The food and beverage industry has experienced dramatic change over recent years. Consumer expectations for ever-increasing variety is a key driving force, as is the stringency of multiple compliance legislations. At the heart of this vast industry, reliability of the smallest of components plays a crucial role – that of the humble seal.
Sealing Integrity: The challenge
From extremes of temperature variations to withstanding the use of aggressive cleaning fluids, the integrity of every seal within a production system must be without question. Failure of seals lead to catastrophic outcomes: product recalls, poor publicity, stoppage of plant and equipment and in worst-case scenarios, public health enquiries as to how the incident occurred.
The complexity of a sealing system requires engineers to utilise ever-advancing technology to bring upgraded solutions that conform to the strictest of regulatory standards. These include:
- Fluorocarbon plastics
- Drinking water seals
The key to the ultimate sealing solution is to determine the environment and the variables under which the seal/s must perform.
Seal Solutions: A dynamic landscape
The food and beverage industry comprises a vast array of processes. From beer to chocolate, ice cream to convenience foods, the stresses a seal undergoes is determined by the type of production being carried out.
Selecting the right profile and material for sealing equipment will be based on:
- The process, it will be exposed to (what is being produced)
- The environment and conditions it will work under (temperatures, lubrication, cleaning fluids, speeds, pressures and operation)
- The length of time it’s expected to last
Of course, the material and seal must also conform to international, national and regional health and safety requirements.
The key takeaway is that the right sealing solution begins with talking to Determining the engineering specifications is only the start. Variables must also be accounted for, both the seen and unforeseen.
This will allow for the appropriate selection of the initial and, further down the line, the replacement seals that guarantee integrity and longevity.
The Effect of Industrial Lubricants and Maintenance
Lubrication is an essential element in food processing equipment. The type used has a direct bearing on the lifespan of seals, making it imperative to use the highest grades to prevent premature wear.
Oils and lubricants used within food and beverage applications should (dependent on the individual use):
- Be free from ketones, aromatics and chlorinated solvents
- Contain no heavy metals
- Be able to work effectively in extremes of temperature
- Be water and chemical resistant
Chesterton’s high performance greases offer extended bearing life and reliability even under the harshest conditions of load, temperature, water, and corrosion. Discover more following the link https://chestertondocs.chesterton.com/Lubricants/EN22425_FoodBevBro.pdf
When it comes to other maintenance speciality products, such as PTFE packing/sealant, tape and flexible gasketing material, it’s also crucial to ensure the right product is used and is of the highest quality.
For instance, sealant tape should be adjustable, high-density, mouldable and tear-resistant. It should also have the ability to be used with virtually all chemicals and be proven effective in extremes of temperature. PTFE packing should be non-reactive to chemicals, work in a wide pH and temperature range, and able to withstand extensive pressures.
Chesterton Packing solutions for Food and Beverage
- Chesterton 425 https://chestertonrotating.chesterton.com/en-us/Products/Pages/425.aspx
- Chesterton 1765 White ePTFE https://chestertonrotating.chesterton.com/en-us/Products/Pages/1765.aspx
- Chesterton 1725A https://chestertonrotating.chesterton.com/en-us/Products/Pages/1725A.aspx
The ever-increasing demands on the food and beverage industry, including specialised requirements and variable operating cycles, makes seal selection ever-more crucial. Time spent making the right sealing solution choices directly impacts production, output and baseline profits.
Trust Chesterton Customseal for the Ultimate Food & Beverage Sealing Solutions
Chesterton Customseal is a joint venture between A.W. Chesterton Company and Customseal Australia. Chesterton Customseal provides our clients with innovative solutions in high-performance seals, combining the strong capabilities of two brands in one product.
The importance of partnering with a specialist seal and maintenance provider can’t be over-estimated. Since 1884, Chesterton has been successfully driving at the forefront of technology to meet the diverse needs of its customers. With a global reach, their sealing specialists and technicians offer a local Australian service for operators, partnering with them to determine the ultimate solution to increase equipment reliability, reduce downtime, and ensure compliance with local, national and international requirements.
Visit https://www.chestertoncustomseal.com.au/who-we-serve/food-beverage/ to discover more about the world of Chesterton Customseal sealing solutions for the food and beverage industry.
Or download our latest Chesterton Customseal Food and Beverage brochure here https://www.chestertoncustomseal.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/AUMKT0004_EPS_CCS_Food-and-Beverage_WEB.pdf