Developing Seals for The Food Environment
Apr 26, 2020
When developing seals for the food environment, there are many things that you need to consider, and these cover the development process and right through to the manufacturing process. The food industry and environment are unlike many others as it is one where hygiene is of significant importance and so when developing seals, there are several vital elements that you have to consider:
The Operating Conditions
When developing a seal, you will need to take the application into consideration. As a result, you will need to analyse the type of movement as well as the finish and type of equipment that is being sealed.
Along with this, the operating pressure is also a serious consideration while the speed and temperature also play a vital role. The maximum and minimum pressure will need to be considered while the speed and temperature that are present at this pressure will need to be determined. There will also be a maximum and minimum temperature along with a maximum speed and so, determining all conditions will feed into the development process
Fitting the Seal and Assembling the Equipment
An assembly drawing will make it possible to clearly identify the specific requirements. Many FDA seals have problems with fitting and with this comes an increase in costs and time if they are not actively managed at the start of the process. An example of this could be those seals that require an open housing as they can be damaged or become unusable if used in a closed gland.
Material choice is determined by the media that the seal will come into contact with. It is important to understand any potential changes throughout its operational life or if it is going to be required for a number of media. It can often be helpful to have one sealing option for multiple media and cycle changes.
In all food manufacture operations, hygiene is critical, and cleaning is an absolute must. Therefore, it is common for processors to do whatever it takes to make sure that the environment is safe and sterile. This could include extremely hard media or clean in place and steam in place methods. However, the chosen cleaning method could lead to the elimination of certain seal materials while it can also result in the need for replacements for each pass. Therefore, having the correct information from the outset can help to reduce costs and avoid errors that could prove dangerous.
For more information on seals for the Food & Beverage industry, visit https://www.nes-ips.com/food-and-beverage/