washdown

Essential tips for Temperature Management in the Food Industry

Guest contributor:  Karl Lycett, Product Manager for Climate Control, Rittal

Food processing is a sector that demands very high standards of efficiency to meet daily production throughput targets.  Any unexpected breakdown of critical components which stops production lines can have a major impact, not just in terms of loss of output, but also unplanned maintenance.

Electrical componentry is protected by an enclosure which is designed to protect the equipment from the ambient environment and create a secure atmosphere in which the climate is maintained within the required parameters.

As the temperature rises due to the summer months or random heat waves throughout the year, these parameters can be breached. In turn, the overall life of the componentry within the enclosures can reduce and the probability of an unexpected system failure increases drastically.

Care needs to be taken when implementing climate control equipment to ensure it is suitable to handle the rigours of the environment in which it is situated.

Below are some key aspects to consider when reviewing your climate control solutions.

Is your solution right for the environment?

The type of product being processed on-site and/or the location of the equipment within the facility are likely to heavily influence your climate control solution.

  1. If the ambient temperature of your facility remains lower, year-round, than the desired enclosure internal enclosure temperature then fan-and-filter units and air-to-air heat exchangers can be very effective. They use the ambient air to remove heat energy from the enclosure, releasing it back into the environment.If the ambient temperature rises above the desired internal temperature then units with active cooling circuits must be used. Wall/roof-mounted cooling units and air-to-water heat exchangers include a refrigerant to remove the excess heat from enclosures and maintain the desired conditions.

    Already in 2018 we have seen unexpected jumps in average temperatures across the country, and this will only increase as we move into the summer months. These jumps, as I’ve indicated, are what put cooling equipment under the most strain, therefore reviewing existing equipment sooner rather than later can reduce the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns.

  1. Dusty or acidic contamination (e.g. flour or yeast/vinegar extracts) can interfere with switchgear and cause short circuits or a reduction in service life.

HD 2

Applying filter mats to fan and filter units will help, but if the environment is extremely contaminated you might be better off installing a cooling unit to ensure that the internal and external air-paths are exclusive thus ensuring contaminated air isn’t drawn into the enclosure.

Cleaning/Maintenance Regime

Establishing a regular inspection and cleaning of cooling equipment is very good practice.  For example, vacuum cleaning units with filter mats to remove any dust and debris which might choke the fan. The will mean the unit works harder for longer and also reduces its cooling capacity.

Cooling units must also be kept clean to maintain the highest standards of hygiene. Some will be cleaned daily with pressure washers and jet steam cleaners in which case use units which meet the required ingress protection rating desired for your site and purchase additional cowls or covers as needed.

Increasing Energy Efficiency = Reduced Costs

Many food production facilities work around the clock and with energy prices rising globally, it’s vital to get early warning of any potential issue which could impact on productivity or costs.

For example, unlike speed-controlled cooling devices, such as the new Rittal Blue e+ cooling units, conventional units start when the temperature inside the enclosure gets above set point (normally 35°C) and finish when the shutdown temperature of  30°C is achieved (at a typical hysteresis of 5K).  If the device does not reach the shutdown temperature it will continue to operate at full output, using large amounts of energy.  This is one good indicator that the unit is inadequate for the job and that too little cooling air may be getting to electrical components.

The best course of action in all instances is to undertake a survey of your existing cooling equipment utilising the points above.

HD 1

Rittal is happy to offer you a free RiAssure Cooling Inspection in which one of our trained representatives visits your site to provide you with honest, clear advice on your existing equipment and its suitability within the chosen environment/process.

We will then provide you with a short report which includes feedback on the next best steps forward for your installation, whether it is implementing a maintenance contract to prolong the life of existing equipment or the replacement of units that are undersized to improve performance and increase the energy efficiency of your site.

Learn more:  https://www.rittal.com/us-en/content/en/start/

cropped-cmafh-logo-with-tagline-caps.png

CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Industrial Enclosures Protect Components in Harsh Environments

Guest contributor: Steve Sullivan, Rittal Training Manager

Industrial enclosures face harsh conditions. From blazing to frigid temperatures, to dust, oil, dirt, airborne corrosives and liquids. Industrial engineers know that the manufacturing environment poses a multitude of challenges to the integrity of the control panel infrastructure.

 Environmental protection of the control panel infrastructure is never simple. Determining factors in the selection of an industrial enclosure can include the most extreme conditions. The key to selecting the superior enclosure is evaluating the harshest environment possible, and specifying an enclosure that can withstand any setting.

Foreign substances

Environment elements that can affect the performance of the control panel include the picture-2
penetration of foreign substances (water, dust, dirt, oils, etc.). The delicate electronic equipment housed inside the enclosure can fail with even minimal exposure to external substances.

The Rittal TS 8 combats the ingress of these substances with a four-point latching system and a foamed-in-place gasket system. This forms a continuous barrier around the enclosure skin ensuring a gap-free seal. This creates a superior seal and memory retention to block out the challenges of any environment.

Temperature

The control panel infrastructure faces temperature challenges on two fronts. First, internal temperature is affected by the heat generated from the operation of control panel devices. The external or ambient temperature also affects the enclosure and the operating control panels.

