Dry lubrication in food & beverage industry and its advantages

The evolution of the dry lubrication in the bottling industry was launched by AEB at the end of 2007 when Sintodry has been presented and has been optimized during the following years by the creation of an automatic system of distribution.

Dry lubrication is based on formulations that are ready to use, that is with no dilution in water, and supplied automatically on the belts, by specific equipment and suitable spraying stations, for short time – from 5” to 15” with a time interval that may reach 4-5 hours between one delivery and the other.

This system, called Dry-System, enables a product saving in volume of about 70-80% and this means a saving of more than 50% from the economic point of view. The advantages obtained by the adoption of so performing dry lubricants are:

  • very low product consumption if compared to the wet lubrication systems with traditional products based on fatty acids, amines and silicon;
  • no water consumption;
  • convincing decrease of waste material and of substances – produced by the lubrication – difficult to be discharged run into waste water treatment stations;
  • no danger that operators can slide, hence a reduction in the possible accidents caused by the lubricant solution on the floors.
  • no risk of inhalation of ammines that are irritating for operators;
  • total absence of water and foam on the belts and hence on the underlying floor, with an improvement of hygenical conditions of production rooms; it allows a strong reduction of contamination of bottled products, as we know that wet floors are the origin of microbial aerosols that take bacteria and mold spores into the bottles.

The last listed advantage meets the modern “Food and Drinks production guide-lines” that aim at reducing the amount of cleaning and disinfecting chemicals used in this kind of plants without any decrease of hygienic level of surfaces and surroundings.

The adoption of a proper dry lubrication has the same importance and it is additional to hygienic conception of production rooms. For instance, dry lubrication is compulsory in case of clean room for liquid filling.

A 360 degree service and the attention to Regulatory Management
AEB provides a technical-commercial organization able to:

  • carry out all necessary inspections and evaluations in order to choose the formulations and equipment suitable to any production plant;
  • install control panels and lubrication lines;
  • prepare and optimize the system;
  • carry out programmed interventions to verify the equipment/product in order to grant the effectiveness and the maximum economic management of the plant;
  • carry out possible modifications of the lubrication plant if there are changes in the order of the equipment and the relative conveyor belts.

All AEB formulations comply with EC Regulations about the utilization of chemical products in companies packaging, storing and transporting foodstuff and in particular with EC Regulation 852/2004 and those regulating the application of the HACCP self-control system.

Dry lubricants and the properties of Sintodry

The silicon-based formulation for the “dry” utilization proposed by AEB is Sintodry, a liquid lubricant for conveyor belts for the transport of plastic (PET) and poly-coupled carton (TETRA type) containers for liquid products, glass and cans, to be exclusively used for plastic conveyor belts in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical sector. The usage concentration as it is.

It is clear that the only lubrication aspect, in terms of effectiveness and performance, represents for a bottling plant an element not to be set aside from other factors such as the line structure, their arrangement inside the production area and the effectiveness of the equipment.

Considering these general concepts, it is clear that the choice of a lubricant and of its proper supply system will necessarily be subject to some considerations. In particular, the factors to be considered are:

  • the technical-applicative aspect intended in its wider context (belt speed, supply modality, friction coefficient, container weight, kind of water, etc.);
  • the guarantee that the container is not directly (composition material) nor indirectly (serigraphy, label, production data, etc.) attacked;
  • the ecological-environmental aspect intended in the wider sense of observance of the functionality of depuration plants;
  • the safety aspect for operators present in production areas;
  • the cost/yield aspect.

The lubricant compatibility with composition materials (conveyor belts and containers) represents of course the first argument to face. It is useless to choose a formulation if it does not grant that it does not attack surfaces, independently from all other factors that may be considered afterwards.

In order to value the “compatibility” between lubricant and container, trials are carried out on the different materials (glass, PET, PVC, paper/poly-coupled, tinned plate) and also on the impact towards serigraphy, inks, etc.

Other evaluations are made when the lubricant is optimized, with the survey of the different friction values, suitably measured.

The friction survey is carried out in the different parts of the conveyor belts, empty or full containers – accumulation areas – production stop with belts moving – areas with a particular friction – belts utilized for packaging in different sizes.

All the gathered information will contribute to define the supply/non supply times, the number of spraying station and the kind of supply heads. AEB Technical Service can also react to any kind of variation in production (e.g. soaring of number of bottles filled/hour, change of volume of filled containers, etc.) providing in short time new parameters that enhance productivity in the new conditions.

Lubimatic Control Dry, the dry lubrication professional equipment designed AEB Engineering
AEB Engineering, the division of AEB specialized in professional equipment for food and beverage industry, proposes Lubimatic Control Dry, centralized device for the automatic supply of “DRY” lubricants, with a ON/OFF programmable timing system. In this system the dry lubricant is conveyed to the line by means of a membrane pneumatic pump with a pressure of 2,5-3 Bar. The system is suitable for one or more lines with the application of “satellites” and is able to supply up to 80-90 spraying stations. The spraying stations utilized with Lubimatic Control Dry are dry-system and anti-drop and are able to grant a particular homogeneous nebulization of the product on the entire surface of conveyors. Lubimatic Control Dry can be used only with AEB “DRY” lubricants Sintodry.

 

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