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interfood Example articles from interfood 22 Refrigeration & Storage Refrigeration & Storage 23 38 Food & Drink Processing Food & Drink Processing 39 18 Food Hygiene & Safety Food Hygiene & Safety 19 Complete systems for large size bottles

A new range of containers from 15 to 40 litres targeting the food, water and beer market has been launched.

Une nouvelle gamme de contenants de 15 à 40 litres de capacité a été lancée, ciblant les marchés de l’agroalimentaire, des eaux minérales et de la bière.

Ein neues Behältersortiment mit einer Kapazität von 15 bis 40 Litern für den Lebensmittel-, Wasser- und Biermarkt wurde eingeführt.

Below SIPA offers blow moulding machines which can produce 15, 20 or 30litre PET barrels.

this stretch blow moulding system, designed for the production of large sizes from 5 to 40litres, are based on SIPA linear blow moulding machine models SFL 6 and SFL 4. Tese products, launched in early 2006, had such an instant success that as many as 300 units were put on the market.

Te SFL 2 linear blow moulding machine maintains all the features and standards that SFL models reliable and highly productive systems:

l Fully electric machine driven by servo motors

l Efficient heating oven with innovative and technological features that allow high oven performance and a wide process window for very thick preforms, rapid start-up and low energy consumption.

l Blow moulding circuit based on the rotary technology.

l Electrical stretching. l Integrated and total control on ‘touch screen’ operator panel.

“The preform is extracted from the plate not by air but using a mechanical system that acts on the support rings of the preform.”

L arge containers are

customarily made of HDPE and tinplate cans. Converting these containers to PET brings great advantages in terms of costs, speed and ease of production, as well as logistics: all elements are absolutely competitive compared to the customary solutions. In fact, these containers are stackable and have plastic handles that can even be attached automatically.

For the production of bubble tops for water coolers, SIPA offers 15 and 20litre sizes or 4 and 5gallon sizes to meet the requirements of the US market. Tese containers are available in both returnable and one-way versions.

SIPA offers machines that can

produce 15, 20, 30litre PET barrels with both a single-stage system (from resin to finished container in a single machine) and two-stage systems (preform injection separate from bottle blow molding). One-way PET containers as an alternative to the customary metal barrels are a totally absolutely economical solution that tangibly reduces logistics costs.

In the case of containers for very large sizes, such as 20, 25, 30, 40litres, SIPA has always supplied single-stage systems. Now the two-stage option for preform injection and subsequent container blow moulding is also available. In particular, the PPS300L injection press and the SFL2/2 blow moulding machine.

Te technical features of this preform injection machine are the result of the evolution of a standard injection machine, and therefore a fully tested system. Te production of preforms for large sizes is made by 12 or 16 cavity injection moulds and the possibility of injecting preforms weighing up to 413g.

A three-stage cooling robot ensures the high quality of the preform. In fact, the preform stays in the cooling plate for the duration of three machine cycles. With this system, heavy, very thick preforms (6–7mm) have time to cool and be discharged gently in a controlled manner (soft drop), which prevents the typical damage, such as knocks and scratches, caused by handling and packaging.

Te cooling plate system guarantees a safe and clean approach, as the temperature is lowered only by contact between the external surface of the preform and the walls of the plate wells, through which water circulates at 8°C. Te preform is extracted from the plate not by air but using a mechanical system that acts on the support rings of the preform. Furthermore, there is no contact between the mechanical parts and the inside of the preforms while they are being handled.

Te PPS 300 L guarantees total control of the system through a touch screen operator panel used to

Right Energy consumption is reduced to a minimun by the ARS blow moulding air recovery system.

access all the machine and injection process control parameters. In particular, the injection profile can be constantly monitored to guarantee the repeatability of the high quality of the preforms over time.

Te architecture and components of

Te machine can be configured with two blow moulding cavities (SFL 2/2) for the production of containers up to 25litres and neck up to 65mm or with one blow moulding cavity (SFL 2/1) for the production of containers up to 40litres and neck up to 85mm.

Te preforms are loaded

continuously by loading star wheels and taken to the heating ovens using the same principle as the SFL 4 and SFL 6 systems. As per all blow moulding systems provided by SIPA, the preform conveyor chain is made of technopolymers. It is therefore light and strong, with high resistance to wear and requires no lubrication or maintenance.

Te heating oven is conceptually based on the features of the rotary range oven with innovative and technological qualities that allow high performance and a wide process window. Te SFL2/2 heating oven also has a greater heating capacity for processing large sizes (it can house up to 16 lamps). Its effectiveness assures a wide process window, a rapid system restart and moderate consumption. As in the traditional structures, the screw pitch change system is used for the transfer of the preforms from the ovens to the blow moulding process.

Te protective cabin is integrated in the machine. Tis translates into a considerable reduction in installation/commissioning time and easy handling, even via freight container.

Energy consumption is reduced to a minimum by the ARS blow moulding air recovery system, which is optimised for this specific application where volumes are considerable (20, 30, 40litre containers).

