Just in time for Drinktec, GEA – one of the world’s largest suppliers of systems and components to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, is expanding its portfolio of filling valves with new options that allow manufacturers to fill an even wider range of beverages with one valve technology.
The new generation of magnetic valves can be used for all filling platforms with a high hygiene level, in aseptic applications for dairy products, for example, as well as for ESL beverages with a longer shelf life.
Demand dynamics and economic pressures on the beverage industry are turning flexibility into one of the core competencies of manufacturers. Faster changeovers for smaller quantities are in demand in the filling sector. GEA’s filling specialists have developed a new generation of valves to ensure greater product diversity without compromising on hygiene.
“Our customers want to implement product changes smoothly with as few operations as possible to work quickly and economically. This is reflected in the further development of our filling valves,” says product manager Massimo Nascimbeni, filling and packaging, at GEA. “It was important to us to make the filling valves as flexible as possible so that producers can fill a wide variety of products with the same filling valves.”
Gentle, precise and flexible filling
The new generation now uses magnetic actuators with seals that require less maintenance than the usual technical solutions. A pneumatic, or optionally a servo drive, refines the lifting and lowering movements of the control and shut-off valves. This means that beverages are processed gently and very precisely, which is particularly important for viscous liquids or pressure-sensitive particles, such as fruit, cereals, nuts and seeds (up to 6x6x6mm) or fruit pulp (up to 3x20mm).
To reduce the number of components on this new generation of filling valves that would require service and warehouse logistics, GEA saved on the number of actuators without compromising on performance. In addition, the new filling system eliminates the need for dummy bottles by ensuring an efficient sterilization position with only one magnetic joint.
The new modules in GEA’s filling valve portfolio are suitable for all platforms designed for sensitive beverages. These include aseptic liquids such as dairy products and extended shelf life (ESL) beverages, which can be clear or contain fibers. Even changeovers between the extremes of non- and highly carbonated beverages are possible without much effort.