Washdown-duty devices brave water and more

April 1, 2010
Many industrial designs need protection from the elements, whether indoors or out. Here are some of the latest weatherproof parts for your next wet application.

Many industrial designs need protection from the elements, whether indoors or out. Here are some of the latest weatherproof parts for your next wet application.

Stainless steel shaft collars suit food processing

A full range of smooth bore shaft collars in 316-grade stainless steel are available to meet the demanding needs of food processing, medical, and pharmaceutical applications. This stainless steel grade contains more molybdenum than others and offers higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. Collars are available in one and two-piece clamp-style designs with bore sizes from 1/8 to 3 in. Collars will not mar shafts, provide high holding power, and are more easily adjusted than setscrew collars.

Ruland Manufacturing Co. Inc.
(508) 485-1000

VFD withstands washdown conditions

The CFW08 Wash Down variable frequency drive (VFD) is designed for harsh environments exposed to water. With its NEMA 4X enclosure, the new VFD can face water, sprays, high humidity, and dusty environments without damage. The CFW08 is suited for the food and beverage industry as well as other severe environments. Protective features include overcurrent, motor overload, drive over-temperature, output phase-to-phase and phase-to-ground short circuit, dc bus over and under voltage, and external fault.

WEG Electric Corp.
(800) ASK-4WEG

Stainless steel gear reducers offer hygienic design

RESF37 helical gear reducers and KESA37 helical bevel gear reducers use less energy, run more coolly, and last longer than typical single-worm gear units. The material, design, and smooth finish mean high resistance to bacteria, chemicals, and processes common in food processing. The shaft-mounted gear units are available with TorqLOC, a compact keyless hollow shaft mounting system. RESF37 and KESA37 are available with NEMA C-face motor adapters, IEC adapters, or as gearmotors; both have an input power rating to 3 hp and output torque rating of 1,770 lb-in. Other options include seals to provide IP69K protection and food grade oil.

SEW-Eurodrive Inc.
(864) 439-8792

Vision sensor stands up to washdown, shock, vibration

The PresencePLUS P4 OMNI vision sensor withstands demanding washdown conditions, as well as dust and debris, with the use of an integrated ring light or lens cover. Sealed, IP68-rated housing and connectors withstand dust, moisture, and washdown, while durable nickel-plated aluminum housing tolerates shock and vibration. A complete suite of location, inspection, analysis, and geometric tools can be used simultaneously to check multiple features and complex applications.

Banner Engineering Corp.
(888) 373-6767

Linear position transducers handle hazardous settings

Micropulse ProCompact linear position transducers incorporate non-contact magnetostrictive technology into a welded, hermetically sealed stainless steel housing, providing greater reliability than contact-based sensors such as linear potentiometers. The ProCompact is suitable for use in applications with high humidity, ambient temperature variations, and high-pressure washdown. Standard mounting threads allow installation in hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders. The ProCompact is rated to IP68; as an option, the housing's threaded fitting can accommodate a cable shielding system, offering protection to IP69K.

Balluff Inc.
(800) 543-8390

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Pneumatic valves fill cleanliness needs of beverage packers

Cleanliness is often considered a virtue. In the beverage packaging industry, it's an absolute necessity. That's because in the dairy and juice industries, machines are washed down constantly to avoid contamination. Equipment is subjected not only to water, but also to chemical cleaners and sodium potassium hydroxide. Because of the minimal risk of contamination, pneumatics is a very clean technology and the first choice for many food and packaging companies. Pneumatic components withstand even the toughest environments, with a long life expectancy due to their simple design and few internal parts.

For one beverage packaging OEM, Evergreen Packaging of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, using washdown-duty pneumatic components turned out to be the best strategy for avoiding contamination and reducing downtime. The company recently developed an economical gravity-fill bottle filler that uses washdown pneumatic valves from Bosch Rexroth Corp., Lexington, Ky. Suitable for water, juice, dairy, and other beverages, the Evergreen BFCG-32/16 provides high output and the versatility to handle a variety of liquid food products with at least 95% efficiency.

Using 32 fill heads and 16 capping heads, the small-footprint rotary machine takes up just 47.5 sq/ft. and fills up to 400 bottles per minute. Externally demountable, no-drip fill nozzles require a minimal amount of pressure to actuate, dramatically reducing bottle wrinkling and product waste. With a special focus on cleanliness, Evergreen offers extended life options including HEPA, auto sanitize, and full clean-in-place (CIP) capabilities.

To help avoid contamination and reduce downtime and maintenance costs, Evergreen specified IP69K washdown-duty CL03 pneumatic valves from Bosch Rexroth. The valves are used to control the filling process and the integrated sanitation and clean-in-place system. To meet the IP69K rating, valves must withstand high-temperature water with 1,450 psi at a distance of four to six inches while being rotated between 0, 30, 60, and 90° angles.

Bosch Rexroth designed the CL03 in cooperation with food and packaging end users and OEMs in Europe and the U.S. Based on OEM input, the company designed a product with smooth corners and drainable surfaces, strong fiberglass reinforced polyamide 12, stainless steel hardware, positive joints to avoid material buildup, and HNBR seals between the valve cover sub-base and sub-plates. Stainless steel cabinets traditionally needed to house the valves are eliminated; mounting valves closer to actuators minimizes air-line lengths and reduces air consumption costs. Placing valves closer to actuators also reduces cycle time, increasing productivity.

Tim Hughes, director of engineering at Evergreen, believes that using pneumatics is an advantage due to low maintenance costs. “In the dairy and juice industry, you can't afford to have a production line down,” says Hughes. “Stores get milk shipments every day, so avoiding downtime is critical. Dairies survive on very low margins. If they have high maintenance costs for keeping a piece of equipment going, that comes out of the profit margin. The beauty of pneumatics is that they're easy to troubleshoot without downtime being an issue.”

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