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Elopak is rolling out a new filling machine with exceptional hygiene levels that gives fresh products a shelf life of up to 60 days. This machine is supported by a HEPA air management system, which is the result of extensive research and testing.

The next-generation filling machine is designed by Elopak and produced by the company’s long-term partner Shikoku. The HEPA filter system, stainless steel components and dual-step heating and sealing processes ensure the highest levels of hygiene, helping to extend the shelf-life of fresh products.

The machine’s self-cleaning and sterilisation features allow efficient switches between products, reducing food waste. The machine is versatile and fills gable top cartons from 250 ml up to 1.136 ml in Pure-Pak® carton formats.

In addition to improving hygiene standards, the machine has an upgraded safety design for operators. Hands-free cleaning and magnetic doors further ensure the operator’s safety and reduce the margin for human error.

The machine is designed to fill cartons with fresh and extended shelf-life dairy products, fresh and extended shelf-life juices, water, and plant-based drinks. All products with or without particles.

Patrick Verhelst, Elopak’s Chief Marketing Officer said: “Our new filling machine is manufactured to meet the highest quality and hygiene standards. It sets a new standard for fresh products by extending the shelf life to 60 days. A longer shelf life means less food waste in addition to making it easier for the consumer to choose environmentally friendly containers for their fresh milk or juice products.”

Sponsored PostDoes the beverage and liquid food industry also have Olympic aspirations? Manufacturers of beverages and liquid food and machine manufacturers have long since recognised the potential. Digitalisation and digital transformation are one of the four main topics at drinktec 2022, which will be held in Munich from September 12 to 16, 2022. With its range of exhibitors and supporting program, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry offers broad views and focused approaches aimed at helping the industry become faster, achieve stronger results and intensify its focus on sustainable plant concepts in the next years.

drinktec 2022: Faster, higher, stronger
(Photo: Messe München)

And the strong momentum around data use and process improvement is not only on the manufacturer side; retailers and consumers have long been active in these areas: Merging virtual and real worlds at the point of sale of the future is aimed at improving contact with consumers. One way to achieve that is through automation and networking with supply chain management, multimedia shopping environments for an individualised customer approach or online retailing.

An international study by the consulting firm PWC puts “digitising products and services” in second place among the top ten challenges of the next few years. The study by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) on the future of food processing machinery also points in this direction: A supporter of the drinktec trade fair, the VDMA identifies digitalisation and concepts for intelligent networking and data use as a major focus for the industry’s future alignment until 2035.

Solutions for different perspectives

Digitalisation in the world of beverages and liquid food offers real added benefits for many users. One area that benefits is process engineering, where precise temperature profiles in the manufacturing process can seamlessly track production and identify quality parameters during the early stages of production. The best example of this is in the brewing process: In collaboration with equipment manufacturers and breweries, researchers used machine learning to model an efficient and more sustainable malt yield, and identify significant influencing factors for the malt yield.

Real time is another keyword. At this fall’s drinktec, machine manufacturers will offer numerous solutions for obtaining real-time information from machines: The online tracking of production and filling processes can yield higher performance, predictive maintenance, efficient conversion processes, an overview of consumption values and clear data on product quality. Providers of software solutions, such as manufacturing execution systems (MES), can already give preliminary estimates of the optimisation potential: Efficiency gains of up to 20 percent are possible for line operations, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is improved through maintenance cycles that are up to 30 percent longer, and product changes can be made at the planned time with 99 percent certainty.

While these solutions often require “only” extensive data collection and recording, another supplier goes even further: Thanks to more accurate detection of water droplets, an empty glass inspector trained in deep learning significantly reduces the output of glass bottles identified as defective. Needless to say, this saving can also be directly converted into CO2 savings: Depending on the line output, 25 to 100 t of CO2 can be saved through this improved rejection rate.

The possibilities of machine learning software also raise the expectations for maintenance tasks: One exhibitor at drinktec is already using this digital tool to detect anomalies in separator machinery. Condition-based maintenance with AR data glasses seems to have been taught almost everywhere and has been widely adopted by machine suppliers.

Every digital application is also another checkmark on the sustainability list. This is particularly clear in the case of cleaning technology, which uses optical realtime detection of contamination even inside containers and tanks and enables highly specialised cleaning cycles. A machine learning tool ensures that individual contamination levels are learned, detected and treated correctly.

