December marks the special occasion of Food Service Safety Month, of which FTL Technology are proud supporters.
Celebrated worldwide since 1994, the event is an annual designation focused on the importance of keeping food safe as it’s prepared in the service industry.
From small high street cafes to huge factories producing foodstuffs on a large scale, every establishment - whether buying, storing, preparing, or serving food - must meet stringent food safety standards demanded by the industry.
FTL Technology has been supplying superior food seals for the industry for many years, and this has given us a deep understanding of many of the unique challenges faced in critical food applications.
Our engineers have designed, manufactured and installed seals for all types of food processing equipment including blenders (ribbon/plow), food mixers, agitators, screw conveyors, paddle mixers, media grinders and seals for cooking and extrusion.
Real Case Study: Food Seal review for hygiene and maintenance
A global manufacturer of pioneering nutritional solutions had identified a need to review and possibly replace its existing mechanical (braided) packing sealing to address possible issues of contamination and to also reduce ongoing costs related directly to the maintenance of the mixers seals.
The client’s objectives
There were concerns in relation to the CIP/SIP process namely:
- Inherently, mechanical packing can harbor unwanted media from previous batches and from CIP/SIP process resulting in a ‘bug trap’ in the sealing area.
The current braided seals were replaced regularly resulting in cost accumulation from replacement seals, direct engineering labour and production downtime.
- Any sealing solution must comprise fully FDA compliant materials and accommodated Clean-in-Place practices and be of a split configuration for each of maintenance.
A split design MECO Outside Face Seal Type II (OFSN-472SL-RB) was advised.
The seal is manufactured to the highest quality comprising of:
- Stainless steel stationary seat faces
- A proprietary FDA compliant polymer for the rotating seat face
- Stainless steel drive and spring assembly
- FDA compliant static sealing O-rings
The design featured made the solution ideally suited to the manufacturer’s blenders because it offered:
- No modification to existing blender was required as we supplied an adapter plate to match existing geometry
- Split design allowed easy maintenance
- Spring- loaded seal faces reduce the need for re-tightening of packing gland studs
- Abrasion resistant FDA compliant filled PTFE rotors
- Increased shaft life as sealing elements do not run/wear against the shaft
- Improved seal condition monitoring as sealing faces can be inspected as they are mounted outside the blender
- The outside face seal design allows Clean-in-Place and was designed to prevent the creation of bug traps
- There was no need to replace seal elements as part of CIP. Parts would only need replacing when worn beyond effective use (or before predicted failure)
- Allows dry running so no ‘running in’ period required as with braided packing.
FTL supported the global manufacturer with a full application survey in order to determine exact equipment dimensions and to check the operating parameters. FTL engineers installed the seal and provided training for the team.
Project Timeline & Costs
FTL Technology estimated breakeven costs to be achieved within 5 months. Each seal will save approximately £4000 in direct costs per month after the initial breakeven.
Each seal is set to provide savings of approximately £180k over a four-year period and all seals installed on the four mixers will achieve savings of up to £1million over five years.
|Cost of Ownership Model|
|Yearly Batch Scrap Cost||£0|
|Current Yearly Leakage Loss Cost||£2,500|
|Total Annual Savings||£12,917|
Our engineers understand that the challenges faced for food sealing solutions can be unique and must meet a multitude of industry standards. The potential risk to human health and value of food APIs mean batch losses and downtime cannot happen.
FTL Technology is a proud supporter of Food Service Safety Month and will continue to demonstrate our expertise in the industry by delivering sealing products and comprehensive support and services to solve your sealing problem.
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