Getriebemotoren aus Edelstahl verringern die HACCP-Risikofaktoren
In vielen Lebensmittel verarbeitenden Betrieben werden in der gesamten Fertigungsanlage Getriebemotoren eingesetzt.(PresseBox) (Esslingen, )
Yasar Yüce, Product Manager at Bauer Gear Motor, a brand of the Altra Industrial Motion Corporation, explains the growing popularity of stainless steel gear motors in the food and beverage processing industry.
The HACCP system (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is an internationally recognized concept for reducing risk factors in the production and processing of food. As part of this process of continuous improvement, manufacturers must continuously evaluate every process in their production line in order to identify possible dangers and to minimize risks at critical points. The main purpose of the concept is to protect people from foodborne diseases; however, it is also recognized as a best practice for improving the quality and consistency of the final product.
Understanding the process of risk analysis on the production line and making improvements helps explain the industry preferred evolution in gear motor technology. In the past, gear motors have always been considered the preferred drive because of their high efficiency and reliability. However, with the ever more stringent hygiene regulations, it soon became necessary to find special solutions for the food and beverage industry.
Aseptic actuators are designed for applications where wet cleaning is required to maintain a clean environment. Drives are typically painted with acid and alkali resistant coatings that will withstand chemicals in a pH range of 2 to 12. As a result, they are resistant to the cleaning agents and disinfectants commonly used in the food industry without their function being impaired.
Aseptic drive solutions therefore offer all the advantages of a standard geared motor and at the same time eliminate some of the hygiene risks. However, a further risk assessment as part of the HACCP concept can show that the coatings of aseptic drives are susceptible to damage. This would expose the engine surface to corrosive chemicals and contaminate the food with paint chips, even if the coating is FDA cleared. Therefore, stainless steel solutions are now often specified in the industry.
Stainless steel geared motors meet all regulations from organizations such as the FDA and NSF without the need for special coatings. As a basic material, stainless steel is fundamentally resistant to corrosion and chemicals, which ensures that repeated wet cleaning does not impair the reliability or the hygienic properties of the geared motor. Even if stainless steel is scratched, the gear motor remains resistant to corrosion and contamination.
Stainless steel geared motors - such as the HiflexDRIVE from Bauer Gear Motor - are designed in such a way that neither a fan nor cooling fins are required, which results in a completely smooth outer housing with a sealed output side. This means that the motor can be offered with a protection class up to IP69K, for protection in applications in which hot water and high pressures are used. The complete absence of ventilation parts results in a smooth surface, which means that the motor housing can be cleaned more easily and contamination of the surrounding area due to turbulence in the room air by a cooling fan is avoided.
The HiflexDRIVE series is available in three sizes from 80 Nm to 330 Nm in standard, aseptic and stainless steel versions with an output of up to 6.3 kW depending on the size selected. The two-stage gear design allows gear ratios of up to 109: 1, depending on the type of gearbox; which enables the coverage of a wide range of applications.
Increases in performance and efficiency are also achieved by integrating permanent magnet synchronous motor technology (PMSM) of energy efficiency class IE4 (ready for IE5). Permanent magnet synchronous motors offer a significantly improved degree of efficiency compared to asynchronous motors, whereby energy savings of up to 30% can be achieved. The advantage is particularly evident in the partial load range, with this technology having the additional advantage that the speed remains constant regardless of the load. This means that the motor speed does not fluctuate despite load fluctuations or voltage drops as long as the mains frequency remains constant.
Stainless steel advantage for Rücker
For Rücker GmbH, one of the leading manufacturers of dairy products in Europe, reducing the HACCP risk factors is an important approach in all further developments along the production lines. On the basis of this concept, the progress towards aseptic solutions took place based on standard geared motors and has now reached the latest evolutionary stage made of stainless steel. In every development phase, the new solutions offered clear advantages over the existing technology: improved efficiency, lower maintenance requirements and fewer risks.
A 60-meter-long coagulator that is used to process cheese curd has several agitators that keep the milk moving while the whey drains from the curd. Each stirrer moves on a path within a section; As soon as the stirrer has reached the end of the respective section, the stirrer is lifted out of the curd and moved back to the starting position.
Rücker first approached Bauer when the engineers discovered that integrating the brakes in the housing would make the system easier to clean and thus reduce the risk. Shortly afterwards, the gear motors at Rücker were converted to aseptic drives in order to benefit from the improved hygienic conditions. And now the first aseptic drives have been replaced by stainless steel devices from Bauer. The stainless steel drives still have the same integrated brake as the original motor, but with the improved hygiene and increased mechanical strength of a stainless steel housing.
Mr. Krause, the head of maintenance at Rücker, explains:“We pursue the philosophy of continuous improvement in all of our manufacturing processes. Every advance in gear motor technology has led to an improvement in practice; But we are still looking ahead and working proactively on the next steps.
“We have already had very good experiences with Bauer products; the quality was convincing. When it came time to upgrade the facilities on stainless steel, it was therefore not surprising that Bauer was the only vendor that had a stainless steel version with integrated brakes on offer. "
Picture 1: geared motors stainless steel meet all the requirements of organizations such as the FDA and NSF without the need for special coatings.
Fig. 2: A 60-meter-long coagulator that is used to process cheese curd has several agitators that keep the milk moving while the whey runs out of the curd. ( Image source: Rücker GmbH, Germany)
Image 3: Yasar Yüce, Product Manager at Bauer Gear Motor GmbH.