Various standards from IEC, USDA, and NEMA are but a sampling of the codes governing washdown requirements for equipment in the meat, poultry, dairy, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. The standards spell out hygienic design of processing equipment. Surfaces, for example, must shed wetness and residue and can have no sharp corners where dirt and debris might hide. The standards call for materials that can withstand the scalding, high-pressure spraying of water and harsh chemical cleaners. Manufacturers come up with special product lines built to survive the relentless pursuit of clean. Here's a look at several new products.
Cleaning fluid drains readily through gaps between covers on this valve manifold from Bosch Rexroth. The company's Clean Line Series CL03, with a protection class rating of IP69K, has been packaged to reside outside a control cabinet. The valves can sit nearer the actuators than they would if they were in a cabinet, improving performance. Sanitary design harbors no dirt or grime—paramount to food and pharmaceuticals processing. Polyamide covers and bases resist corrosive cleaners. For more information, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/4395-520.
Everyday sensors fail to stand up to a regular hosing because moisture finds ingress past front covers or through connections around back. This IP69K-rated proximity sensor from Turck uses an o-ring and special potting to guard against such incursion, meanwhile relying on 316 stainless for the barrel, liquid crystal polymer for the front cap, and polypropylene for the end cap and LED cover, to resist harsh cleaning agents. To smooth things further, the maker engraves manufacturing info with a laser, making no cavities where germs can settle. For more information, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/4395-521.
Keeping washdown fluids out of a coupling is the aim of Boston Gear's Quick Connect system, which it sells on its QC 700 speed reducers. Those fluids can fret mating surfaces between the motor shaft and the coupling, making motor removal a chore. Fluids enter ordinary couplings through flange holes designed for tightening the coupling set screw. With its Quick Connect system, Boston Gear eliminates a set screw and, with that, a need for access through the flange. Instead, the coupling mates with milled flats on the shaft of the motor, eliminating a key and keyway there. The coupling is installed first on the reducer shaft with a traditional key. Then, the motor slides into the coupling and bolts along the perimeter of the joint to hold things in place. For more information, visit http://rbi.ims.ca/4395-522.