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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