Container Sterilization Aseptic Filling Bloc ECOSpin2 Zero

ECOSpin2 Zero is the most innovative generation of GEA wet PAA-based aseptic filling blocs, suitable for HA and LA beverages in plastic bottles. It allows a line availability of 165 hours without the need for intermediate SOP cycles during production.

ECOSpin2 Zero is a very compact system composed of a rotary sterilizer, filler and capper enclosed in a microbiological isolator. ECOSpin2 Zero is equipped with all the necessary process units to produce sterile water, Peracetic Acid solution, cleaning and the filtration of all fluids. Ecospin2 Zero is a FDA validated.

Zero Emissions

ECOSpin2 Zero features a reduced critical aseptic zone and meets the market demand for sustainability with zero peroxide emissions and the lowest ever PAA, water and energy consumption. These features make ECOSpin2 Zero the best choice from an operational and investment point of view when choosing wet PAA aseptic filling technology.

ECOSpin2 Zero is suitable for HA and LA beverages; it can reach a production speed up to 72,000 bottles per hour on 500 ml bottle, and allows a line availability of 144 hours without the need for intermediate SOP cycles during production.

ECOSpin2 Zero is available in two different configurations: with and without air conveyors between the blow moulding machine and the container treatment carrousels.

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Bottle sterilization and rinsing

PAA based sterilization treatment
PAA based sterilization treatment

The PAA technology developed by GEA uses only one sterilizing solution, based on Peracetic acid, to sterilize the environment and the packaging materials. Only five parameters have to be controlled to achieve a robust and reliable sterilization: pressure, temperature, concentration, flow rate and contact time.

A full-cone, no clogging penetrating nozzle is used for internal bottle sterilization. The efficiency of each nozzle is automatically checked by a ’Smart Sensor’ that ensures the proper sterilization of each bottle. The high-performance spraying system keeps treatment times very short while guaranteeing up to 6 Log reduction on B.atrophaeus.

External sterilization is performed on the bottle surface with dedicated manifolds. A strong mechanical and chemical action allows an effective removal action on Cold Spot contamination reaching the highest demanding line validation protocols.

The PAA solution is recovered and, once concentration and temperature are restored, reused in a closed loop.

ECOSpin2 Zero has a no valve design sterilizer: no valve design means a simpler machine with no electrical parts allowing easier maintenance and less wear and tear.

After sterilization the bottle is rinsed with sterile water at ambient temperature, guaranteeing a total peroxides residual of below 0.5 ppm (as per FDA regulations). The non-penetrating nozzles’ pulsing spraying mode is designed for minimum water consumption. Construction of the rinser is very easy with a minimized need of maintenance. As an option, ECOSpin2 Zero is equipped with a peroxide neutralization system (both in vaporized and liquid phase) that prevents any release of peroxide to the external environment.     

Cap sterilization

Sterilcap IM
Sterilcap IM

Sterilcap IM, the cap sterilizer integrated in the ECOSpin2 Zero, is able to sterilize one-piece caps by immersion into a basin with spiral routing full of PAA solution. They are then rinsed with a sterile water spray. The mechanical design features a jam-free spiral channel where the caps are driven by a PAA solution flow. The same microbiological sterilization target specified for the bottles is also achieved for the internal and external surfaces of closures.

Pre-sterilized cap sterilization treatments are also available. A bag treatment tunnel is used for gamma-ray, pre-irradiated bags of caps that are loaded inside the machine and externally sterilized by spraying PAA. After the external sterilization, the bags are opened and fed to the capper in a controlled environment.

Sterilbag is a dedicated rotary system using H2O2 sterilizing technology to handle bags of pre-sterilized caps. Gamma-ray irradiated bags of caps are externally sterilized, opened and fed to the capper in a controlled environment.