R+W > Couplings for the food industry

Italy, Sesto S. Giovanni – Over 132 billion euros in revenues for the food and beverage italian industry

 

With over 132 billion euros in revenues, adding up to 8% of Italy’s GDP, and about 385,000 employees, according to the latest updates of the industry’s association, Federalimentare, the Italian food ad beverage industry is firmly at the top of the ranking list of the country’s productive segments. It is easily understood that even manufacturers of machines and components endeavor to satisfy the requests of this industry which is characterized, not only by its size, but also by different demands with respect to industries where raw materials are not edible. Regarding couplings, the requests of manufacturers of machines used in this industry do not only concern basic functional aspects such as the transmission of torque values, the compensation of misalignments or the protection from overload, but they also include compliance with the very strict regulations in terms of hygiene and food safety.

 

Corrosion-proof elements

Within a manufacturing process the different phases require couplings with different characteristics, from resistance to corrosion to the capability of preventing overload damage: the R+W range includes solutions which can cope with any situation.
Couplings, like all other components used in food processing, are often subject to the action of harsh detergents, used to maintain the hygienic conditions requested by regulations. The ideal material to manufacture couplings for use in these cases is stainless steel: the whole range of R+W couplings is available in stainless steel versions, but the BKS coupling has been designed entirely in welded stainless steel. It is a torsionally rigid metal bellows coupling which can be used for transmission of torque values from 15 to 500 Nm within a temperature range from -40° to 300° C. Humidity and intense and frequent cleansing in no way interfere with the correct functioning of this coupling.

 

The guarantee on the efficiency of the processes

Chemical agents are not the only element which puts the functioning of couplings to the test: depending on the phase of the manufacturing process where they are inserted, couplings may also display other useful properties to guarantee the efficiency of the process In the cutting and folding phases of beverage cartons, for instance, an overload may easily occur at any time because of a mechanical obstruction; it is important to prevent damage to utensils so as to avoid costly machine downtimes.
SK and SL torque limiters by R+W are the ideal solution for the plant’s security. In case of overload, torque limiters separate the driven and motor parts in a matter of 3-5 milliseconds, so that neither the blade, nor the engine suffer any damages. The reassembly of the couplings is very fast, and the production process may resume in next to no time.

 

Safety and hygiene

In order to rule out any contact of food with the lubricant used to guarantee an optimal functioning of the couplings, torque limiters may be sealed, so that no leakages may compromise the integrity of the food. This system also prevents entry of substances into the torque limiter which could jeopardize its functioning. All elements of the sealing system are integrated in a single component, so as to keep the size of the component compact with respect to bulkier solutions where the entire coupling is kept inside a sealed casing.
Another application of couplings in the beverage domain is provided by couplings in machines used to glue straws on the outside of cartons, or to insert caps with freshness seals. According to the type of transmission and demands placed on the machine in terms of speed and precision, torsionally rigid metal bellows couplings (BK) or precision elastomer couplings (EK) may b used.

 

Absolutely precise and reactive transmission

BK couplings can transmit torque values from 0,1 to 100.000 Nm, compensating misalignments and maintaining a high torsional rigidity, which ensures an absolutely precise and reactive transmission even if the coupling is subject to high dynamics movement.
EK couplings are torsionally less rigid than the BK series; the TPU elastomer element, depending on the Shore hardness, enables torque transmission while acting as a buffer for applications where collisions or vibrations may occur, which are difficult to check. EK elastomer couplings can transmit torque values from 0,05 to 25.000 Nm.
Both BK bellows couplings and EK elastomer couplings may be provided with different assembly solutions, to facilitate not just assembly but also maintenance and control; the R+W range includes solutions which may synchronize shafts even as far apart as 6 metres.

 

Solutions for every phase of the production process

When finished containers are collected packaged and placed on pallets, torque limiters are needed to protect the plants from overloads and damages which may ensue. Considering the product cycle in its fullest extent, couplings are also often used in plants which recycle used packaging.
In these cases, the rigid transmission of a high torque value may be necessary in a small space. These situations are the ideal application for LP disc pack couplings, completely made of steel. These couplings transmit torque values from 350 to 20,000 Nm in a very limited space, exploiting the coupling’s design properties which distinguish it from the best part of couplings of the same type present on the market.

 

Developed targeted solutions for every requirement

Thanks to the close contact with manufacturers of machines and pants for the food industry, R+W constantly develops targeted solutions for every requirement, offering components which respect the technical specifications provided by the client without neglecting ease of assembly and maintenance.

R+W Italia is an ideal business partner supplying couplings, line shafts and torque limiters, both standard versions and special solutions developed upon clients’ specific requests with the aim of providing the ideal coupling for every application; the vast product range includes solutions for every requirement.

 

 

 

 

More info about: R+W Italia

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