More inspiration in the supporting program

drinktec 2022 brings together the full scope of innovation for the beverage and liquid food industry: In addition to the exhibitor portfolio, including a directory that lets visitors find providers of solutions to digitise production operations and their supply chain, visitors can also look forward to the supporting program when planning their visit: With presentations on the key topic of digitalisation at the drinktec Inspiration Hub in Halls A3 and B3, exhibitors and visitors will have the opportunity for in-depth interaction: Concentrated expertise and innovative applications offer fresh impetus for the future-oriented alignment of the industry.

Tickets are now available online at Ticket purchase and ticket prices.

More information about drinktec can be found online at

Peel +20 kinds of fruit with one compact peeling machineSponsored PostFruit processors can’t run away from peeling fruits. Fruit juice, fresh-cut, jam, pie… anything you make from fruit, you always must peel fruits. The large food factories already have gigantic machines to peel fruits in high-speed, and those machines do every peeling on behalf of human. Then, what about the small juice bars and small shops? Unlike the factories, they do not have neither enough space to install a machine, nor enough budget to purchase an expensive unit. Every day they are peeling fruits by their hand, and for those people, the ASTRA KA-700H can be a great help.

KA-700H “Peel-a-ton” is a compact, industrial peeling machine designed for use in limited process space. The 30 x 30 cm body easily fits in any place of the kitchen and can peel more than 20 kinds of fruits in speed of 400 peeling per hour. From apples, kiwis, oranges, grapefruits, peaches, small mangoes… KA-700H peels many fruits of the season, which means the machine will be your help all around the year. Peeling is done in three seconds with easy operation, and the machine can be used continuously for more than 8 hours.

Peel +20 kinds of fruit with one compact peeling machine
(Photo: Astra Inc.)

The manufacturer of this machine, ASTRA is inventing peeling machines for over 20 years. The company is well-known in the persimmon peeling field and has more than 80 % share in Japan. Japanese dried persimmon is a luxury gift, and people require beautiful surface and high yield. To meet the tough demand, ASTRA peeling machines evolved year by year, and now it can peel many kinds of fruit, with the same beautifulness as the luxury persimmon. The ASTRA peeling machines are highly evaluated in the field that especially requires the beautifulness of the peeled fruit, such as supermarkets, cake shops, restaurants and more.

Peel +20 kinds of fruit with one compact peeling machine
(Photo: Astra Inc.)

KA-700H is already used in 20+ countries, mainly in the fresh-cut fruits and fresh juice industry. As ASTRA Inc. sees the booming opportunity in the markets, the company is now looking for distributors in many areas.

“Compact blade peeler” improves the peeling speed and yield rateSponsored Post Large industrial fruit processors such as central kitchens and food factories, often use fruit peeling machine. Replacing manual peeling with peeling machine is a common trend since it can save labour fee and improve speed. However, many small fruit juice bars still peel fruits by themselves. Small kitchens do not have neither enough space to install a large machine, nor budget to purchase an expensive unit. There are some compact, low-priced peeling machines in the world. However, most of them are too cheap, easy to brake, too slow… except for the ASTRA KA-700H.

KA-700H “Peel-a-ton” is a compact, industrial peeling machine designed for use in limited process space. The machine can peel more than 20 kinds of fruits, in speed of 400 peeling per hour. Choose your fruit, insert the fruit, and GO! Easy to operate with simple navigation, allowing uncomplicated training for any level of employee.

The largest difference between the KA-700H and other common peeling machine is that KA-700H peels with peeler blade, while the others peel with a rotating round-type blade unit. This difference might seem small, but this makes varieties of merits for every customer.

“Compact blade peeler” improves the peeling speed and yield rate
Astra vs normal comparison (Photo: Astra Inc.)

Peeler blade peels the fruit surface to a smooth polygonal shape, while the round-type unit creates a bumpy, rough surface. In other words, Peeler blades makes higher yield and less waste. The peeling speed is faster, since the peeler blade can peel larger area than the round-type unit. Also, the KA-700H is good in adjusting the peeling depth. For those who peel lemons might know that the aroma of lemon is mostly included in the yellow surface of the lemon skin, not in the white part. KA-700H is possible to peel just the very surface of lemon, which is the reason why this unit is highly evaluated from the Limoncello distilleries.

KA-700H is already used in 20+ countries, mainly in the fresh-cut fruits and fresh juice industry. As ASTRA Inc. sees the booming opportunity in the markets, the company is now looking for distributors in many areas.

