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Connectivity for the food processing industry
The food processing industry sets high demands in terms of hygiene and process security that by far exceed those of the classical machinery. These demands can be transferred on-to-one to connectors and cables. The German connectivity specialist ESCHA offers a broad product range in so-called «Hygienic Design» that can be used without any concerns in this demanding application area due to specifically selected plastics and cable qualities as well as highest protection classes (IP67, IP68 and IP69). ESCHA has set up a portfolio that includes connectivity solutions for the three typical zones within the food- and beverage industry: Contact zone, spray zone and packaging zone.
In the contact zone, food can get in contact with system parts and afterwards be returned to the handling process. Therefore, the hygiene requirements are particularly high in this area. To avoid the deposit of residues, connectors may not contain any dirt pockets. That is why ESCHA has developed a product range of M8- and M12-connectors in Hygienic Design, referring to EHEDG directives (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group). Moreover, FDA compliant materials and a high-quality TPE cable quality guarantee a high resistance to sour and alkaline cleaning- and disinfectant agents. All sealing- and optical properties of the connectors are maintained in the long run despite regular use of steam-jet- and high-pressure cleaning.
In the spray zone – also called wash-down zone – food may also enter in contact with system parts, but will not be returned to the handling process. Thus, the hygiene requirements towards connectors and cables are correspondingly lower in this zone. ESCHA offers easy to clean M8- and M12-connectors in Hygienic Design, which are equipped with a PVC cable quality adapted to the spray zone. The M12-connectors are also optionally available with high-quality plastic locking nuts, which offer a cost-effective alternative to the usual V4A stainless steel.
In contrast to the contact zone and the spray zone, the packaging zone is comparable to the classic industrial area. The food can no longer get in contact with system parts there. Therefore, aggressive cleaning agents and steam-jet cleaning are not required. For this zone, ESCHA has set up a multi-variant product range, which uses products from the proven sensor-/actuator wiring. This means that the entire range of different standard cable qualities is available. From the all-rounder «S370» to robotic cables to particularly flexible cables that easily withstand several million torsion- and bending cycles and are therefore predestined for use in drag-chain applications.