Today food & beverage processing and pharma producers along with their packaging machine builders have begun shifting their design specifications from “washdown” to “hygienic design” to mitigate illness risks, address some highly publicized food recalls and to keep up with ever-changing supply chain demands.
The focus in these industries used to be on equipment built to withstand high pressure and chemical washdown procedures utilizing ingress protected components. Now, these industries are updating their requirements to incorporate hygienic designs into the components used on their machines.
Food regulations and standards are beginning the shift to hygienic design elements, with the processing and packaging equipment builders following this trend. New standards to NSF, 3-A and EHEDG have been added to their guidelines for hygienic design basics including developing food risk assessments. These additions are similar to ones used for machine safety and network security. Additionally, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has tasked companies with the responsibility of developing and implementing a Food Safety Plan. This plan requires companies to implement preventative measures to reduce risk of contamination during food production, packaging and transportation. Just like with safety: risk identification, hazard identification, hazard evaluation, implementation of control measures and documentation must be completed in order to be compliant with new regulations.
Vendors are answering the call for products focused on hygienic design. New additions to Rockwell Automation’s offering include the Allen-Bradley Kinetix VPH hygienic servo motor and the NSF-certified Allen-Bradley PanelView graphic terminal. The servo motor is made using 316-grade stainless steel, and designed to meet 3-A and EHEDG guidelines.
nVent Hoffman’s new Hyshed enclosures are also designed with sanitary 3-A standards in mind. Not only can the Hyshed withstand high pressure washdowns, the entire enclosure is designed to reduce bacteria growth. By using sloped edges and reducing any crevices, the Hyshed eliminates bacteria catch-points and areas where fluids can collect.
For more information on these important changes, check out Rockwell Automation’s blog: “From Washdown to Hygienic Design” written by John Dart.