The sugar industry presents a harsh production environment. The tough sugar-making process places high demands on equipment, making it imperative to have the right seals and lubricant in place that can withstand the 24/7 pressures.
Some of the many challenges include:
- Extreme temperatures
- Abrasive and corrosive substances
- Contamination-prone environments
- Frequent washdowns
- Compliance with food & beverage-grade legislation
- High energy use
- Satisfying environmental regulations
Two of the most effective methods of hitting these challenges boil down to some of the smallest asset elements: seals and lubrication. Not only can it be tough to adhere to all the necessary compliance, but the rugged nature of processing sugar cane and the creation of related products is far too often the cause of unplanned maintenance, equipment failure and energy wastage.
That’s where utilising the best products for the job pays dividends. Sealing and lubrication solutions specifically designed for use within the sugar industry have a massively positive impact on both machinery and productivity. Add in the increasing pressures to offer services and products at ever more competitive prices, and the requirements for such a sweet deal becomes further apparent.
The High Cost of Reactive Maintenance
Leaks and the inefficiency of seals are some of the greatest causes of spiralling production costs. Unplanned repairs eat into the bottom line around four times as much as the maintenance that’s scheduled and carried out systematically.
The degradation of seals is one of the core reasons that assets need to be prematurely taken offline. Determining their correct lifespan depends on selecting the correct, high-quality options in the first place. An accurate and effective maintenance program can be achieved by utilising seals designed for the harshest environments, and with proven track records of longevity.
All seals are not made equal. Choosing cheaper options or those of a lower technical grade will, within this cutthroat industry, hit a producer where it hurts the most – the bottom line.
The cost of leaking seals impacts every other element of production, including:
- Reduced output due to an inefficient process
- Increased energy costs
- The risk of contamination
- Unscheduled downtime for seal repair
- Increased lubrication costs
Within the sugar industry, the most satisfactory sealing solution by far is the use of precisely engineered polymer seals. When it comes to any area – from sugar mills and refineries to chocolate production and more – the seals play a vital role in easing operation and increasing ROI.
Within the food and beverage industry, the choice of advanced seal materials includes polyurethanes, rubbers, PTFE and hard plastic. Each offers superior wear, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, reduction of contamination and, of course, compliance with the many strict industry regulations.
In extreme environments, such as the sugar industry, sweating the small stuff – especially the choice of seals – will pay dividends in production and results. Combining advanced sealing solutions with an industry-specific, biodegradable machinery lubricant, such as the Chesterton 650 AML, can make even the most challenging applications run smoothly.
At Chesterton and Chesterton Customseal, the provision of such advanced technology is our passion. When it comes to food-grade products, only the ultimate in seals and lubricants will suffice. Discover more at chestertoncustomseal.com.au and take your asset sealing solutions to the next level – quite simply, seals without compromise.
This article was featured in FoodMag.com.au