Effective conveyor chain lubrication for food processing
Our RotaLube engineers have designed and integrated automated chain lubrication systems for the world’s biggest names in food manufacturing and processing. We understand how keeping industrial chain oils away from food products and ensuring food safety is a top priority. This has led us to develop a unique solution to the issue of chain oil contamination, keeping wasted products and customer complaints to an absolute minimum.
How does chain oil contamination occur in food processing?
There are three main ways that food contamination from conveyor chain lubricant can occur:
Direct contact with food: When automated brush, drip-feed or spit systems for food processing chain lubrication are incorrectly calibrated – due to improper set-up, damage or chain stretch over time – oil can drip directly onto food products, leading to potential health hazards for consumers.
Aerosolization: When lubricant is sprayed onto a conveyor chain at high pressure, some of the lubricant will become airborne and can land on the food product or on nearby surfaces that touch the food product, leading to oil contamination.
Migration: When the lubricant is not contained within the conveyor chain – due to indiscriminate application methods, overapplication or improper maintenance – it can leak from the system onto food products or nearby surfaces. A build-up of lubricant on the chain surface can also cause dust, dirt, bacteria, mould, and other harmful microorganisms to stick to it, leading to potential further dangerous contamination of food products.
How does RotaLube ensure hygienic and food-safe lubrication?
RotaLube is an automated lubrication system that has been designed specifically to address the challenges of contamination in the food processing industry, helping to protect the quality and safety of food products.
Its targeted delivery method, via a specially designed applicator that engages with the pivot points of the conveyor chain as it moves, ensures food-grade lubricant is applied only to the pins and bushes where it is needed.
RotaLube also delivers the lubricant in controlled amounts, ensuring precisely the right amount is applied and the right time, irrespective of conveyor speed or chain stretch.
This innovative solution avoids the risk of chain lubricants dripping directly onto food products, becoming airborne and landing on food products and nearby surfaces, and the risk of contamination through leaks or lubricant build-up.
What are the other benefits of RotaLube automated chain lubrication systems for food machinery?
Avoiding contamination of food products is not the only benefit of RotaLube for the food processing industry:
Lower chain wear and lower replacement costs: RotaLube ensures optimal lubrication of conveyor chains, reducing the rate of wear and increasing their service life, meaning less money is spent on replacing chains.
Lower lubricant consumption and lower lubricant costs: By optimizing the amount of lubricant applied, RotaLube decreases the volume of lubricant consumed overall, saving money and reducing environmental impact.
Lower conveyor noise and lower energy consumption: Optimal lubrication decreases friction leading to quieter operation and less electricity required to drive the chain conveyor, also saving money and reducing environmental impact.
Simple maintenance and greater conveyor uptime: RotaLube eliminates the need for manual lubrication and the conveyor downtime it entails. The system is easy to maintain with a self-contained lubricant reservoir that can be easily refilled, leaving factory staff free to complete other tasks. RotaLube also reduces the risk of chain failure or other unplanned breakdowns due to improper lubrication.
Increased factory staff safety: By reliably automating the lubrication process and reducing the risk of slippery chain oils landing on the floor and other surfaces, RotaLube reduces the risk of injury to workers.
Which lubricants are recommended for the food processing industry?
For food processing conveyors, it is essential to pair your RotaLube system with specialist food-grade lubricants that meet all legal requirements for use in food contact applications. Working with our expert lubricant partners Interflon, Fuchs, Klüber and Castrol, we can identify the right food-safe lubricant for your individual needs and supply a complete food processing conveyor lubrication solution with the lubricant delivered on subscription.