The food manufacturing industry is continuing to clean up with ever tighter hygiene standards and regulations. There are an array of international and domestic systems and standards in place which set the benchmark for trade. These systems and standards are not only a challenge for food industry manufacturers but also component providers, such as SMC. Companies need to stay one step ahead to ensure their products are fully compliant with the latest guidelines whilst still providing the flexibility to adapt to individual needs – and this was the challenge facing SMC when a customer asked them to develop a bespoke cylinder for a tomato sauce packaging machine.
Due to the proximity of the cylinder to the tomato sauce and the requirement for aseptic processing, the cylinder had to operate without any risk of contamination from bronze particles which could be generated by the operating cylinder. SMC’s CG5 was the ideal solution. The CG5 has a clean profile featuring stainless steel 316 SUS as standard, which is resistant to chemical-based cleaning agents and is easy to clean. By exporting technical ideas from clean room applications in the semiconductor industry, SMC’s R&D team modified the CG5 to meet the customer’s needs. They adapted the standard cylinder to withstand operating temperatures of 80°C and introduced a specially adapted vacuum relief port on the head cover with double rod sealing, to remove bronze particles.
SMC’s Product Promotions Manager, Pete Humphreys, explained: “We offer a range of hygienic solutions for the food industry and have a growing reputation for taking the lead in terms of innovation. We have built our business over the last 50 years based not only on the quality of our pneumatic products, but also on first class customer relationships – proven by listening to their needs and delivering tailor-made solutions.”
Other products in SMC’s range for food industry manufacturers include stainless steel one-touch fitting and speed controllers, featuring FKM seal material. These products are ideal for processes with water splashes as well as for applications that use chemicals for washing. They are capable of operating within a broad range of temperatures, from -5 to 150°C.
For those requiring a contamination-controlled regulator, SMC’s SRH series is specially designed using stainless steel (SUS316), making it corrosion-resistant. The Hygienic Namur Interface Valves are designed to conform to VDMA Standard, IP67 and operate within ambient and fluid temperatures of -10 to 60°C.
With many more products in the Food Industry range and with over 11,000 basic products and more than 600,000 variations, SMC is recognised as the global technology leader in the pneumatics industry. As well as ‘off-the-shelf” solutions, the company also offers bespoke solutions for the specific needs of its customers. For more information, please visit the Food Industry section of our website at www.smcpneumatics.co.uk