GEA has successfully delivered to Serum Italia SPA a turnkey facility for the production and processing of Sweet Whey fort the Italian dairy market. An evaporation process type COMBIVAPORATORTM, a set of crystallization tanks, truck filling station and CIP kitchen are included in the section of the Serum plant used for the whey concentration.

The project had some significant challenges for the evaporation plant which GEA successfully managed:


  • A building height limited to 7.5 m. GEA’s proposal involved a partial outdoor implementation of COMBIVAPORATORTM. The key hygienic components are maintained on the inside and are preliminary conceptualized during the sales phase by 3D drawing in order to visualize and agree on the lay-out.
  • A 60 dBa maximum outside noise emission to protect the nearby neighborhood. GEA applied an insulation of the outside part of COMBIVAPORATORTM, both in order to mitigate the noise, and also limit calorific energy losses. 
  • Minimum energy consumption as well as effluent discharge. Plant compactness, as well as network volume reduction, contributed to minimizing the effluent load. The integration of Mechanical Vapour Recompressors minimized the consumption.
  • GEA proposed Baby Food design, as part of our standard, without any extra cost.

The COMBIVAPORATORTM technology is one that combines two bodies into one single evaporator body. The advantages of this system are numerous:

  • The technology offers a very advanced and economical configuration, offering the optimum Total Cost of Ownership for the client. 
  • It also allows saving of up to 15% on floor space compared to conventional set-up, as well as reducing operating cost by the sole use of Mechanical Vapor Recompression covering the entire evaporation range, and distributed in an optimal way. 
  • With this technology, the lowest specific consumption is also achieved: 17,2 kW/T of water evaporation for the duty of concentrating whey from 18%TS to 62%TS. As a result of this low consumption, the Client became eligible for Energy Efficiency Credits State funds with a further reduction of its investment costs.

A strong international network enables GEA to offer quality project management which is governed by one underlying principle: 

For each contract, there is a both local GEA entity with close customer contact to facilitate local coordination, and a core technology center, highly specialized in its field of competency, bringing the most advanced and customized process solution to the client.

GEA secured the project with Serum Italia, thanks to this project management organization. Each project milestone was achieved and time schedule and local legislation respected. GEA also guided and provided full training to the customer’s young and reduced project team right up until take-over of the equipment. 

The customer was therefore able to focus on its B2B whey transport business.

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