Te whole system operation is managed and monitored from a touch screen operator panel. Operating data are regularly recorded by the machine PC, allowing all information regarding each specific size (recipes), all production reports and complete operating diagnostics to be stored in the memory.

SIPA Plastic Packaging Systems is based in Vittorio Veneto, Italy. Circle 39 or ✔ at

Bearing replacements solve fish processing line failures

Bearing replacements on a fish processing line and a baking dough mixing machine solve production problems.

Le remplacement des roulements sur une chaîne de transformation du poisson et sur un pétrin a résolu les problèmes de production.

Durch den Austausch von Lagern an einer Fischverarbeitungsstraße und einer Backteigmischmaschine konnten Produktionsprobleme gelöst werden.


bearing problem on a battered fish processing line centred on a conveyor

which is used in the process of adding batter to fish products. Te harsh nature of the process meant that the 25mm diameter bearings on the conveyor were lasting just four weeks on the line, due to the ingress of contaminates and frequent washdowns.

NSK’s cost reduction programme has achieved a major success with a customer in the food processing industry, achieving annual cost savings of €437 839 per year on a battered fish processing line as a result of replacing bearing inserts with NSK’s Molded Oil bearings.

Below Bearings on a fish propcessing line were lasting just four weeks before failing.

Engineers from NSK’s AIP cost reduction programme were called in to give advice. The AIP

cost reduction programme is a value added service that actually helps bearing users to improve reliability, reduce operating costs, and improve efficiency and profitability. These objectives are achieved by delivering tangible savings to assets, such as equipment and machinery, and also by improving the working knowledge of maintenance and engineering personnel. The engineers visited the process, identified the problem and suggested a solution using NSK’s Molded Oil Bearings.

Molded Oil bearings employ a special solid lubricant to positively transform the performance of machinery in environments exposed to high humidity, corrosion and contamination. The bearings achieve improvements

in performance and reliability by offering more than twice the operating life of grease lubrication in water contaminated environments. The solid lubricant technology also means that operating environments are kept free of grease and there is no need for refilling of lubricant, as Molded Oil provides a continuous supply of lubricating oil. Sample Molded Oil bearing inserts were fitted to the conveyor and trialled over an extended period of six months. Impressed with the extended bearing life, the customer began replacement of the existing conveyor bearings with Molded Oil units. In addition to providing improved life, these bearings are also saving the customer the considerable cost of regreasing of bearings, estimated at €4680 per annum.

Tailored Solutions for

Critical Applications

Planning a double-door autoclave for cleanrooms or containment suites

Lee Oakley looks at the factors involved in planning the installation of a double-door autoclave.


Product Lines include:

Above Drive failures were being caused by high-load on dough mixing spindles.

Meanwhile, substituting NSK’s new HPS Series of spherical roller bearings (SRB) for conventional SRB on a baking dough mixing machine is providing cost savings of £93 512 per annum, plus extended product life, improved productivity and reduced maintenance for a major UK bakery chain. The failure problems were due to high loading on dough mixing spindles, causing premature wear due to deflecting shafts and ‘swashing’, or reciprocating motion within the SRB bearings, resulting in continuous failures. The cost was considerable: the yearly total for bearings, maintenance, engineering time and lost production, amounted to of £113 144.

NSK evaluated the problem and suggested a solution that would reduce the ongoing costs. The engineer’s response was to suggest replacing the existing SRB units with a totally new design: the NSK HPS Series of high performance SRB. Crucially with its HPS

design, NSK has clarified for the first time the mechanism that causes slippage and creates high friction on the bearing surfaces of SRB, leading eventually to damage due to surface fatigue. This was verified by extensive testing – that friction can be reduced by controlling the motion of rotating rollers – and that a special surface treatment of the outer ring is effective in achieving this. Based upon these findings, NSK developed HPS bearings, which can minimise /slippage, prolonging running life by more than twice that of conventional products.

The HPS series bearings were fitted to the dough mixing machine for trials. To date the trial has run for nine months with no failures – this compares with the regular 23 months lifespan of the original non-NSK units. Based upon this performance the customer has calculated savings of £93 512 per annum.

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Fig. 1. A typical double-door installation within a containment suite. This view is from the unloading end.

n the majority of cases double- door autoclaves can generally be considered to be a bespoke design, albeit one that is created by adding a second door to a standard model. Unless the room is specifically designed around the autoclave (not common, even with new build laboratories) then a certain amount of ‘tailoring’ of the autoclave design will be necessary.

Each site is different, with the requirement for doors to be hinged to swing in different directions and with the location of electrical, water and drain services. Final manufacture therefore requires full details of the proposed location and

operation routines. Such details are essential for a smooth installation and commissioning process. By far the best way to achieve this is to involve the manufacturer in the planning process from a very early stage, including site surveys and/or the supply of detailed drawings. Te planning process should take into consideration the following factors:

Direction of Workflow In general terms, double-door autoclaves are employed within clean rooms and containment suites. In the case of a clean room application the autoclave is used for the sterilisation of equipment entering a clean or aseptic area such as a pharmaceutical

production environment. In the case of a containment application the autoclave is used for the de- contamination of material prior to its release from the containment suite which would typically be a laboratory handling high-risk hazardous material. In both cases isolation of both ends of the autoclave is required. Te autoclave will be sealed at the point of passing through a wall by means of a bulkhead.

