Trade press release

New generation of valves from GEA improves safety for hygienic production

16 Feb 2022

GEA is launching a key element for process safety in the food, beverage, dairy and pharmaceutical industries: the mixproof double-seat valve Type MX from the GEA VARIVENT® family. Safety is crucial for the future viability of production plants, product integrity and the ever-increasing hygiene requirements are regarded as potent drivers of innovation. With advanced process components such as the new “MX” valve generation, GEA supports companies that aspire to play a pioneering role in product safety.

Anticipating tomorrow’s safety standards

Manufacturers of food and other hygienically processed products are already striving to attain high quality standards. They face the challenge of maintaining reproducible processes so that their products have the appearance, taste, and consistency that consumers expect. In the future, production conditions will be even more complex. Alternative resources and new processes, for example in the plant-based or New Food sector, call for even more comprehensive safety concepts. “For these foods of the future, you also need factories of the future. Our new generation of valves is a key component in the production structure. By anticipating tomorrow’s safety standards, we are consciously relieving the burden on customers,” explains Bastian Tolle, Vice President Product Management & Engineering, Valves & Pumps, GEA.

Preventing mixing when seals fail

GEA has designed the VARIVENT® MX with elements that keep products from mixing with the cleaning liquid, even under exceptional loads. The cavity chamber is fitted with a vacuum self-drainage system and balancers on both valve disks. For maximum physical safety, GEA makes use of the Venturi effect: This is created by the special shape of the flow channels, which causes a vacuum on the opposite seal during lifting, preventing pressure increases. As a result, no cleaning liquid can enter the opposite pipe carrying the product while a valve seat is being lifted or cleaned, even if a seal is defective.

GEA VARIVENT® Mixproof valve type MX - Maximum process safety

The optimized physical design of the cavity creates a negative pressure. Should a seal fail, the product is removed by vacuum and guided to the periphery without the risk of contamination (Venturi effect). Image: GEA

Double balancers prevent overpressure

When new systems are set up and adjusted in a short time, there is a higher risk of overpressure during operation. The valve disks must stay in place when these water hammers occur, and the valve must remain closed. For this purpose, GEA has equipped the valve disks in both pipelines with balancers – pressure compensators. This makes the closed valve resistant to water hammers up to 50 bar in the upper and lower pipelines. The new MX valve type also has an integrated balancer cleaning device. It ensures that the balancer is completely flushed from the outside during seat lifting at the same time as cleaning-in-place is realized. All surfaces in contact with the product can be cleaned without any additional components protecting the product from contamination.

GEA VARIVENT® Mixproof valve type MX - Maximum pressure relief

Thanks to specially shaped balancers in both pipelines, the valve remains stable in the closed position even in the event of water hammer and, on the other hand, retains its full ability to act even in the case of thermal expansion of the medium. Image: GEA

Entire valve unit ensures process control

To ensure maximum control, GEA’s hygiene concept includes the entire valve unit, including the control top. By means of the GEA T.VIS® control top, GEA integrates the double-seat valves into the automation concepts of the units. In this way, the operator can monitor the exact switching position of the valve at any time and be fully aware of the valve functions. This makes the processes even more reliable. “So far, not all industries use this valve unit. Nevertheless, the digital monitoring and control functions are a basic prerequisite for Industry 4.0-capable production lines,” valve expert Tolle points out. GEA wants to encourage manufacturers to take this step because control tops have immense potential in the light of predictive maintenance and process sustainability. They would also help plant operators boost the traceability and verifiability of the hygienic process chain.

GEA VARIVENT® Mixproof valve type MX - Maximum valve monitoring

Up to four feedbacks can be applied to ensure exact control and documentation of the valve status at all times. Image: GEA


Fanny Förster

Phone: 49 211 9136 1504

Media Relations

GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft

Peter-Müller-Str. 12




+49 211 9136-0

About GEA

GEA is one of the world’s largest suppliers of systems and components to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. The international technology group, founded in 1881, focuses on machinery and plants, as well as advanced process technology, components and comprehensive services.

With more than 18,000 employees, the group generated revenues of about EUR 5.4 billion in more than 150 countries in the 2023 fiscal year. GEA plants, processes, components and services enhance the efficiency and sustainability of customer’s production. They contribute significantly to the reduction of CO2 emissions, plastic usage and food waste. In doing so, GEA makes a key contribution toward a sustainable future, in line with the company’s purpose: ”Engineering for a better world“. GEA is listed on the German MDAX the European STOXX® Europe 600 Index and is among the companies comprising the DAX 50 ESG, MSCI Global Sustainability as well as Dow Jones Sustainability World and Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Indices.
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