1893 – It was the year of inventions that are still indispensable today, such as the diesel engine by Rudolf Diesel and the zipper by Whitcomb Judson. And 1893 also showed what persistence means. Andy Bowen and Jacke Burke fought a seven-hour, 19-minute boxing match over 110 rounds – with no winners in the end. At the same time, the businessman Franz Ramesohl and the cabinetmaker Franz Schmidt in Oelde, Westphalia, proved their innovative strength, creativity and stamina. They opened a workshop on September 1, 1893, and produced a hand-operated milk centrifuge with the model name “Westfalia”. Ramesohl & Schmidt oHG had three locksmiths and two turners 125 years ago. They produced the hand-operated milk centrifuges with the simplest but effective equipment. Entrepreneurial skills, craftsmanship and technical expertise coupled with a love for innovation formed the basis for the following 125 years.

The roots of the company developed into today’s GEA site, the most modern separator plant in the world. The products “made in Oelde” are supplied all over the world. The export quota is currently over 80 percent. GEA’s expertise now encompasses over 3,500 different processes and 2,500 products for various industries ranging from food and beverage, marine, oil and gas to power, chemical, pharmaceutical and environmental technology.

Regionally rooted, globally active

Today, Oelde is GEA’s largest single site worldwide with a production area of around 37,000 square meters. Around 1,900 employees, 180 of whom are trainees, are currently working in the areas of design, production and administration. GEA invested heavily in the site in 2013. “We had and still have the clear ambition not simply to swim in the global competition, but to determine it by increasing efficiency,” says Steffen Bersch, member of the GEA Executive Board, who worked for many years in Oelde himself. For example, the new building in Oelde, which was built in 2013, was essentially based on the idea of sustainability: its own combined heat and power plant with an electrical output of 1.2 MW reduces the CO2 footprint and generates enough electricity to supply more than 2,000 average households. The new separator production enables GEA to optimize processes throughout the entire production process. The use of well-trained and committed employees in conjunction with modern production machines and technologies has led to significantly reduced throughput times in the production of the separators and plants, most of which are customized to the customer’s needs, while maintaining above-average product quality.

The company’s own Process Test Center (PTC), which opened in 2014 and provides extensive specialist support for customers’ investment projects, also enables even greater customer orientation: Starting with the specification of product properties through the determination and design of machine types to pilot tests at GEA and on site at the customer’s premises. In cooperation with the customer, GEA Product Managers and GEA Process Development, the PTC also develops and tests completely new processes. The PTC also underscores GEA’s innovative strength as a leading international technology group. More than 11,000 tests and process developments as well as more than 18,000 laboratory product analyses have been carried out to date. This know-how is bundled in a database, which is supplemented and updated every year by around 500 new product tests and over 150 process developments.

In order to reliably ensure maximum customer satisfaction and continuous machine availability during operation, the supply of spare parts is coordinated centrally from Oelde and in cooperation with renowned logistics companies via so-called hubs. These spare parts centers are currently located in Cologne, Germany (since 2011), Singapore (since 2014) and Naperville, USA (since 2017). At the European Parts Logistics Center (EPLC) in Cologne, around 21,000 different articles – from 5 mm diameter sealing rings to machine parts weighing several hundred kilograms – can be retrieved in the shortest possible time; on average, 250 shipments are handled daily. GEA customers can call this service 24/7 via a hotline. If an order is received by 3 p.m. local time, it is guaranteed to be ready for dispatch on the same day. Particularly urgent shipments even leave the site within an hour.

Exploiting the opportunities offered by digitization

The continuously and ever faster progressing digitization changes customers, markets and last but not least GEA. Finding the right answers with innovative digital products and services is crucial for tomorrow’s competitive advantage,” explains Brinke. GEA sees digitization above all as an opportunity and a pioneer for new growth and development potential, both in the new machine sector and with regard to the growing range of service solutions.

A current example from the service sector: GEA PerformancePlus includes service packages that go far beyond traditional maintenance and are an ideal complement to an industry 4.0 strategy. This uncovers optimization potentials that enable sustainable plant operation. Modern technologies for condition monitoring combined with the know-how of GEA employees provide the customer with meaningful condition analyses and information for decision-making with regard to possible process optimizations – with the aim of permanent availability and maximum productivity. At the same time, changed production requirements can be better assessed and orders can be scheduled in an economically optimal manner.

Strengthened by 125 years of success, GEA Separation continues to follow in the footsteps of digital transformation – and so this anniversary not only marks a milestone in the company’s history. At the same time, it is an incentive to push ahead with innovations and continue to improve customer processes and, not least, people’s lives in the long term – in other words, “engineering for a better world”.