Close sealing of the bulkhead and wires, pipes etc passing through it is observed as closely as possible in the design of the autoclave but it is not normal for this sealing to be considered absolute at the manufacturing stage – extra sealing may be required during installation. .

Fig. 2. The unloading end of a clean room application.

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Door operation It is an essential requirement of the BS2646 standard that double ended autoclaves have interlocks to prevent both doors being open at the same time as this would obviously breach the integrity of the site. Further, an interlock must be present to prevent the door at the unloading end from being opened until the sterilisation cycle has been successfully completed and the load is safe to pass into the unloading end. It is also necessary, under the same BS 2646 directive, to prevent the release of the loading door until the unloading door has been opened, subsequently closed and locked. An override is usually fitted to permit opening of the loading door should this be required and only by means of a key, to prevent unauthorised operation.

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Maintenance and servicing In the case of a containment suite autoclave it is usual for most of the autoclave to be located in the unloading room with just the door section of the autoclave protruding into the containment area. Tis enables most maintenance tasks to

be completed without the need for an engineer to enter the containment area. Since nearly all of the autoclave plant is located in the unloading end it follows that the drain and other services will also be at this end, minimising the number of pipes and wires etc that need to pass through the wall or bulkhead. It is desirable for the main electrical isolator to be located at the unloading end, again to minimise on penetration of the wall but consideration should be given to the ability to shutdown the autoclave from the loading end in an emergency.

In the case of a clean room installation it is usual for most of the autoclave to be located within the loading room. Again this permits most maintenance tasks to be performed without the need for the engineer to enter the clean area.

In this case however this is more important as certain maintenance tasks can present a serious threat to the clean area. Again, the services should be located at the same end as the majority of the autoclave plant.

Recording device For all applications requiring a double-door autoclave it is essential to have a recording device fitted to produce a permanent record of each autoclave cycle, whether by a printer integral to the autoclave control system or an independent chart recorder. Tere are arguments to support locating the recording device at either end of the autoclave. Consider the following:

l It is desirable for the operator unloading the autoclave to be able to examine the record before opening the autoclave.

l Which end of the autoclave is the autoclave log to be kept? Te recording device should be at the same end.

l It is often not permissible to take a paper record from a containment area.

l A paper record will shed fibres in a clean room.

As with recording devices there are arguments to support location of these at either end. However, the author strongly recommends

that entry ports are located on the unloading end side of the wall for a containment suite and the loading end for a clean room with the ports being as close as possible to the wall for the following reasons:

l During commissioning tests and periodic re-validation it will be necessary to place thermocouples in the load as the autoclave is being loaded. Tis requires that the entry port is located close to the loading end, but does not necessarily mean that it has to be located on the loading end side of the wall.

l It may not be desirable to take test and recording equipment into a clean room or containment area.

l And again, it is often not permissible to take a paper record from a containment area.

l It is often necessary to operate the test equipment whilst operating the autoclave loading end controls (provisions can be made to overcome this).

l If the test and recording equipment are inside the containment area/clean room the requirement to don / remove protective clothing each time the area is entered/exited is time consuming.

Steam heated units In the case of direct steam heated autoclaves it is desirable for the steam plant to be located at the main plant end of the autoclave. However, as it is necessary for the steam pressures to be monitored from the loading end, in the case of containment suite sites this will necessitate passing the pressure gauge pipes through the wall and possibly the provision of a duplicate pair of pressure gauges.

Applications Electrically heated autoclaves have a water charge inside the chamber, which will be exposed to the clean room when the door is opened and presents a potential source of

contamination if non-sterile water is being fed into the autoclave. It may be desirable to use a purified and / or sterilised water supply.

While the steam produced from the water within the autoclave leaves most of its contaminants behind in the water reservoir, if there is a risk associated with contamination of the load, this presents another case for the use of purified and / or sterilised water. It is common for autoclave water level controls to work by means of conductivity. If purified water is to be used this will require special consideration. Highly purified water is corrosive to some metals and this will also require consideration.

Due to similar contamination considerations to the above it may be desirable to provide a clean steam supply for direct steam heated units.

Pipes entering and exiting the autoclave In the case of a single ended autoclave it is common for pipe work and electrical connections to be made at the rear of the autoclave. In this way, unsightly pipes with potential heat hazards are secreted behind the autoclave.

However, in the case of a double- door autoclave it is necessary for services to connect via the sides of the autoclave, and further consideration for the covering or guarding of pipes may also be necessary. Tis is a particular concern if larger items such as drain condensers or exhaust filters are fitted. In some cases it may be worth considering enclosing the whole of the autoclave excluding the doors with partitions to effectively form a plant room.

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Lee Oakley is Product Manager, Priorclave Ltd, Woolwich, London, UK.


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