Are Your Bearings Really Considered ‘Food Safe’?

By IBT Inc

March 12, 2019

Bearings, IBT

Consumer expectations and stringent health regulations increasingly challenge food manufacturers to guarantee higher food grade and hygiene standards. However, harsh chemicals and high-pressure sprays used in clean-in-place (CIP) procedures can quickly deteriorate product reliability.

To avoid recalls costing up to $10 million, on average, producers must take a proactive approach to control and prevent foodborne illnesses. Having the right processes in place, and equipment that is designed around food safety principles is critical. This is especially true for smaller components, like bearings, that are highly susceptible to failure due to grease washout and corrosion.

Bearings in the food and beverage industry once required end covers to maintain IP69 hygiene standards for water. ABB’s Dodge® Food Safe bearings are the first bearings on the market to meet this requirement without the use of an end cover.

Food Grade Bearings

Food Safe Bearings Must Meet IP69 Ratings

To be considered “food safe,” bearings must meet the Ingress Protection (IP) 69 rating for water. This rating, according to IEC regulations, has quickly become the sanitary standard for operations in harsh washdown environments. Products rated for IP69 (for water) must pass strict testing to prove they are protected against high temperature and high-pressure spray at close proximity.

IP69 Rating Test Procedures

  • 176 Fahrenheit
  • 1160 – 1450 psi
  • Distance: 4 – 6 inches
  • Flow rate: 4 gallons per minute
  • 5 r/min
  • 4 spray positions; 0, 30, 60, 90 degrees
  • 30 seconds per position

To meet the IP69 rating (for water), a bearing cannot allow any water past the seal under the extreme test parameters outlined above.

Defend Against Caustic, High-Pressure Cleaning & Sanitation Processes

Aggressive cleaning and sanitation practices are also necessary to meet food-grade regulations. However, these processes can be extremely tough on equipment.

Dodge Food Safe bearings are resilient against the caustic chemicals and high-pressure washdown used in sanitation practices. The bearings’ 100% stainless steel insert design combined with a revolutionary topcoat, KleenTec, offers superior protection against corrosion. The smooth housing, without a grease fitting, minimizes contamination harbor points and is easy to clean. The bearing is also sealed and lubricated for life to minimize maintenance costs.

Grease Wash-out Prevention + Lubrication Protection

Grease wash-out under high-pressure sprays is a leading cause for bearing failure in washdown environments. Another key component of being considered “food safe” is that the bearing must be equipped with industry-leading lubrication protection; this is typically achieved with the addition of an end cover.

However, ABB’s Hydro armor sealing system, with a stainless steel flinger and four contact lip seals, has proven to prevent water and contamination from entering the bearing. Together, with the patented ball retainer and the Maxlife cage, Dodge Food Safe bearings retain a large volume of grease in compartments around the rolling elements, ensuring additional protection during high-pressure cleaning.

Don’t Let Bearings Below Food Grade Standards Be The Weak Link In Your Production Chain

Dodge Food Safe Bearings

Get A 1-Year Warranty Against Dodge Bearing Failure Due To Water Ingress  – Dodge Food Safe bearings are available in a variety of housing styles, including pillow block, tapped base, flange, and take-ups ranging in sizes from ½ inch (20mm) up to 1-15/16 inch (50 mm). ABB is so confident in their design that customers can register their Food Safe bearing to receive a one-year warranty against failure due to water ingress.

To learn more about how ABB’s Dodge Food Safe Bearings can improve reliability for your clean-in-place procedures, Contact your local IBT sales rep today!