Container Sterilization Aseptic Filling Bloc ECOSpin2 Zero

ECOSpin2 Zero is an innovative, next-generation version of GEA peracetic acid-based aseptic filling blocs. Suitable for both high acid (HA) and low acid (LA) beverages in plastic bottles, it allows a line availability of 165 hours without the need for intermediate SOP cycles during production.

With an emphasis on saving of space, water and energy, ECOSpin2 Zero comprises a rotary sterilizer, filler and capper enclosed in a microbiological isolator. ECOSpin2 Zero is an FDA-validated technology.

Zero Emissions

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

Bottle sterilization and rinsing

PAA based sterilization treatment
PAA based sterilization treatment

ECOSpin2 Zero uses only one PAA-based solution to sterilize both the environment and the packaging materials. Plus only five parameters have to be controlled to achieve robust and reliable sterilization: pressure, temperature, concentration, flow rate and contact time.

A clogging-free penetrating nozzle (full-cone or blade shape) is used for internal sterilization of a wide range of PET bottles, including those with handle. The combined mechanical and chemical action effectively addresses ‘Cold Spot’ contamination and complies with the most demanding line validation protocols. The efficiency of each nozzle is automatically checked by a ’Smart Sensor’ that ensures the proper sterilization of each bottle.

External bottle sterilization treatment, a distinctive feature of GEA, is designed to accommodate a vast array of bottle shapes to avoid microbiological transfer into the filling area. This ensures that GEA lines continuously operate under aseptic conditions – with no intermediate environmental sterilization cycles – maximizing the production time.

After sterilization, the bottle is briefly rinsed with sterile water at ambient temperature to guarantee a residual peroxide level of less than 0.5 ppm (as per FDA regulations).

Benefits:

  • Bottle feed flexibility: from depalletizer to integrated blow-fill system
  • Reliable bottle sterilization process thanks to a rapid, high-efficiency spraying system
  • Low PAA consumption: the solution is reused in a closed loop once concentration and temperature are restored
  • No-valve sterilizer design: no electrical parts, easier maintenance, less wear and tear
  • Non-penetrating rinsing nozzles using a pulsing spraying mode for minimum water consumption
  • Reduced footprint: one dedicated ancillaries skid provides sterile water, the PAA solution, a cleaning agent and the sterile filtration of nitrogen, air and steam


Performance

ECOSpin2 Zero is suitable for HA and LA beverages; it can reach a production speed with 500 ml bottles of up to 72,000 bottles per hour, and allows a line availability of 165 hours without the need for intermediate SOP cycles during production. The internal bottle sterilization treatment guarantees a B. atrophaeus reduction of up to 6 log.

Cap sterilization

Sterilcap IM
Sterilcap IM

Sterilcap IM, the integrated cap sterilizer, treats one-piece caps by immersing them via spiral routing in a basin full of PAA solution. They are then rinsed with a sterile water spray. The mechanical design features a jam-free spiral channel in which the caps are driven by a PAA solution flow. The same microbiological sterilization target for the bottles is also achieved for the internal and external surfaces of closures.

Pre-sterilized flat/sports cap handling is also available for HA productions. A bag treatment tunnel is used for gamma-ray, pre-irradiated bags of caps that are loaded into the machine and externally sterilized with a PAA spray. After the external sterilization, the bags are opened and fed to the capper in a sterile environment.

For LA products, a dedicated rotary H2O2-based Sterilibag system handles bags of pre-sterilized caps (FDA approved). Gamma-ray irradiated bags of caps are externally sterilized, opened and fed to the capper in a controlled environment.