The main challenges for the Food & Beverage industry are speed, performance and safety, and OEM's are looking for more production and less waste says Siemens.
However, sourcing equipment that reacts well to a regular high-pressure washdown has its challenges, as even the smallest sealing flaws will result in water ingress into machinery.
Speaking to FoodProductionDaily at Pack Expo in Las Vegas, Ajay Rana, senior sales application engineer, Siemens US, said in the future when buying machinery, manufacturers will get help with addressing this problem by the ingress protection (IP) rating system in IEC 60529, with category IP69K specifically relating to high-pressure washdown.
Food Safety Modernization Act
The IP69K rating is the highest protection available in food processing according to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), where hygiene and cleanliness is paramount.
“The next five years will be crucial for washdown motors,” said Rana.
“When equipment is installed at a facility and operators take a pressure hose and clean the whole machine they don’t care if it’s a motor, a cable or a drive they just want it clean according to the industry standard. There is no way of efficiently washing a machine.
“But, right now, the industry is going in the direction where manufacturers are looking to have stainless steel motors so it doesn’t matter how much pressure you apply because there is no rust and nothing gets burned out.”
Siemens IP67 motors
Rana added machines coming out on the market will be so robust they will be built like a ‘tank’ in future.
“We had washdown motors before but they weren’t precise. They (manufacturers) are trying to build them more like a tank so nothing happens if you wash them. All the Siemens IP67 motors are washdown and have a good shelf life but we are still working on pushing out a motor which is stainless steel where everything is enclosed inside,” he said.
Siemens showcased its portfolio at Pack Expo including its Sinamics S120 drives for motion control applications, the Sinamics Startdrive software for automation integration, Simotion motion controllers, and Simotics motors for multi-axis packaging machines.
The company recently announced Miguel-Angel López, previously CFO of Siemens Industry Automation Division, will become the CFO of the Industry Sector, effective from October 1.