Perfect bearings for food manufacturers
Food and beverage producers must take an uncompromising approach to hygiene, health and safety. They need machine solutions that can match these expectations and at the same time support lower operating costs through reducing the need for maintenance. SKF’s food line Y-bearing units have been designed to do just that.
Food and beverage processing is a particularly challenging area for machinery suppliers. Production areas can be hot, cold or humid, or they can be chemically aggressive because of the nature of the food or the consequence of strict cleaning regimes. Whatever the food or beverage industry, machinery is often exposed to frequent high-pressure wash down with caustic antibacterial cleansing agents.
SKF Y-bearings for the food industry are hygienically designed, sealed and lubricated for life with NSF-approved SKF food-grade grease and offer maintenance-free operation. The SKF Y-bearing composite housings are made of a thermoplastic composite with steel coils embedded in the housing. These give the housing a radial breaking load far greater than the static load rating of the bearing, and possibly the highest fracture strength of any composite unit available.
A f lat base enables the unit to meet f lush with its mounting surface, eliminating gaps which otherwise are potential areas for bacteria to harbour and grow, while stainless steel bolt hole inserts provide added strength to each housing foot.
Housings and bearings are resistant to the majority of common wash down solutions and require no relubrication, even in a wash down environment, thus saving time and money while providing a cleaner-running bearing unit.
To comply with health and safety regulations, the composite and stainless steel housed Y-bearing units can be supplied with effective end covers. Closed end covers are tested to withstand a 10MPa (100 bar) pressure wash for complete security and operator safety. An optional drain hole is part of the end cover design.
SKF 2RF bearing seals provide an innovative, effective, proven multibarrier design that prevents contamination and retains lubrication. During highpressure wash downs, 2RF seals keep water and detergents out of seal contact areas making the Y-bearing unit range maintenance-free.
The SKF Y-bearing is factory lubricated for life with an NSF approved SKF food-grade grease. This high-quality synthetic grease is odourless and tasteless, leaving foods unaffected. It resists washouts even during frequent high-pressure wash downs with hot or cold water containing disinfectant solutions. This grease can be used in applications where operating temperatures range from –15 °C to +120 °C.
The most sustainable aspect of the SKF Y-bearing units is centred on the ability of these units to perform in a wet, abrasive or wash down environment without requiring any relubrication for the life of the bearing unit.
The common practice in wash down environments of relubricating bearing units frequently (often daily) is deemed necessary to purge water and contaminants. Since SKF Y-bearing units require no re-greasing, they do not discharge used grease from the seals. This eliminates a major source of wastewater contamination, resulting in a cleaner plant environment and lower disposal costs for users.
For example, if 20g of lubricant is used per bearing purge during each weekly maintenance cycle that adds up to 1kg per bearing per year. Multiply that by the number of bearings in a particular application, and you can see that the results significant in terms of the cost of lubricant, staff time and disposal.