This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Sponsored Article

From food grade to food safe

08 April 2019

Conventional bearing housings can be a magnet for contamination and conventional maintenance only makes the problem worse. As David Oliver, Food and Beverage Industry Manager at SKF explains. 

Juggling efficiency, productivity and safety can put food and beverage manufacturers in a spin. Manufacturing machinery relies on bearings to permit smooth, energy-efficient motion. Bearings rely on suitable lubrication for longevity and reliability. But avoiding the accumulation of product residues and microbiological contamination in conventional bearing units is difficult. Grease acts as a magnet for contaminants, and high-pressure washdowns can exacerbate the problem, forcing water, cleaning fluids and particles past seals and into the interior of the component.

The conventional response to this issue is regular, repetitive, relubrication. But that approach brings its own problems. It is expensive in materials, waste disposal, direct labour and lost production time. The contaminated lubricant flushed out of each bearing presents its own hygiene and safety risks.

Take a clean sheet approach
It was with exactly these issues in mind that SKF set out to design a range of bearing units specifically for the food and beverage sector. The company went back to the drawing board for the new range, starting with a blank sheet of paper and building up a design, component by component, to improve hygiene, performance and compliance with food safety regulations.

The new SKF Food Line bearing unit range incorporates a host of innovations that address many of the long-standing issues associated with conventional bearing units. The housings, for example, use an over-moulded rubber base seal that prevents contamination and bacteria growth between the unit and the mounting frame. A special back seal and end cover prevent process material from entering the bearing from either side. The end cover uses a patented locking mechanism to ensure it cannot be accidentally dislodged. The geometry of the entire housing is designed to eliminate crevices or recesses where bacteria might establish themselves. Angled surfaces and a smooth surface finish reduce material accumulation and ensure liquids drain away easily, regardless of bearing orientation. 

Inside, a special multi-lipped sealing arrangement (another patented innovation) keeps lubricant inside the bearing and contaminants out. While innovative channels within the seal allow water and cleaning fluids to drain freely. The corrosion-resistant stainless-steel ball bearing inside rotates in long-lasting, high-performance food-grade grease. The factory-installed lubricant is designed to last for the full life of the bearing unit, eliminating the need for regular relubrication and all the associated costs and risks. 

For food and beverage companies, the new SKF Food Line range supports three key business objectives:

• Greater safety, by reducing the risk of contamination or bacteria growth in equipment
• Higher productivity, as the elimination of relubrication requirements increases production time and cuts maintenance costs
• Improved sustainability, with less water needed for cleaning, no grease-contaminated wastewater and fully recyclable components

To learn more about SKF Food Line products CLICK HERE.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page