GEA’s new aseptic double-seat valve increases shelf life of beverages and dairy products
GEA is launching its new D-tec® D/DV double-chamber valve by end of April 2019. This special double-seat valve is designed with a sterile leakage chamber which is hermetically sealed from the atmosphere by two side valves.
As with the entire aseptic D-tec® range, the outstanding sealing properties of the new valve stem diaphragm raise hygiene standards to an UltraClean level, thus increasing the shelf life of soft drinks, fruit juices, as well as milk-based and lactic acid-fermented products. If manufacturers adapt their process chain accordingly, the D-tec® can help them achieve a desired shelf life with fewer preservatives.
Equipping process plants from A to Z with D-tec®
With its D-tec® D/DV double-chamber valve, GEA successfully completes its UltraClean valve range, allowing customers to now fully integrate D-tec® equipment into their production processes. “Equipping the interfaces in process plants with as few valve types as possible is often a decisive criterion to our customers. Spare parts handling and warehousing become increasingly complex when different valve types must work together,” explains Pascal Bär, Product Manager for GEA Aseptic Valve Technology. After launching the single-seat D-tec® P/DV control valve in 2018, GEA is now introducing the D/DV double-chamber valve as the final piece of the puzzle in its D-tec® range. GEA can now consistently plan greenfield projects leveraging D-tec®; a retrofit for the single-seat valve is available for existing systems.
Implementing a hygiene-driven philosophy
With the D-tec® double chamber valve, GEA now offers aseptic valves for both hygiene classes "Aseptic" and "UltraClean", which are tailored to the special conditions of the respective applications. According to its hygiene philosophy, GEA recommends this distinction: “Aseptomag®, our metal bellows technology, is the benchmark in hygienic processing, which we use for highly sensitive products such as baby food and UHT milk as they demand an uncompromising aseptic execution of processes and components,” states Bär. “However, a wide range of beverages produced by our customers are not promoted under aseptic conditions. In fact, they fall into the second highest hygiene level according to the VDMA guideline, which is hygiene class IV ‘UltraClean’. That is why our new D-tec® D/DV is meeting the process requirements of this hygiene class.” D-tec® is suitable for iced tea, fruit juice, fruit yogurt and ESL milk and products that require an increased shelf life depending on the pH value, cold chain and storage conditions.
Ensuring operational safety
When it comes to UltraClean applications, GEA systematically opts for the hermetically sealed D-tec® stem diaphragm because it provides improved contamination protection against the atmosphere and ensures microbial stability of products throughout their manufacture. The membranes are made of thermoplastics that are more flexible than stainless steel. For example, this makes them well-suited to compensate for pressure surges, says Bär. They are, to a certain extent, more forgiving to process errors. In the event of a diaphragm rupture, the leakage detection system ensures a high degree of operational safety. The product manager adds: “Our product development is directed towards ensuring equipment availability and profitability for beverage and food producers. The new double-chamber valve fulfills this: It can be used very flexibly and combines a high level of hygiene with manageable operating costs.” In addition, the maintenance-friendly design minimizes system downtimes.
Adapting demanding process conditions
Like the entire D-tec® range, the D/DV double-chamber valve is based on the tried and tested VARIVENT® assembly unit, which is characterized by its adaptability. This enables the valve to be configured according to the required process conditions. The double-seat valve is characterized by the two membranes, which hermetically seal the product interior from the atmosphere. It is available in valve sizes ranging from DN 40 up to DN 80 and OD 1.5" up to OD 3". The valve sizes DN 100 and OD 4” will be introduced within the next weeks. The valve seat can be executed as both soft and hard sealing – the latter with the popular TEFASEP® gold seal, which GEA recently introduced. In addition, D-tec® double-chamber valves can be equipped with one, two or three T.VIS® control tops of various designs. The GEA D-tec® D/DV considers all common industrial standards.