Fully compatible with the TS 8 is Rittal’s line of cooling solutions for both enclosure based and room based thermal management. With 30% to 50% of energy costs attributed to cooling systems, Rittal designs maximum cooling efficiency into each solution: CRAC, in line/in row, chillers, pipe installations, water distribution cabinets or water heat exchangers.

The delicate dew point balance between the load temperature and the ambient temperature is maintained, preventing damaging condensation of the control panels.

Washdown

When washdown of enclosures is required, the control panels must be protected. Exposed to harsh chemical cleansers, high pressure and/or heated water and frequent cleaning can break down some sealing systems. Rittal’s impervious seal guards the vital control panel components from the most stringent cleaning procedures.

Corrosive Elements

Whether an enclosure is in an indoor or outdoor environment, corrosion can be a factor in the breakdown of the enclosure’s durability. Outdoor factors such as sun, snow, salt or chemicals can damage the exterior of some enclosures. Acids, solvents, alkalis, oils and industrial chemicals can threaten an enclosure housed on the factory floor.

Rittal engineers designed a three-step painting process to combat any environmental abuse. Similar to the process used in the automotive industry, an electrophoretic dip-coat primer is applied, followed by a two-part primer nano-coat and final powder coat. This provides a finished external barrier on the TS 8 for any climate, interior or exterior.

Enclosure material construction

A variety of materials have been used for industrial enclosures. The stainless steel 316 construction of the Rittal TS 8 has been proven to be impervious to the most corrosive environments and superior to lesser steel or powder coated materials. Stainless steel 316, combined with the three-step finish has proven durability in the most extreme conditions.

The environmental protection offered by the Rittal TS 8 has been field tested in more than 10 million installations, in industries like oil and gas, mining, pulp and paper, food and beverage and life sciences. For more information on the TS 8 and all of Rittal’s flexible industrial solutions, download our Fact Book today to start your change for the better.

About Us

cropped-cmafh-logo-with-tagline-caps.png

CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Acids Can Put Your Sensors in a Pickle

Guest contributor,  Henry Menke, Balluff

In many types of metals production, pickling is a process that is essential to removing impurities and contaminants from the surface of the material prior to further processing, such as the application of anti-corrosion coatings.

In steel production, two common pickling solutions or pickle liquors are hydrochloric acid (HCl) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Both of these acids are very effective at removing rust and iron oxide scale from the steel prior to additional processing, for example galvanizing or rolling. The choice of acid depends on the processing temperature, the type of steel being processed, and environmental containment and recovery considerations. Hydrochloric acid creates corrosive fumes when heated, so it typically must be used at lower temperatures where processing times are longer. It is also more expensive to recover when spent. Sulfuric acid can be used at higher temperatures for faster processing, but it can attack the base metal more aggressively and create embrittlement due to hydrogen diffusion into the metal.

Acids can be just as tough on all of the equipment involved in the pickling lines, including sensors. When selecting sensors for use in areas involving liquid acid solutions and gaseous fumes and vapors, care must be given to the types of acids involved and to the materials used in the construction of the sensor, particularly the materials that may be in direct contact with the media.

PressureSensor

A pressure sensor specifically designed for use with acidic media, at temperatures up to 125 degrees C.

A manufacturer of silicon steel was having issues with frequent failure of mechanical pressure sensors on the pickling line, due to the effects of severe corrosion from hydrochloric acid at 25% concentration. After determination of the root cause of these failures and evaluation of alternatives, the maintenance team selected an electronic pressure sensor with a process connection custom-made from PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride), a VitonTM O-ring, and a ceramic (rather than standard stainless steel) pressure diaphragm. This changeover eliminated the corroded mechanical pressure sensors as an ongoing maintenance problem, increasing equipment availability and freeing up maintenance personnel to address other issues on the line.

The basics of IP69K washdown explained

Guest contributor, Will Healy III, Balluff

Ask 10 engineers working in Food & Beverage manufacturing what “washdown” means to them and you will probably get about 12 answers.  Ask them why they wash down equipment and a more consistent answer appears, everyone is concerned about making clean healthy food and they want to reduce areas of harborage for bacteria.  These environments tend to be cool & wet which usually leads the engineers to ask for 316L stainless steel & ingress protection of IP69K from component manufacturers and also ask for special component ratings.

So what are the basic elements of the washdown procedure?

  • Hot! – Minimum 140F to kill microbes & bacteria.
  • High Pressure! – Up to 1000psi to blast away soiled material.
  • Nasty! – Water, caustics, acid detergents, spray & foam everywhere.
  • Hard Work! – Typically includes a hand cleaning or scrubbing of key components.
  • Regular! – Typically 15-20hrs per week are spent cleaning equipment but in dairy & meat it can be more.

What requirements are put onto components exposed to washdown?

  • Stainless Steel resists corrosion and is polished to level the microscopic roughness that provides harborage for bacteria.
  • Special Component Ratings:
    • ECOLAB chemical testing for housings
    • FDA approved materials
    • 3A USA hygienic for US Equipment
    • EHEDG hygienic for European Equipment
  • IP69K is tested to be protected from high pressure steam cleaning per DIN40050 part 9; this is not guaranteed to be immersion rated (IP67) unless specifically identified.

If you are interested in what sensors, networking & RFID products are available for use in food and beverage manufacturing with a washdown environment, please visit www.balluff.us.