Motion Control & Drives


Spherical roller bearings setting the benchmark in food safety

June 2024 Motion Control & Drives

Any operation involved in food manufacturing and processing has to adhere to extremely strict regulations, and for good reason. Companies in the food service business are compelled to sustain best food safety practices, as any form of contaminant entering the process poses potential harm to consumer health. The fundamentals of food safety are the measures taken by food processing companies to mitigate food contamination. These range from protective clothing wear like hairnets, masks and gloves, to personal hygiene practices like handwashing, to strict cleaning procedures, to using hygienically designed food-grade machines, equipment and components.

In a bid to address these needs, SKF developed and designed spherical roller bearings specifically for the food and beverage industry. The Food line of spherical roller bearings helps to maintain food industry hygiene standards and is fully compliant with all necessary global regulations.

“Our Food line bearings are pre-filled with NSF category H1 food-grade grease and incorporate integral FDA- and EC-approved seals,” says sales manager, Saien Rugdeo. “These bearings lower the risk of food contamination, increase machine performance and reliability, raise hygiene standards, and extend service intervals. They also boast a longer service life up to three times longer compared to SKF open spherical roller bearings.”

The high-performance, nitrile butadiene rubber contact seal protects against water, detergent and contaminant ingress. Moreover, as the risk of grease leaking from the bearing is minimised, the seal adds further value by reducing relubrication and related costs. Rugdeo adds that the seals are blue in colour to facilitate the detection of fragments, should they in an unlikely event end up in the food.

The self-aligning bearing is manufactured from high fatigue-resistant steel to the SKF Explorer performance class, increasing dynamic load-carrying capacity, and reducing vibration and heat generation. Rugdeo points out that the SKF Food line bearing helps to improve sustainability. “The low-friction seal reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The longer-lasting bearings also require less frequent replacement, thus reducing the demand for raw materials, manufacturing and transport. In addition, grease leakage is virtually non-existent, mitigating the need for repurchase, relubrication, and final disposal.”


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