Bettcher Industries Donates $125,000 to GTRI’s Food Processing Technology Building Expansion

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Bettcher Industries, Inc., an innovative world leader in the design and manufacture of food processing equipment and cutting tools, has made a donation of $125,000 toward the construction of Phase II of the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Food Processing Technology Building.

Pictured at the donation ceremony on May 13, 2008 are (l to r): Don Esch, Executive Vice President of Bettcher Industries; Larry Bettcher, President of Bettcher Industries; Steve Cross, Vice President of Georgia Tech; and Craig Wyvill, Director of GTRI's Food Processing Technology Division

We enjoy a mutually rewarding collaboration with GTRI that taps into our respective strengths – fundamental research on their side and practical, solutions-focused application of the technology on ours

Bettcher Industries, Inc., an innovative world leader in the design and manufacture of food processing equipment and cutting tools, has made a donation of $125,000 toward the construction of Phase II of the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Food Processing Technology Building.

Bettcher Industries, an Ohio-based corporation, is also the parent company of Gainco, Inc., a Gainesville, Ga., manufacturer of weighing, sizing, sorting and distribution equipment for meat and poultry processing plants. Bettcher Industries is the first company to donate to the $3 million fund-raising campaign that will add 10,000 square feet of laboratory and office space devoted to human factors, food safety and bioprocessing research.

Bettcher and Gainco officials were recognized at a luncheon on Tuesday, May 13, at the facility, which is located on Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta.

Commenting on the donation, Larry Bettcher, president, stated, “We are pleased to support the continuing research and development efforts of GTRI. They make a strong contribution to R&D activities in the food processing industry. Their pioneering work has made it easier for companies like ours to develop and commercialize better systems and machinery for the benefit of our customers.”

Bettcher cited the development of “vision” quality control technology as one example, wherein a digital camera and control system screens products for quality defects on a production line in real-time. “We enjoy a mutually rewarding collaboration with GTRI that taps into our respective strengths – fundamental research on their side and practical, solutions-focused application of the technology on ours,” he noted.

J. Craig Wyvill, chief of GTRI’s Food Processing Technology Division, expressed appreciation for the corporate donation as well as the ongoing relationship between the company and the research institute. “Our collaboration with Bettcher and Gainco has been strong, and we hope to broaden it further with the additional capabilities planned with the building expansion,” he said.

Opened in 2005, the Food Processing Technology Building has positioned itself as a world-class research center for collaborative food processing technology development, academic research and public interaction. The existing 35,000-square-foot facility houses laboratory and office space for R&D in the fields of automation technology, information technology and environmental systems, in addition to meeting and educational facilities. The $8 million facility, which was funded by a mix of state, corporate and industrial dollars, serves as headquarters for GTRI’s Food Processing Technology Division.

Bettcher Industries, a family-owned company established in 1944, produces electric and pneumatic hand trimmers. Its Whizard® Trimmer product is an icon in processing operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The company’s customers include meat, poultry and seafood processors in the United States, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, Asia and other meat-producing regions.

GTRI is the non-profit, applied research arm of Georgia Tech. The Food Processing Technology Division at GTRI is a national leader in the development of robotic, computer vision, food safety and environmental technologies for the food processing industry.

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