The growing market’s confidence gained by process plants manufactured by DRINK SYSTEMS, already well-established WATER SYSTEMS’ brand, allowed a continuous development of blending technology for carbonated soft drinks (CSD) production to such an extent that we had the possibility to supply a plant for 25.000 l/h of product to an important producer of CSDs (based on juice fruit with pulp), which is probably the most famous one of the sector.
The realization of this kind of device is on one hand the positive result of the technologic growing process planned by the firm management since the society has born and on the other hand it lays the foundations for a further business growth of the firm itself: the unit represents the top of technology which is now available on the market and allows to reach the highest performances in terms of dosing accuracy (0,03°Brix and 0,05 v/v of CO2) and of residual oxygen in water after the double stage of deaeration (lower than 0,5 ppm), which are the same performances guaranteed by the biggest bottling lines manufacturers. The specific need of the Customer to integrate the equipment in an existing line made necessary the preventive study of components placing (and its approval by him) by means of CAD instruments for 3D drawings, which allowed to optimize the system compactness and at the same time to guarantee an easy access to components for maintenance operations.
The whole system, realized to guarantee the highest qualitative standards and a qualitatively constant production, also running in conditions of considerable format change, is completely preassembled on stainless steel circular-section skid for an easy and efficacious cleaning. It includes the following subsystems:
– inlet water deaeration: a double stage deaerating system equipped with vacuum pump removes incondensable gases; the vacuum pump is conceived to maintain the dissolved oxygen level below 0,5 ppm values;
– carbon dioxide dosing: a modulating valve and a mass flow rate transmitter inject carbon dioxide in quantity that is proportional to water quantity loaded to the deaeration tank; the water flow rate is measured by a magnetic flow rate transmitter. A special gas injecting and mixing system – specifically developed by WATER SYSTEMS – performs a careful mixing with the water to be treated and, hence, best results in terms of product perlage; the carbon dioxide concentration is maintained constant in the product receiving tank by a supervising software, which checks possible fluctuations in temperature of feeding water and in product buffer tank; the effective dissolved carbon dioxide concentration in the product is checked using a carbometric unit, installed on the filling machine feeding line;
– syrup dosing and mixing: at first syrup is stored in a small buffer tank, whose atmosphere is modified and enriched with carbon dioxide, in order to avoid oxidation. Syrup injection is made by a sanitary design modulating valve and a mass flow rate transmitter in a quantity which is proportional to the water amount fed from the deaeration tank; furthermore the use of a mass flow rate transmitter allows to check constantly the effective density of the inlet syrup and therefore to compensate immediately for the dosing and to stabilize the sugar concentration in the end product within established bounds. Analogously, when producing diet beverages, a specific refractometer allows the constant check of syrup injection also in case of flow rate fluctuations from syrup room; a second refractometer, installed on the filler feeding line, allows the continuous product check and, if necessary, its adjustment. Similarly the instruments minimize waste of both syrup and product during transitory phases of production, such as start and stop, thence allowing water-syrup dosing ratio up to 1:1 in this phase;
– product cooling: the cooling section of this plant consists in tubes heat exchangers instead of plates ones because of the considerable size of pulps present in the product;
– mixing systems: for the same reason, pulp presence in concentrate and thence in end product, the tanks of syrup and end product have been equipped with agitators designed and manufactured by ALFA LAVAL in order to guarantee product homogeneity also in case of filling line stop;
– pumping systems: concentrate and product transferring is carried out with lobes volumetric pumps which are conceived to avoid fruit cells damaging;
– product receiving tank and filling machines feeding system: as above announced, the product tank (conceived to work at a pressure up to 7,0 bar), is equipped with agitator designed to avoid pulps precipitation in case of filling line stop; furthermore the output line is provided with a cluster of mixproof valves in order to allow the feeding of two different fillers and to carry out cleaning operations on a part of equipments while the other part continues the production.
All the mixproof valves installed on pulp product lines are “seat clean” to allow the valve drain chamber during cleaning phase for the highest hygiene degree. The supervising software loaded on the mass-control premix unit – Blendsystem M is conceived to guarantee the best results in terms of dosing, offering at the same time an easy control by a friendly user interface; this software enables on one hand to set the main production parameters and visualize their state graphically and on the other hand to set the statistic parameters (ca, cp e cpk) linked to that kind of production. The equipment is equipped with field buses (ETHERNET) for a complete integration in the bottling line and the control of production, cleaning and sanitizing processes.