12/04/2013

The world's first low-backlash planetary gearhead in hygienic design made by WITTENSTEIN alpha: Highly dynamic in hygienic production

At the forthcoming Hanover Fair WITTENSTEIN alpha GmbH will present the world's first low-backlash planetary gearhead that is suitable for hygienic production.

At the forthcoming Hanover Fair WITTENSTEIN alpha GmbH will present the world's first low-backlash planetary gearhead that is suitable for hygienic production.

Designed and certified according to EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group) rules to ensure optimal material resistance and cleanability, the new Hygienic Design series meets even the most stringent requirements of the food and pharmaceutical packaging industries, for instance. These coaxial, highly dynamic planetary gearheads are available in several different performance classes.

Outstanding robustness, resistance and cleanability were three key priorities when determining the housing design, choice of materials and processing techniques for the hygienic planetary gearheads.

 

Housing: robust and easy to clean

The housing is completely free of edges, dead spaces and gaps that could provide a breeding ground for bacteria or microorganisms and hence act as dirt traps. Moreover, like the adapter plate, it is manufactured from extremely robust stainless steel 1.4404 / AISI 316L. This low carbon steel is approved by the FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) for food contact. It offers excellent resistance to chlorinated fluids such as disinfectants containing hypochlorite or chlorinated alkaline foam cleaners where the oxidative component has a particularly strong effect on materials. All stainless steel surfaces of the Hygienic Design gearheads are electropolished with a roughness of either 0.8 µm Ra, as stipulated for food processing applications, or 0.4 µm Ra, which is the accepted standard in the pharmaceutical industry. This special surface treatment has two big advantages: it minimizes the risk of product residue adhesion and helps disinfectants or cleaning materials drain off after the exposure time without leaving any residues.

 

PTFE seals: hygienic and FDA approved

The seals on both the motor and the output side of the Hygienic Design planetary gearheads are made from PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) – better known under the brand name Teflon – a chemically inert material that is resistant to heat as well as to a wide range of media. Owing to its outstanding surface properties and non-stick effect, PTFE conforms to the requirements of the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and is ideal whenever hygienic cleaning is a must.

 

Benefits for machine design and practical operation

WITTENSTEIN's Hygienic Design planetary gearheads integrate a whole set of benefits for food processing, beverage bottling and pharmaceutical production machines. The measures customarily resorted to in the fight against germs, microorganisms and dirt traps, like the enclosure or encapsulation of complete drive units, are often critical and can now be dispensed with. In addition to financial economies, this also provides increased design freedom, for instance for space optimized equipment with a smaller footprint. Thanks to the hygienic design, regular cleaning and disinfection of the gearheads, and indeed the entire machine, is much more straightforward, cheaper and – equally important from the product safety point of view – free from risk. Maintenance and servicing, too, profit from the easier access to the installed gearhead.

 

For the first time, low-backlash planetary gearheads in hygienic design open up new drive options for machinery and plant in the food processing, beverage bottling and pharmaceutical industries, with high dynamics and hygienic production no longer mutually exclusive.

 

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At the forthcoming Hanover Fair WITTENSTEIN alpha GmbH will present the world's first low-backlash planetary gearhead that is suitable for hygienic production.