The complete range of equipment for the syrup room.
Whether you use conventional technology or in-line processing, GEA has a solution to match every requirement. And everything comes from the same address: planning, manufacture, installation and commissioning.

1. Storage of crystal sugar

The crystal sugar delivered by bulk tanker lorries is discharged into an outdoor or an indoor silo, depending on local circumstances. A granulation system in the silo prevents the crystal sugar from agglomerating as a result of variations in climatic conditions.

2. Sugar solution

The crystal sugar is conveyed by screws or a pneumatic conveyor to the hopper above the sugar dissolving plant. A bucket-wheel sluice ensures that the correct dosage of sugar passes through into the dissolving tank, where high-precision dosing apparatus effects the continuous mixing of crystal sugar and water. The subsequent flash pasteurising (40 seconds) that takes place in the plate heat exchanger ensures the rapid dissolution and thorough pasteurisation of the sugar. The hot sugar solution then passes through a deaeration chamber and a filter. The inflow of water is controlled by a concentration regulator, ensuring that the desired degree of concentration is obtained. The sugar solution is then returned to the plate heat exchanger for cooling. From the dissolving plant the liquid sugar flows into the sterile storage reservoirs. The solution is continuously and automatically monitored in respect of temperature, Brix value and volume, which are kept constant.

3. Storage of liquid sugar

The liquid sugar is held temporarily in the sterile storage reservoirs downstream of the dissolving plant. The tanks are linked together by an arrangement of valves in such a way as to permit flexible utilisation. The liquid sugar is conveyed to the beverage blending stations by centrifugal pumps. On the way, a continuous measuring device registers the Brix value and communicates the level of sugar concentration to the control unit in the blending station.

4. Water deaeration

All points from which product water is drawn are supplied from the central deaeration plant. The use of deaerated water at all stages of production, e.g. also for syrup preparation, keeps the oxygen content of the product to a minimum. The water deaeration plant operates by means of two-stage vacuum deaeration and CO2 scrubbing. From the outlet of the deaeration plant the deaerated water is conducted to the various points of use.

5. Batch mixing

For the mixing of products it is possible to use either a conventional batch mixer or a continuous blending control system. Particularly for companies with very frequent product changes or with many products that have to be prepared using dry substances and ingredients out of small containers (bags, bottles etc.) it may well be sensible to use a batch mixing plant for the preparation of all types of syrup. But in many cases a combination of batch mixing and continuous blending is advantageous. With a batch mixing plant dry substances and ingredients out of small containers can be dissolved or mixed semi-automatically in starter vessels. All ingredients are added at a single point, from a platform at a convenient working height. If required the mixture from the starter vessel can be filtered on its way to the syrup blending tank. The mixing plant is connected up to all the commonly required flavour concentrates, the starter vessels and the sugar solution and water lines. The plant control system provides for the individual quantities that are required from each line to be conveyed to the mixing tank in succession in accordance with the stored recipe information. Parallel flows of water and sugar lead to pre-mixing taking place in the line, and thus reduce the mixing times required in the mixing tanks. The last component to pass through the line is always water, so tha t the line to the mixing tank is rinsed clean again. The measurement tolerance of the concentrate meter is regularly checked by a monitoring device, in order to prevent incorrect dosing and thus waste of concentrate.

6. Mixing tanks

Several mixing tanks incorporating agitators or circulating pumps with mixing nozzles in the tank are filled in turn and then released for emptying after the prescribed mixing time. The level gauges in the tanks allow operators to establish rapidly how much syrup is still available. Distribution to the various filling units is effected via a valve matrix.

7. Continuous blending

We distinguish between two different types of blending

a) Continuous blending of prepared beverage syrup and water into a finished beverage corresponding to the recipe takes place directly in-line. High-precision flow meters constantly measure the streams of the two components and compare them with the recipe specifications. The digital controller influences the individual flows by means of control valves, so that finished beverage corresponding to the recipe is being produced continuously all the time. This combination replaces the mixers that were used in the past.

b) Continuous blending of the various flavour concentrates with water and liquid sugar into a finished beverage corresponding to the recipe takes place directly in-line, without an intermediate syrup stage. This type of plant can be designed for as many different concentrates as desired and serves primarily for the blending of finished beverages, but can also be used for the continuous mixing of syrup base. Water and liquid sugar are supplied from the central system. The base ingredients are conveyed to the blending plant from bulk containers in the refrigerated store by means of speed-controlled pumps.

8. Carbonation and beverage analysis system

Carbonation follows immediately after the blending station and is adapted to the type of filling equipment used. Special carbonation apparatus dissolves CO2 in the product; a control system ensures that CO2 is added to the flow of liquid in precisely the correct proportion. The CO2 target value can also be incorporated into the recipe. The carbonated beverage is conducted into a buffer tank which is pressurised with CO2 in accordance with the saturation pressure. The DILAB on-line analysis system monitors important product parameters such as Brix value, light drink value, acidity and CO2. Each individual piece of apparatus can also be used as the perfect replacement for existing equipment.

9. Container filling

A highly accurate, volume-controlled device, suitable for weights and measures approval where required, for the filling of containers with post-mix or pre-mix.

10. Cleaning

Central or decentralised CIP equipment for the entire process area. The flexibly programmable control system allows cleaning procedures to be adapted precisely to the specific task in hand, thus saving time. Operation is rendered very economic by the high level of recuperation of the media. A comprehensive range of measurement and control devices ensure that the required standard of cleanliness is reliably achieved.

11. Quality Assurance

GEA offers a comprehensive online quality assurance system which provides you with the certainty that the product only reaches the filling stage if it corresponds absolutely to your quality requirements. Parameters such as Brix value, CO2, colour and conductance are monitored and logged. This system can be adapted for use with any existing plant.