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Recipe for cable protection in food & beverage production systems

Author : Martin Buttkereit of M. Buttkereit Limited

02 February 2018

The electrical systems used within food and beverage manufacturing plants operate in extremely demanding conditions. These often include regular wash-down procedures, operation within corrosive environments and extremes of temperature. It goes without saying therefore, that protection for the systems installed within these environments needs to be of the highest standard.

Liquid-proof protective metal conduits, coated with PA, PU, PVC or silicone sheathing, will eliminate the possibility of ingress in even the most demanding applications

In this article, Martin Buttkereit of M. Buttkereit Limited, offers advice on the selection of cable protection components which can stand up to the demanding environments often found within this sector.

The most demanding areas will require the highest levels of classification to guarantee protection and security against water during cleaning procedures with either a high-pressure washer or a steam-jet cleaner. Another critical factor in this sector is that of cleanliness, so any protection systems used must also be able to meet the rigorous hygiene standards required.

Buttkereit Limited are the UK distributors for the selection of products and systems from German manufacturer FLEXA. Included within this range are cable protection devices manufactured from plastic or metal including appropriate connectors that feature all types of thread. These products are liquid-tight, resistant to solvents and UV light, and can be coated with silicone. They are suitable for operation at temperatures from -60 to +300°C and are approved to IP69 K.

An entire team is entrusted with quality assurance and all products are thoroughly checked in a dedicated test lab. In addition to the standard test procedures such as tensile tests, endurance tests, or tests on solvent resistance, FLEXA also carry out random tests on its production processes. 

For applications within food and beverage production, FLEXA offers special threaded conduits made of stainless steel and equipped with high-efficiency plastic seals, customised for this specific industry. The FLEXA range is food-safe, flexible, microbe-resistant, airtight, liquid-proof, and also resistant to the wide range of detergents and cleaning processes applied in the food and beverage industry.

With such a comprehensive selection of products available, Buttkereit is able to supply the ultimate solution from a single source. Examples of the wide range available from Buttkereit include: AIRflex-GRS-FOOD – a blue highly flexible protective solid plastic tubing. This has a smooth inner and outer surface approved for the food and beverage industry, and meets any requirement such as FDA CFR 21. It is also certified to NSF/ANSI 51-169 and can be used for machines operating in the meat market, in bakery production plants, or in food-packaging plants. If the protective tubing is to be exposed to major mechanical stress, FLEXA offers the LIQUID-TIGHT-FOOD tubing system, a product perfectly matched to heavy-duty requirements such as this. 

The full range of FLEXA cable protection systems available from Buttkereit cover a multitude of applications from the very simplest, through to protecting data lines against electromagnetic impacts, safeguard laser-optical wave guides against physical damage plus they meet the strictest hygienic requirements and are easy to sterilise if required.

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