GEA DICON® - not only a unit, it is a technology

GEA DICON® Continuous In-line Blender for Beverages

DICON continuous inline blender

GEA DICON® continuous in-line blending concept for the beverage industry

The beverage industry faces continued demands to increase efficiency, while at the same time working to speed innovation cycles. This is particularly true for manufacturers of multi-component products, who look to benefit from production systems that are cost effective, flexible, and help to ensure reproducible processing.  Such demands on the industry are exactly why we’ve developed the GEA DICON® technology for continuous in-line blending. 

So what does "Continuous in-line blending" really mean? Here are the main points:

  • The individual liquid components are mixed directly in the pipeline.
  • All components are simultaneously added to the mixing process.
  • The ratio of components is accurately and continuously measured and controlled.
  • Only homogeneously mixed finished product leaves the mixing unit.
  • Critical product parameters are monitored and measured using in-line quality analyses.

Different types of GEA DICON® in-line blending systems

  • Continuous in-line blending system GEA DICON®-C for mixing soft drinks 
  • Continuous in-line blending system GEA DICON®-S for mixing syrup for soft drinks 
  • Continuous in-line blending system GEA DIVA for alcohol reception and blending

Continuous in-line blending system GEA DICON®-C for mixing soft drinks

This versatile technology doesn’t limit the number of components to be mixed, and can handle flow rates upwards of 1 l/h in the concentrate lines. Liquid flows measured by accurate flow meters are transmitted to the automatic system controller, which compares the measured values to the preselected mixing ratios, and actuates the controlling devices to ensure that mixing parameters precisely meet the preset values. Short-term control deviations are completely compensated. Deaerating and test vessels prevent air occlusions and potential related measuring errors. They also enable the system to do regular flow meter checks. Modulating valves and/or positive pumps with frequency converter are used as controlling devices. Following in-line blending the product can then be transferred to the GEA DICAR carbonator, which sets the CO2 content, and monitors, in-line, essential product criteria such as Brix value and conductivity. If required, the technology can also be configured to carry out automatic correction of, for example, Brix deviations, within the GEA DICON®-C system.

Features of the GEA DICON®-C system

Multicomponent liquids - continuous blender
  • Direct mixing of the products in the pipeline, so no mixing tanks are required 
  • Small product quantities only are included in the system, quick availability of the product
  • High accuracy by the use of precise flow meters 
  • Cyclical monitoring of the flow meters during the running process 
  • The digital controller is not subject to any fault caused by the signal conversion and compensates any short-termed deviations completely
  • Unique GEA control algorithms for fast control actions
  • Compact factory-tested device, ready for connection 
  • Can be combined with the GEA DICAR carbonator

Continuous in-line blending system GEA DICON®-S for mixing syrup for soft drinks

Liquid flows measured by accurate flow meters are transmitted to the automatic system controller that compares the measured values to the preselected mixing ratios, and actuates the controlling devices to ensure that mixing parameters precisely meet the preset values. Short-termed deviations are completely compensated. After in-line blending the product is transferred to a small, space-saving buffer tank. Essential product criteria such as Brix value and (if necessary) conductivity are determined and monitored in-line. If desired, automatic correction (e.g., of Brix deviations) can be carried out within the GEA DICON®-S system. Modulating valves and/or positive pumps with frequency converter are used as controlling devices.

Features of the GEA DICON®-S system

Continuous inline blender for beverages
  • Direct mixing of the products in the pipeline 
  • High accuracy by the use of precise flow meters 
  • Cyclical monitoring of flow meters when the process is running  
  • Unique digital controller for continuous in-line blending systems 
  • Small product quantities only are included in the system, quick availability of the product
  • User-friendly operation 
  • Compact, factory-tested device, ready for connection

GEA DIVA continuous in-line blending system for alcohol reception and blending

The GEA DIVA system for alcohol reception and continuous in-line blending is designed for the reception of raw alcohol directly from tankers. The system accurately measures the quantity of alcohol – for precise weights & measures recording – and blends the alcohol with water to reduce the alcohol content to less than 76% volume, so as not to be subject to the ex-regulations in different areas (ATEX).

An air eliminator in the unit’s alcohol reception section separates any air that is also carried in the pipeline from the liquid stream. A pump then conveys the alcohol from the air eliminator, through a mass flow meter to the mixing point. The mass flow meter detects the alcohol stream, and the flow is set by means of a control valve to ensure the correct water and alcohol ratios for mixing. The desired alcohol and water ratio in the mixture is preset by the operator. 

A regulatory-compliant density metering system mounted in the outlet of the GEA DIVA system measures the alcohol content of the alcohol/water mixture, and this value is passed to the controller, which makes any necessary adjustments to maintain an accurate ratio for the mixture. The system can keep the alcohol/water ratio to within ±0.05% volume of alcohol. 

The controller calculates the water mass that is still to be dosed from the existing mass portion of water in the initial alcohol and the demanded mass portion of water in the mixture. Dosing deviations during the start are detected and compensated.

The system itself is designed to be mounted in a hazardous area, whereas the control unit is usually installed outside of the hazardous area. 

Features of the GEA DIVA system

  • Direct mixing of the products in the pipeline 
  • High accuracy by the use of precise flow meters 
  • Special digital controller for continuous in-line blending systems 
  • User friendly operation
  • Compact, factory-tested device, ready for connection

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