. This is being done under the "Back to Work" initiative, in which GEA wants to achieve a complete opening of the company's headquarters. Together with Dassault Systèmes, a three-dimensional virtual twin of the canteen was created. This simulated particle movements caused by coughing or sneezing of infected people to see how the virus spreads through the air and how contamination occurs on surfaces such as plates, trays or tables. The virtual twin also revealed unexpected areas of particularly high virus contamination.

GEA is now using the findings from the simulation to develop and implement an effective risk management strategy that will ensure greater safety in the canteen. This includes the adaptation of exits, entrances and seating, the clear separation of the kitchen area from the food serving area, changes to the ventilation system and other security measures designed to protect the kitchen staff.

"The simulation enabled valuable learning processes and will play a major role in our decision making process to reopen our canteen. The canteen is an important meeting place for all our employees," says Erich Nitzsche, Vice President Engineering Standards & Services at GEA. "The results of our collaboration with Dassault Systèmes exceeded our expectations and showed a new approach for us. Thanks to the simulation, we can now ensure the health of our employees in a more targeted manner, while reducing negative impacts on our business. The choice of Dassault Systèmes pays off directly".

GEA plans to publish a video for employees with the simulation results to clearly communicate why and how new measures were taken. It will also show the role that technology has played in the decision-making process.

"Virtual worlds are revolutionising our relationship with knowledge and opening up unimaginable possibilities," explains Klaus Löckel, Managing Director EUROCENTRAL at Dassault Systèmes. "Our SIMULIA applications unveil the invisible, where time and space of a sequence of events in the environment is represented. GEA can now understand this and take action to address the coronavirus crisis, putting the safety of employees first".



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