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Hygiene regulations as a challenge for machines and components

Resistant to heat, cold and moisture

Machines, systems and components have to comply with very particular requirements in the food industry. Strict specifications are designed to ensure that only hygienically perfect goods enter the market. This is not always easy because the industrial environment in the food and beverage industry is often characterised by humidity and high temperatures. In addition, a variety of chemicals and corrosive cleaning agents are used to clean the facilities.

The hygiene standards are defined by the EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group) as well as by the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration). If all specifications are met, the manufacturer receives the coveted EHEDG certificate for its component. This includes HUMMEL AG with the HSK-INOX-HD Pro stainless steel cable gland. This cable gland was developed according to strict hygienic standards and received the EHEDG certification.

"That was an important reason why we chose this cable gland," says Sascha Krause, Product Manager of Groschopp AG in Viersen. The company from the Lower Rhine, a renowned manufacturer of electric motors and gearboxes, has many years of experience in the food processing industry. The new, hygienic-design stainless steel motors were developed using the latest hygienic safety and were designed in accordance with EHEDG guidelines.

The stainless steel motor has a very smooth surface (roughness Ra ≤ 0.8 μm) and can also be cleaned with high pressure due to its high degree of protection (IP69K). By ensuring the design is free of dead spaces or external elements, the surface can be cleaned without leaving residues. As a result, no bacteria nests can develop.

This also applies to the cable gland made of stainless steel (AISI 316L). The design which features no corners and edges, with its low surface roughness (Ra ≤ 0.8 μm), is easy to clean, which means that microorganisms and bacteria are unable to establish themselves. All materials used are halogen and phosphorus free. The high quality silicone gasket guarantees a high strain relief for cables. In addition, there are other aspects such as a 360° EMC contact, a torsion protection for sealing insert and cable as well as a quick and easy installation without special tools. "We have found that the HUMMEL fittings are very easy to fit. The EMC protection is also excellently packaged”, reports Krause and adds: "We’ve found an excellent solution from a hygiene perspective for a critical cable connection which also meets all requirements for use in the food industry as well as for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry".