Cooking equipment specialist expands further in the domestic market

Gold Peg has a reputation for making great industry cooking equipment and it is about to spread its wings wider.

With a reputation as a provider of high-end continuous cookers, Gold Peg International is looking at extending its presence in the domestic market by offering up not only some of its top-end continuous cooking equipment but its new range of batch cooking solutions as well.

About five years ago, Gold Peg was purchased by Natec, an industrial food processing equipment manufacturer, that is part of one of Europe’s largest cheese companies, Hochland.  Gold Peg and Natec then formed the “Natec Network” to provide an expanded and integrated equipment range that combines their high level of global expertise and service, not only to the Hochland Group but to customers worldwide.

Gold Peg is a company started in 1988 by Bob Smith, and has grown with a reputation, mainly overseas, for its high-quality food processing equipment.

Natec and Gold Peg often found themselves working with the same end customers in the same locations. Natec recognised the Gold Peg technology was of the finest standards and comparable to anything produced in Europe or Germany. As complimentary suppliers it made sense that the two companies teamed up and move forward together.

“Once we joined Hochland and Natec, combining high-class German engineering resources and know-how with our own high-end products, it was a win-win situation,” said managing director, Simon Donnelly, “Our equipment is designed and built in Australia, and when merged with German engineering and requirements and a global network, it takes it to another level.”

The marriage of the two into the Natec Network has served to further polish and refine the service to the global markets.

“Hochland as a parent company is also a very demanding client. They have precise requirements and extremely high expectations which ensures our standards continue at a very high level in all parts of our business. This has enabled us to revisit and concentrate on the standard of the equipment we manufacture and how we support that equipment throughout its life cycle.”

Gold Peg managing director Simon Donnelly

It also means that Gold Peg now has access to supplying equipment for a variety of different dairy products that Hochland make. In the past, Gold Peg had not focussed on manufacturing equipment designed to produce cream cheese, vegan-style products and similar fare. However, now as these items are part of the Hochland Group portfolio, Gold Peg in conjunction with Natec, has invested heavily into the design and manufacture of equipment that is able to support those types of SKUs. Donnelly sees many opportunities.

“Naturally enough it has given us the opportunity to bring this new equipment to whole new markets we have never really been involved in or dealt with,” said Donnelly. “At the moment, our business is 75-80 per cent dairy, and the remainder is other products such as sauces, pet food, meat etc. We have two plans. One is to try and even up those percentages and also supply our processing solutions to a wider range of manufacturers regardless of their size or volumes. This is because, up until recently, most customers, for example in North America, have been high volume and required long non-stop production runs.

Gold Peg is keen to expand its Australian operations and target these manufacturers who make smaller batches or large product varieties. People have always thought of Gold Peg as a company that supplies continuous cookers. That is about to change.

“We never really had the equipment to offer in that market,” said Donnelly. “Having said that, we have been very successful in Japan. However, Japan wanted our equipment, not because of the success in high volumes, but because of quality. Quality is the one thing they would not compromise on. The demands from other markets are not necessarily the same, which is why we have developed some of these new equipment ranges.”

The types of food manufacturers that Donnelly’s company would be interesting in doing business with include those that produce mayonnaise, sauces – simmer, table, baby food and pet food to name a few.

One of the key aspects is the quality of the build of Gold Peg’s equipment. Another is the commitment to after-sales support either physically visiting onsite, or remotely via such methods as Teams or Zoom. COVID has forced the company to develop its remote commissioning procedures, and these will continue into the future as part of its offering. The company also ensures ‘bought in’ components used in its machinery are top performers, too.

“It’s just not worth comprising on the standard of components used. We must allow for the machinery to be operated in a harsh environment. Everything must be sealed and covered correctly, otherwise problems develop down the track.

“We’ve just recently put in a large pet food line in Queensland. And wonderfully, they’re constantly telling us that the ongoing support – even though the project is finished – is great. We really believe in differentiating from others with our support and we are continuing to develop this as we support customers all around the world. Our equipment is designed to meet CE requirements and, as the US is one of the company’s biggest markets, it brings that country’s standards, in particular the USDA sanitary fabrication guidelines to all of the products we manufacture as well.  All of this gives our customers far better products and greater piece of mind.”

Gold Peg offers equipment that has 2kg of capacity (used in instances where companies are doing R&D on products) through to those that are capable of handling more than 10,000kgh of end food product.

“The equipment is super flexible,” said Donnelly. “We have a new magnetic emulsion technology, which can be used standalone, or can be used in conjunction with one of our cooking systems, to provide what is usually done by a liquefier or high-shear mechanical mixer. This is done by magnetic dispersion so there is no mechanical action and you achieve a perfect lump-free emulsion or dispersion”

The key technology Gold Peg started with was continuous cooking using direct steam injection. The company took that proven high performing direct steam injection technology from its continuous cooking and brought it to the different forms of batch cooking it now offers.

“The developments we made for long run operations in continuous cooking such as our unique direct steam injector design and self-cleaning temperature probes are very beneficial also to batch cooking and are included in our designs,” said Donnelly.

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