Messe.TV visited one of the world's largest plant and machinery manufacturers in the food and beverage industry at BrauBeviale 2023. Headquartered in Düsseldorf, GEA offers its customers a complete portfolio ranging from individual components to complete systems, and also provides advice on manufacturing processes.
One of the most innovative highlights of BrauBeviale will be presented in more detail at the GEA stand. It's all about sustainability and the question of how the company, as a valve manufacturer and supplier, can support its customers in reducing CO2 emissions. It quickly became clear that the solution lay in the area of compressed air. Compressed air accounts for around 10-15% of the end customer's energy consumption. A high air pressure of around 6 bar is usually required for the process valves, while other components of the system manage with significantly lower air pressure. GEA has now tackled this problem and developed drives that can be operated at air pressures as low as 4 bar. This enables plant operators to reduce the compressed air level from 6 to 4 bar. A considerable saving, 1 bar pressure reduction results in a reduction of around 8% in processor costs and energy requirements. With a 2% reduction in compressed air, this results in a potential 16% reduction in energy costs.
Using a double-seat valve that blocks two pipelines from each other, we can understand how it works. If the valve is closed, no air is consumed; consumption only occurs when the valve is opened to connect the two pipes. This is when the pneumatic air compresses a spring to move the valve into the open position. Previously, 6 bar was required for this. GEA has now designed the system so that this function now takes place safely at 4 bar. In order to reduce the CO2 footprint, an energy concept for the entire system is necessary. The valves are one area where this has already been achieved. GEA is constantly scouring the entire plant for further potential. A good example of this is the use of heat pumps.
In the upper part of the double-decker stand, Ms. Isabel Osterroth from GEA Tuchenhagen GmbH shows us the Heating and Refrigeration area. GEA not only builds refrigeration systems, but also heat pumps. With the latest models of the holistically and sustainably developed heat pumps, hot water of up to 95 degrees can be generated for ideal process integration. The aim is to offer holistic and sustainable concepts for the beverage industry up to the complete decarbonization of operations. The 95 degree heat pump is a decisive step in this direction. Every other part of a GEA system is also closely examined for possible innovation potential for greater energy and resource efficiency.