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Bearings designed for food industry S

KF has introduced a new series of food industry compliant

bearings that help to minimise the risk of food adulteration and contamination, and subsequent product recalls. The new range of Food Line stainless steel deep groove ball bearings (VP311) meets two key requirements of the food industry: seals made from synthetic rubber compliant with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as EC requirements, coloured blue for ease of optical detectability, should they be damaged; and high quality grease, suitable for typical food and beverage application conditions registered as NSF category H1. The Food Line family includes 19

different standard sizes of deep groove ball bearings from SKF’s comprehensive range, in diameters ranging from 8mm to 40mm.

“Both the blue seal and the lubricant were developed for use in food and beverage applications,” says David Oliver, SKF Europe Industry Manager Food and Beverage. “The overall bearing meets the highest standards of food management systems and regulations.”

Food safety management systems such as HACCP are placing ever greater importance on safe food production processes. Many food product recalls

component. SKF stainless steel deep groove ball

bearings offer high resistance to corrosion, so that they can withstand the aggressive wash-down regimes that are necessary in the food industry. The special seal enhances this, helping to retain lubricant and prevent ingress of wash-down fluids.

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are necessitated by the possible presence of hard or sharp objects, so food safety and detectability are high priorities for any components operating close to the food stream. The same is true of lubricants, and for this reason food-grade lubricants are increasingly used on a plant-wide basis to remove the possibility of accidentally applying a non-food grease to a critical

Extending service life of process instruments K

-Patents, a Finnish process instrument manufacturer, has been able to dramatically extend its instrument service life, increase reliability and safety, and reduce costs for the company and its customers. It has done this by switching from gasket seals made of PTFE to custom gaskets made of DuPont Kalrez perfluoroelastomer parts, which are used in the sensor head of a process instrument refractometer.

Through permanent in-line fluids immersion, K-Patents’ PR-01-S refractometer is exposed to temperatures from –20° to 220°C, pressures from –0.7 to 25 bar, and some 500 process fluids and chemicals, many of which are extremely aggressive. Delicate digital detector circuits and fibre optics in the sensor head are sealed by two gaskets from attack by aggressive fluids. Because of inherent inelasticity, the original PTFE gaskets could not withstand the dynamic temperature fluctuations of many food, pulp and paper and chemical manufacturing processes, creating a leak path allowing process media to enter and damage the device. As a result, costly replacement of the PTFE seal became necessary approximately every six to 12 months.


Esko Kamrat, design engineer at K-Patents, decided to replace the PTFE seals with gaskets of Kalrez. He reports that, due to its elasticity and high chemical and heat resistance, the perfluoroelastomer is now achieving as much as 10 years service life without leakage.

The frequency of costly repair of the

PR-01-S refractometer has also been much reduced. Kalrez perfluoroelastomer parts have provided superior performance in a variety of demanding sealing applications. Kalrez resists more than 1,800 chemicals and is thermally stable up to 327°C. n

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