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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Wed, May 30 2018 @ 8:30 AM

Keeping it clean: hygienic linear actuators for food safety

Cleanliness is serious business in food processing.  The potential for contamination by microbes, chemicals and other foreign substances is real and always present. And food residue can be hard to eliminate. Keeping processing equipment clean makes good business sense. (Nobody wants their brand associated with foodborne illness.) Plus, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) makes it part of the law of the land. Food processors rely on their equipment to withstand the rigors of the processing environment. That’s especially true for hygienic linear actuators for food safety.

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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Tue, Apr 17 2018 @ 8:30 AM

What to consider: electric actuators for food and beverage processing

Keeping things clean is a top concern in food and beverage processing operations because food safety is crucial.  The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), with its emphasis on preventing foodborne illness, puts even more pressure on food producers. Machine designers who serve this industry need to incorporate components that meet the industry’s demands. When it comes to electric linear actuators, there are several things a design engineer needs to consider, especially if the machine will be subjected to periodic washdowns. 

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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Tue, Apr 03 2018 @ 8:30 AM

Stainless steel linear actuators stand up to corrosion, tough conditions

Machine designers who develop systems for harsh environments often need corrosion resistant components, including stainless steel linear actuators, to stand up to challenging environmental conditions. Corrosive agents, moisture and dust in manufacturing environments impact the performance and life of automationn components.  Dust and debris may enter housings causing wear. Moisture may short electrical connections.  Corrosive agents can eat away at housings, seals, fasteners and more. For confirmation that a component will stand up to environmental factors, we recommend the IP (International Protection or Ingress Protection) rating system.

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Posted by Anonym on Tue, Jul 11 2017 @ 8:30 AM

Electric cylinders essential to advanced conveyor system [Case Study]

Conveying systems are common in manufacturing. They can be straight-forward systems that take packages from point A to point B or complex ones for sorting and diverting.  Systems used in food processing also must handle washdowns, a common practice in the industry.

As critical components, linear actuators must withstand the challenges of the application including environmental ones.  Pneumatic cylinders have been used extensively in conveying. However, electric cylinder use is growing, fueled by demand for programmability and better accuracy.

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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Tue, May 02 2017 @ 8:30 AM

Machine design, FSMA, and electric rod actuators

What a machine designer needs to know

Machine designers who serve the food processing industry face a huge opportunity.  Purchases of equipment are expected to grow 7% a year to around $70 billion by 2020.

Not surprisingly, consumer demand is fueling this growth, but equally important in the U.S. is the Food Safety Modernization Act or FSMA.  This legislation requires that food processors be proactive on food safety, that is, they must identify potential hazards and mitigate them.

A major result of the FSMA has been stepped up cleaning requirements and increased demand for hygienic equipment. That equipment needs washdown-ready components like electric rod actuators.

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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Tue, Jan 24 2017 @ 8:00 AM

Machine design, clean in place (CIP) and linear actuators

Keeping clean is important, right?  Well, in food and beverage processing and pharmaceuticals manufacturing keeping equipment clean is essential.  Cross-contamination among batches causes problems, and food or beverage residue can grow harmful microorganisms. Many plants have clean in place (CIP) systems that deliver cleaning tailored to the needs of the facility including cleaning action (force, turbulence, direction), timing/duration (when, how often, how long), temperature, and type/strength of cleaning agent.

When you design equipment for these industries you need to keep cleanability in mind.   Even components like electric linear actuators must stand up to cleaning procedures.

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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Wed, Sep 07 2016 @ 8:30 AM

Electric linear actuators meet the challenge of FSMA

The federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that was enacted in 2011 has energized the food industry around food safety and the prevention of food-borne illnesses. Most of the major producers and food equipment manufacturers have kept ahead of FSMA requirements successfully since food safety and prevention have always been among their top priorities.

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Posted by Anonym on Tue, Jun 28 2016 @ 8:30 AM

Electric linear actuator is clean-in-place, washdown ready

Stringent regulations govern the food processing industry. Food processing equipment and components, like electric linear actuators, must meet food safety regulations and stand up to clean-in-place (CIP) procedures. Food industry cleaning procedures may include regular washdowns with hot water, steam, high pressures, and caustic chemicals. Corrosion resistant materials and a water-shedding design are musts.

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Posted by Anonym on Tue, Apr 19 2016 @ 8:30 AM

Hygienic linear actuator keeps it clean

The world of food production and packaging is broad, varied and ever-changing. That world needs filling machines as diverse as the range of food products they process. Some filling machines have to handle powders and dry solids while others must handle thin or thick liquids. Some machines fill to a specified level, and some fill by volume or weight. This wide variety of equipment has a unifying need, though -- a need for hygienic design that can keep food products uncontaminated and withstand even the most stringent cleaning procedures.

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Posted by Aaron Dietrich on Tue, Apr 05 2016 @ 8:30 AM

Linear actuators help prevent food contamination

How FSMA affects linear actuator selection

Until recently, the food processing industry has handled contamination reactively. If a foodborne illness was traced back to contamination at a manufacturing plant, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had the manufacturer fix the problem.

The flaw in this system, though, was that most of these illnesses were preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. That makes food contamination a major public health issue.

The federal government stepped in to change the way the FDA and food producers operate with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – signed into law in January 2011. This important legislation shifts the focus to preventing contamination problems instead of just responding to them.  FSMA affects all automation components used in the industry, including linear actuators.

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