New fines return system from GEA reduces downtime with automated CIP processes

The new No Intervention Fines Return System (FRS) from GEA allows dairy and food powder producers to automate the cleaning-in-place (CIP) processes of their spray dryer fines return system, leading to reduced downtime, improved working conditions and ensuring product safety.

In spray dryers, powder dines are often separated from the exhaust air via cyclones and bag filters. A fines return system returns the fines to the drying process, either for agglomeration or integration with the final powder outlet. Typically, cleaning cyclones and fines return systems first requires opening and dismantling the fines return system from the cyclones outlet. After cleaning, both must be reconnected again, which increases the risk of recontamination as well as the potential for mistakes in reassembly.

Designed for food and dairy spray dryers, the GEA No Intervention FRS uses values to create a “smoother and fully automated” CIP process, which negates disassembly before and after cleaning. All connections within the fines return system remain closed and once cleaned, can directly be used for production. GEA claimed the valves were developed to comply with hygienic design criteria of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG), and have been proven to reduce the risk of CIP liquid leakage and overall contamination.

Stig Møller Andersen, product manager at GEA, explained: “With our new No Intervention FRS, operators no longer need to worry about manual and time-consuming lifts and leakage risks associated with improper assembly. By avoiding manual intervention before and after CIP, the process becomes quicker, safer, and more reliable.”