Whether its strong cleaning chemicals or oils from the foods being processed, the cables connecting the machinery need to be designed and crafted to withstand these often harsh liquids.
Thankfully, there are cables that exist for this very purpose. A hygienic cable will be resistant to potentially harmful microbes and bacteria, as well as possessing a number of additional beneficial properties.
Factory contamination of food and drink products can lead to the public becoming ill, as well as expensive product recalls. Bacteria can quickly accumulate on foods in conditions which are not completely sterile, especially food products which are particularly perishable.
Some strains of bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella can be potentially life threatening, and can be found and spread from raw meats. If food processing machinery is not thoroughly disinfected, this bacteria has the chance to accumulate and be passed onto a number of product batches along an assembly line.
As well as being resistant to microbes, hygienic cables are typically resistant to harsh chemicals. This is essential for cabling within the food and beverage industry, as the machinery used within the factories requires extensive and regular cleaning.
Cables which are not resistant to strong chemicals can quickly become damaged, which can lead to costly halts in production, and well as the risk of a fire occurring. Strong bleaches and other cleaning solutions can degrade certain materials over time, and so a tough polyurethane sheath on cables offers a good resistance.
These cables are typically resistant to contact with both animal and vegetable oils and greases, making them much easier to clean. The Lapp OLFLEX range of hygienic cables also possess a good resistance to ammonia compounds and bio-gases.
Ammonia is one of the most common chemicals found within cleaning solutions, within both households and industrial environments. Bio-gases are produced from the breakdown of organic matter such as food waste and plants.
With the constant need for strong cleaning chemicals on the machinery within food processing, a cable which has chemical resistance is just as important as its hygienic properties.
The use of hygienic cable glands is also essential for the machinery within food industries. Cable glands attach to, and secure the end of cables to their corresponding equipment. These cable glands, like every other part of the machinery, also need to be regularly cleaned in order to avoid contamination occurring.
The traditional cable gland design features grooves which can easily gather dirt and grime, which can be a potential hazard for certain industries. A specially designed hygienic cable gland will typically consist of no gaps, outer threads and edges. This makes the regular cleaning process much easier, as well as quicker.