Steam Stretching machines – Continuous Type

Continuous steam stretching machines are ideal for medium- and large-scale production with capacities of 500 kg/h to 6,000 kg/h.

Steam Stretching machines – Continuous Type

Steam stretching offers an alternative to hot water stretching for the production of many different types of pasta filata cheese, including fresh mozzarella, braids, loaves for pizzerias, scamorza or caciocavallo. Using this technique the steam is incorporated into the product, so no stretching water or whey are generated as by-products. This minimizes the need for liquid recovery, skimming or cooling, and can enable energy savings of 30%. Steam stretching can also increase production yields by up to 1% when compared with hot water stretching.

GEA has used its industry, technology and engineering expertise to develop a range of continuous steam stretching machines with dipping arms or with rotary paddles, which can operate either with steam alone, or using a combination of steam and hot water. Our stretching machinesare ideal for medium- and large- scale production, with capacities of 500kg/h to 6,000 kg/h. GEA systems can alsobe connected to any of our range of drum moldingmolding units or special molding machines

GEA continuous steam stretching solutions feature double-walled feeding tunnels, through which the curd cheese is transported by two counter-rotating augers from the cutting units with adjustable knives, to the main mixing vat with dipping arms or with rotary paddles. The augers carry out pre-stretching of the cheeses pieces as they are transported to the mixing vat.

Multiple steam injection points add the required amount of steam directly to the feeding tunnel and to the mixing vat, for incorporation into the cheese pieces. The temperature is monitored using multiple feeler units, and steam delivery to the mixing vat is controlled precisely using automatic pneumatic valves. Combination systems have additional hot water inlet points in both the feeding tunnel and mixing vat, which are controlled using a flow meter and manual micrometric valves.

GEA systems are designed to be robust and reliable, and feature servo-motor drives with mechanical inverters that guarantee the most reliable operation at all speeds. PLC softwareensures the precise control of temperature at every stage, as well as controlling residence times, valve opening and cleaning cycles. The PLC software can also store multiple recipes.  

GEA machines are constructed using stainless steel AISI 304. Surfaces in contact with the product are Teflon coated, but we can also supply systems that have been treated using GEA’s patented non-stick Vulcan technology. Vulcan is an innovative, mechanical-chemical treatment that offers a highly effective, near-permanent alternative to Teflon.

Vulcan represents an innovative mechanical-chemical technology that involves multiple rounds of mechanically polishing the metal surface at different pressures and angles. The process generates a non-stick surface that has a virtually limitless lifespan. This is a major benefit compared with traditional Teflon-coating, which may wear or even chip off and require periodic reapplication. Vulcan is also highly resistant to cleaning-in-place cycles. 

GEA continuous steam stretching systems also feature mechanical and electromechanical protection built in to all dangerous areas, as well as electromagnetic sensors to ensure operator safety. Complying with the most stringent requirements for hygienic design, our systems can be provided with pipework and sprinklers for connection to a cleaning-in-place plant. Remote assistance by GEA engineers is possible for PLC-operated machines.


Combi Plus

Continuous stretching machine for capacities from 1,000 up to more than 6,000 kg/h.

With a capacity from 1,000 to more than 6,000 kg/h, Combi Plus is suitable for producing many different types of pasta filata cheese, such as pizza-cheese or scamorza, starting from milk, commercial curds or mixtures of both. Double feeding of the heating fluid – steam and/or water – allows the Combi Plus to work with steam but also in the traditional way with water or a combination of both.

The continuous stretching unit, with rotary paddles of various dimensions, provides high versatility and flexibility for the production processes, while increasing the yield, lowering operating costs and reducing energy and water consumption. The design with its robust rotary paddles is especially suited for products with high dry matter and low moisture content.

All surfaces in contact with the product are treated with GEA’s patented non-stick Vulcan technology generating a non-stick surface that has a virtually limitless lifespan. The PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) software ensures the precise management and control of all working parameters and memorizes up to ten recipes. The fully automatic CIP (Cleaning in Place) system conforms with the highest hygienic standard. GEA’s Combi Plus is covered by international patent.

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