GEA Procomac innovation at drinktec: cutting-edge filling technology for beverage manufacturers

GEA Procomac, the leading supplier of filling technology for sensitive beverages, will be exhibiting at drinktec 2013, hall A4 – stand 314, 16-20 September in Munich. The company will be exhibiting a range of innovative filling machines designed to improve productivity, reduce costs and help companies meet their environmental obligations.

ABF Aseptic in 12 grams
Exhibits on the stand will include the innovative ABF (Aseptic Blow Fill) system consisting of the market’s first aseptic blow moulding machine for PET bottles with an integrated aseptic filler and capper. The system sterilizes the perform with VHP – vaporized hydrogen peroxide without the need for rinsing, then blow moulds the performs to create aseptic bottles. The sterile bottles are then filled in the normal way. An 48,000 bph on 500 ml format ABF system will be on show on the GEA Group stand.
The ABF system has been successfully validated to fill milk and milk-based products, teas and juices. It offers the utmost in safe sterilization performance with the minimum use of plastic material. This ability will be illustrated with the introduction of a new 12g PET bottle, specifically designed by GEA Procomac for the aseptic filling market.
A new cap sterilizer and a new mono–column type palletizer without pusher
GEA Procomac will also introduce the Sterilcap VHP machine for plastic caps sterilization at drinktec, developed to allow just one sterilizing agent to be used for the whole system. The newest feature of Sterilcap VHP is the opportunity to sterilize both flat and sport caps without performing any change of format while maintaining the system sterility. The system represents the perfect cap sterilization system when coupled with the GEA Procomac ABF (Aseptic Blow Fill) which permits the use of one single chemical sterilizer during production.
Artis EVO palletization technology will also be on the stand. It is a low-level, infeed palletizer with an innovative layer management system that eliminates the need for a pusher thereby keeping production speeds high (six layers a minute) while reducing maintenance costs and footprint.
New trends: beverages with fruit pieces
GEA Procomac will be showing its Aseptic Dual Filling System for the filling of PET bottles with products containing particulates (up to 10mm3). The system has two separate filling carousels: the new aseptic piston doser PX for solid particles with set volume from 30 to 150 ml and the volumetric electronic filler Fillstar FX, an industry standard for aseptic beverages filling. Filling of the bottles takes place in two operations: first the dosing of the solid particles; then the addition of the liquid phase. The dual fill system requires a two-stream process line: one dedicated to the thermal treatment of the pieces and the other to the thermal treatment of the clear liquid. A test rig of the new dosing valve will be on show.
Liquid Dairy products bottling
As a recognised leader for the filling of sensitive beverages into plastic bottles, able to sterilize both bottles and preforms, GEA Procomac is now developing a brand new range of filling machines for PE and HDPE bottles for fresh and ESL liquid dairy products. The new range of machines features an innovative, flexible neck-handling system, able to eliminate downtime caused by format changeovers; and a high speed application of caps and aluminium foil closures. Discover more on the stand.
Improved line efficiency
GEA Procomac After Sales Service personnel will be on the stand at drinktec to explain all the activities part of the Service offering such as: Preventive Maintenance Program, Line Efficiency Consulting Service, Maintenance Kit, Upgrades and Retrofits, Customer Training, and a new approach to Total Preventive Maintenance aimed specifically at improving line efficiency.
Aseptic filling, in a book
A second edition, updated and revised edition of Inside Aseptic, a guide to aseptic technology written to provide information regarding diverse aspects of aseptic technology, will be released on the stand.
How ABF works
In the GEA Procomac ABF system, preforms are heated in the oven before being sterilized with an H2O2 steam process. Internal and external surfaces of the preforms are sterilized simultaneously and preforms are then blown by an aseptic blow moulder.
The aseptic blow moulder is crucial as, once sterilized, the preform needs to be maintained as such. The blow moulding machine sterilization is performed by Hydrogen Peroxide steam, which also sterilizes all air pipes and stretching rod housings. A magnetic joint moves the stretching rods to enable them to stay in the aseptic environment created by a Microbiological Isolator.
Sterilizing the preform instead of a bottle avoids thermal shock to the bottle and allows the use of less material thereby creating lighter bottles. This saves PET and helps to reduce transportation costs. ABF guarantees up to 6 log reductions (log6) in terms of microbiological decontamination and it allows the production of both High Acid (HA) and Low Acid (LA) beverages with a maximum output of 48.000 bph.
ABF minimizes water and steam consumption, saves space and allows a significant reduction in bottle weight.
The 6th generation of PAA (Peracetic Acid) based sterilizing solution
As well as ABF technology, GEA Procomac offers the state of the art in PAA bottle sterilization. Ecospin 2 for high speed and Modulbloc for medium-low speed are rotary systems composing one or more sterilizing carousels, one rinsing and one filling/capping carousel. The new sterilizer configuration, without valves, simplifies maintenance operations and reduces costs, keeping treatment efficiency the same.
The Filler can be equipped with the complete range of filling valves designed and manufactured by GEA Procomac: from the FX range designed for still products, clear and with pulps and fibres; up to the CX valve suitable for carbonated products. By installing a PX aseptic dosing machine on the infeed carousel of the aseptic filler, it is possible to fill products containing pieces of fruit and cereals up to 10mm3
The new PAA sterilization system allows a further reduction in water, steam and PAA consumption; and has a smaller footprint thanks to the optimisation of sterilization and rinsing treatments. It is able to reach 6 log reductions (log6) with a speed range from 6.500 to 72.000 bph, guaranteeing 120 hours of aseptic production both with High Acid and Low Acid products and with no need of intermediate sterilization cycles
We look forward to meeting you at our stand at drinktec.

Suggested Reading