The history of GEA Refrigeration Technologies began in 1858, when Willem Grasso founded his forge Willem Grasso Stoomsmederij in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. Grasso began by manufacturing steam machines and tools, followed by steam hammers and butter-making systems. The invention of margarine in 1896 gave the company another major push upward and made it famous for its special margarine machines. In the same year, Grasso founded a separate business unit for refrigeration technology. The Second World War severely damaged the company, which caused it to cease production of margarine machines. After the war, Grasso concentrated on refrigeration technology. Since 1991 the company is part of GEA Group. Step by step, the company acquired other companies and rounded off its portfolio of products and services.
In 1993 GEA Refrigeration Technologies bought GEA Grenco, a manufacturer of refrigeration systems for the food/beverages and marine industries. One year later, GEA Refrigeration Technologies acquired the compressor specialist Kühlautomat Berlin GmbH (KAB, formerly VEB Kühlautomat Berlin). In 1995 the company was joined by the Italian compressor producer GEA Refrigeration Italy S.p.A.
In 2004 GEA Refrigeration Technologies acquired Goedhart Holding BV, a Dutch maker of air coolers and refrigeration coils. In 1999 the company ILKA MAFA Kältemaschinenbau GmbH – producer of piston and screw-compressor chillers – became a member of GEA Group.
In the following years, and until the restructuring of GEA Group in January of 2009, the company acquired the specialist for industrial refrigeration systems, FES, Inc. (today known as GEA FES, Inc.), of the USA.
It also bought Morris & Young Ltd. , of London; the German valve manufacturer AWP (now GEA AWP GmbH); as well as Aerofreeze (now GEA Aerofreeze), the Canadian maker of freezer systems for the food industry. In addition, since 2009 the companies Eurotek (now Eurotek Engineering Ltd.) of Great Britain and Intec (today GEA Intec) are also part of the GEA Group.
Since restructuring of GEA Group, GEA Refrigeration Technologies constitutes one of the present six Segments of the Group. In this process, Goedhart moved to the Segment GEA Heat Exchangers.
In 2010 GEA Refrigeration Technologies acquired the refrigeration specialist Bock Kältemaschinen GmbH (today GEA Bock GmbH), in Frickenhausen, Germany. With this acquisition, GEA Refrigeration Technologies expanded its portfolio of piston and screw compressors in the low- and medium-performance ranges.
GEA Refrigeration Technologies acquires the conveyor-belt specialist QPM Manufacturing, Bellevue, Washington, USA in 2011. A prominent supplier of special steel conveyor belts that assure reliable transport of food products in ovens and freezers. The acquisition of QPM means that GEA Refrigeration Technologies now has proprietary access to technology that allows expansion of the freezer portfolio.