Specialist drive engineering company, SEW-Eurodrive is able to assist the food and beverage industry in maintaining the highest standards of hygiene with its Aseptic DAS motor. Cape Town branch manager, Byron Griffiths notes that standard motors often come equipped with cooling fins and fans in which germs and dirt can accumulate and spread. “Past drive solutions made it difficult to clean the production systems according to the hygiene standards required by these industries. The Aseptic DAS motor has eliminated this risk by utilising pure convection cooling as an alternative to fans,” he says.
The motor has already proven its value at Cape Town-based Garon Food, a seafood delicatessen that has been supplying a range of products to one of South Africa’s leading supermarket chains for more than 20 years. Garon food technologist, Ruan Brits emphasises the fact that cleanliness and hygienic operating conditions are of prime importance to the company. “Keeping the working area and the materials handling systems clean and free of unwanted grime and germs requires that the area be washed down three times a working day. The liquid used for washing down surfaces consists of highly aggressive and corrosive chemicals. As a result of exposure to these chemicals, motors in areas near the chillers and pickled fish conveyors were prone to corrosion,” he says.
Brits approached SEW-Eurodrive for a tailor-made solution to this problem in June 2012. “The DAS motor has a smooth surface to prevent bacteria getting lodged and no fan for swirling around germs and dust. It has extensive resistance to chemicals, cleaning agents and disinfectants, and can withstand water under high pressure.”
The Aseptic motor can be mounted directly on helical, parallel shaft helical, helical-bevel or helical-worm gear units. Due to its smooth surface, it is easy to clean. “Since implementing the new system, there has been no build-up of dirt and this ultimately prevents the build-up of bacteria.”
The poultry industry is another sector where cleanliness is of vital importance. Here it is not uncommon during the daily maintenance periods to see the motors used in abattoirs and chicken houses enclosed in a plastic bag during the cleaning of the machinery to protect it from leakage of water into the unit.
“This type of solution wastes considerable time and resources when you take into account the time it takes to seal the motors and the time to remove the bags afterwards. Another threat is that the plastic protective covering could be compromised by the high pressure hose, and a leak could lead to costly damage,” explains Griffiths. “Lastly, by enclosing the unit in a protective cover, it is excluded from the cleaning and sanitising process. The build up of dirt and bacteria on the unit could lead to hygiene problems in the plant.”
SEW-Eurodrive helped specialist poultry conveyor equipment manufacturer, Mordt Engineering overcome this challenge with the Aseptic DAS motor. Mordt Engineering’s Norman Mordt comments, “We realise that it is critical to address the health and safety risks in the poultry industry. The option of plastic coverings over the motors during cleaning could lead to much bigger problems in the long run and ultimately it is not a solution for the food industry. This motor has been specifically designed for use in hygienic environments. Its design features ensure that there is no place for dirt build-up and the unit can be easily cleaned with high pressure hoses during the sanitising process.”
The Aseptic DAS motors, which were introduced to the local market in 2012, are available in power ranges varying from 0,25 kW to 1,5 kW. As part of its value-added service offering to clients SEW-Eurodrive offers local repairs and after sales service on these units.
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