GEA releases key extrusion system for global snacks production

Equipment and systems business GEA has completed its xTru Twin series of high-capacity extruders lines for industries including confectionery and snacks, with new flagship version, writes Neill Barston.

The new range-topping model, known as the 140, has been developed with advanced features including powered screws providing users up to a reported 40 percent increased capacity with the same efficiency, quality and footprint as previous versions of the series.

Furthermore, this high-capacity technology has also been designed to be applied to the other models of the GEA xTru Twin extruders too – models 70/92/112 – and retrofitted to older machines to increase their capacity without changing the floorplan of the factory.

The GEA xTru Twin extruders (below) offer the flexibility to produce a wide range of products including: cereal-based snack pellets die-cut, 2D, 3D, multilayers, square shape, punched and direct expanded; including breakfast cereals; crisps and other series of  food producs. The latest xTru Twin 140 has a production capacity of over 3 tons of pellets.

As the company noted, to achieve the additional capacity, the German-headquartered firm’s engineers have used their experience and know-how to increase the cross-sectional area, rotation speed and pitch of the screws on the new machines while maintaining the extruder footprint and screw length. This also allows customers to upgrade existing machines without buying a new one or changing the plant layout.

Other key features of the GEA xTru Twin range include: A high-speed premixer for perfectly hydrating flour; a large, curved mixing vessel that facilitates good water absorption and adhering to the requisite hygiene standards; a vertical forced feeding screw to control the dough’s movement into the cooking screw; a powerful, variable speed motor with a safety clutch; a high-torque, double cascade gearbox that ensures excellent power reserves and safety. With its co-rotating, fully intermeshing twin screws, a modular barrel assists in properly cooking cereal-based dough.

The company embarked on the process of developing the new technology in response to customers’ requests and the market’s need for a single, high-capacity machine capable of producing a wide range of innovative food shapes. As the company added, the flexibility of the new series is expected to enable manufacturers to develop new products rapidly for their respective markets.



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