Hygienic design principles and material selection are critical to actuator performance in food & beverage environments.
Food and beverage production on today’s industrial scale would not be possible without a high level of automation. Pneumatic, hydraulic and electric actuators are critical moving components in equipment used for processing and packaging both food and beverage products around the globe. In addition to efficient production, machines in these processes must keep food & beverage product safe by preventing bacteria, lubricating fluids or other contaminants that could harm consumers from contacting the product.
As a result of increased food safety regulations emphasizing the prevention of foodborne illnesses, the use of hygienic design principles in today’s food processing equipment has become critical. With mechanical actuators, the use of appropriate materials, methods of sealing and methods of construction are critical to eliminate collection points where bacteria can flourish and resist corrosion that could contaminate the processing environment. In addition, suitable actuators must protect against high pressure, high temperature wash-down procedures with a variety of sanitary cleaning solutions.
This paper will examine mechanical system (including actuators) hygienic design considerations that ensure performance in the challenging food and beverage processing environment and mitigate risks of contamination events.
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