Hygienic and robust: Connectors for the food industry
With Han® F+B, HARTING has created a range of connectors that are specially designed for the requirements of the food industry. Smooth surfaces make it harder for bacteria to accumulate. The hoods, housings and seals are robust and protect the internal contacts against hose water and aggressive cleaning agents.
Hygiene and safety are particularly important in food processing. Machines and equipment must be designed so that they are easy to clean; dirt pockets must be avoided. The right connectors help the equipment to meet these requirements. The junctions, surfaces, threads and seals of the Han® F+B special connectors were therefore designed in a way that prevents dirt particles from sticking to them and therefore makes it harder for bacteria to accumulate.
Han® F+B plastic hoods and housings are water-repellent and suitable for cleaning agents which are certified by Ecolab and have FDA 21 approvals. The water jet from high-pressure cleaners cannot penetrate the hoods/housings when closed.
Users can keep machine disruptions to a minimum with Han® F+B. For example, you do not need to open any cable glands on the electrical cabinet to uncouple field devices. Complicated removal and reinstallation of fixed wiring is not required. Connectors make the installation of equipment quicker, and shortens tool changes and service tasks.
Constantly in the product and spray zone
The product zone is the zone with direct contact with food and makes the highest demands on machines and components. This area is often kept small to reduce the cleaning effort. Because electromechanical interfaces would interrupt the smooth surfaces, they are mounted outside this zone where possible.
Food in the spray zone can come into contact with the surrounding components. Processing material, which has come into contact, must not re-enter the product stream. Despite all efforts, residues can get stuck on the components, enabling bacteria to accumulate. Therefore, after batches are processed, this zone must be cleaned at high pressure with chemicals. Connectors are practical here, but must be able to withstand the pressure of the cleaner. The design of the Han® F+B hoods and housings has been adapted to the requirements of this zone
Application: Packing machines for the spray zone
The company Packaging Automation, manufacturer of tray sealers in Knutsford, Great Britain, has been using this connector since a joint developmental stage. “Thanks to Han® F+B, we have no more problems with connecting machine elements”, reports Steve Woodhead, Design Engineer at PA. “Thanks to the connector, we have achieved more standardisation in the lower area of the machines. We can now replace inserts, such as exhaust systems and carry out changes without having to redesign the complete metal structure of the tray sealer.”