With the sophisticated demands in food processing and production, safety and
quality, every component within food equipment is critical. Any machinery with moving parts
has friction and ‘wear’ issues, and to accommodate most equipment uses a
standard bearing. But in applications where the standard bearings compromise food contact
areas, Mepaco offers the polymer bearing.
Standard issue bearings are typically ball bearings, mounted in a painted cast iron
housing. While the painted coatings are a sealant and deliver anti-corrosive benefits, rust
and paint chips can still exist and find its way into the product path. Secondly,
maintenance, disassembly, and replacement of bearings is very time consuming in a busy
production setting. And lastly, if used above an open product path, grease may cause product
contamination. For these reasons, steel ball bearings are best used in equipment and areas
where they will not come in contact with food.
In food processing environments, producers should consider polymer bearings to
mitigate food safety risks.
The polymer bearing has a moderate up front investment – more than steel
bearings – but the Total Cost of Ownership is lower, because of fewer maintenance,
safety and sanitation issues.
Mepaco’s polymer bearing is a solid, self-lubricating polymer that is
absent of ball bearings. This ensures fewer parts, lowering the chance for breakage or
malfunction. In place of the ball bearings, the polymer bearing includes a self lubricating
insert, which eliminates the need for grease. That insert can also be replaced without
needing to replace the entire housing, reducing the Total Cost of Ownership.
In recent Mepaco systems, the polymer bearing is showing much promise in new
applications within traditional food processing environments. While not steel or cast iron
in build, the polymer is ‘holding up’, proving to display the durability
and efficiency in design.
Polymer technology is changing the face of many industries, and the food industry
is no different. The advanced polymer bearings available in Mepaco products represent the
promise of innovative components. And with a lower Total Cost of Ownership along with
improved quality and efficiency, the smooth polymer bearing should be a reliable transition
for all producers.
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