Technology group GEA has launched an aseptic filling machine which can switch between different types of product and packaging.
The Fillstar CX EVO is a multi-functional system which offers options for both carbonated and still aseptic beverages.
In the past, product changeover times came close to three hours, but the new system eliminates changeover times due to an integrated control unit merely requiring reprogramming.
The changeover from contact filling to non-contact filling is fully automated, so system sterility is not interrupted.
Aseptic filling for a range of beverages
The Fillstar CX EVO can handle high- and low-acid beverages, as well as aseptic soft drinks with varying carbonation levels, to ensure complete sterility. It can fill products with fibres (such as fruits) of up to 2mm long, and with diameters of 3mm.
Bottle sizes and shapes can be easily changed, which suits a market which increasingly demands multi-functionality.
“Fashionable products, such as liquid food with cereals, fruit particles and berries, RTD teas or milk-based low acid beverages are becoming ever more common on supermarket shelves,” blowing, filling and packaging vice president Alessandro Bellò says.
“Producers are reacting by replacing standard products and shifting their production processes to allow for greater flexibility and innovation.”
In the second half of 2017, GEA delivered a Fillstar CX EVO with an aseptic piston doser to a company in Southeast Asia, where beverages such as “food in a bottle” and organic teas are popular. The high-performance system will have a capacity of 54,000 bottles per hour.