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Why hygienic design of bearings is critical to food safety

wallpapers Robot Tech 2020-06-18
SKF Bearings believes that the hygienic design of food machinery plays a vital role in controlling food safety. However, if the sanitary design of equipment parts is not taken into account, but this concept is only widely used, it may cause the risk of bacterial growth in the bearing.
 
The hygienic design should consider the adverse effects of specific factors (such as corrosion, lubricant leakage, cleaning, and automatic drying) on ​​food safety and appropriate design principles to solve the problem. In essence, it is a design concept that uses specific laws. Just as ergonomic design focuses on users' physiological needs, the hygienic design focuses on preventing food contamination.
 
The European Hygienic Engineering and Design Alliance aims to promote the safe food production capacity of its members (including equipment manufacturers, food companies, and research institutes) by raising sanitary engineering design standards. SKF has joined EHEDG since 2006. In November 2016, the Union held a biennial world conference in Denmark. At this conference, SKF once again focused on explaining its long tradition of applying these design principles.
 
Design principles-take bearing components seriously.
In general, the EHEDG guidelines believe that food particles and water are easily retained in the bearing. Therefore, the bearing is regarded as a potential hotbed for bacteria. The general recommendation is to keep the bearings away from food contact areas.
This recommendation is in line with the latest guidelines for the hygienic design of belt conveyors in the food industry. EHEDG focuses on two main challenges in the production of safe food in this area: how to avoid contamination of food due to improper design of processing equipment, and how to improve clean production and Hygienic operating costs while improving food safety. In fact, in the hygienic design of the entire system, people are mainly concerned about the system and principal components (such as belts); but often do not pay enough attention to bearings and bearing units. However, even if the bearings are not in direct contact with the food area, they are often near the food and have high-pressure water or dry cleaning systems. As a result, if bacteria are present, they may spread through the air and contaminate food.
To minimize the risk of pollution, the principles of hygienic design must be fully considered when designing bearings. One of the essential tenets of the sterile model is the ability to clean effectively. This is easy to understand, but it is often not easy for bearings and bearing units in practice. First of all, the product should be made of non-corrosive and non-porous materials (such as stainless steel) or composite materials, and the shape is easy to clean. The remaining water can be automatically emptied. The bearing unit should have a filling base to avoid leaving gaps to breed bacteria.
 
In general, the use of materials such as elastomers, composites, and greases should comply with food safety directives and regulations. In all cases, try to avoid the leakage of oil to the food during operation. The best way is that the bearing unit is equipped with a fitted end cap to prevent contaminants and cleaning fluids from entering the bearing cavity while allowing frequent visual inspections.
 
Other related areas include:
Avoid metal-to-metal contact between unit components and attached surfaces.
 
Relubrication should be avoided whenever possible.
It still achieves a long service life under very demanding operation and cleaning systems. The hygienic design is entirely suitable for food production and packaging machinery. However, the bearing is only one of many problem parts, and solving the bearing problem is only the first step in improving the overall risk strategy.

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Tag: SKF Bearings