Linear Motion Design for Washdown Applications
Selecting the Right Components for Spray, Rinse, Steam, Caustic, and Food Processing Equipment
The design and build of processing, packaging, handling, and automation
equipment in a washdown environment creates challenges for the Design
Engineer specifying the components within the system. Adding additional
pressure in industries that handle food, beverages, or pharmaceuticals
are the regulations, standards, and inspections required to produce and
maintain a piece of equipment.
Specifically, in this white paper, there is an examination of the sound
engineering practices and design principles needed to ensure the
performance of mechanical linear motion components in sanitary,
washdown, or chemically cleaned environments.
A “washdown environment” is one that utilizes either by hand or by
automatic means, cleaning with water, chemicals, or a mixture of these.
This washdown process can be as simple as a cloth and bucket, use
of a hose to spray clean, or it can be under sophisticated high pressure
and controlled systems. The automatic cleaning operation on industrial
equipment is often called CIP (clean‐in‐place) or SIP (steam‐ in‐place).
The goal of these washdown operations is to kill and eliminate bacteria
or other micro‐ organisms that can cause and spread disease. In recent
years, examples of incidents such as e‐coli breakouts and mad cow
disease have rightfully led to greater scrutiny on processing equipment
that may contain areas where unwanted bacteria can develop.
Whether in an outdoor environment, a simple water washdown, or in a
location working to eliminate bacteria and other contaminants through
the use of chemical solvent mixtures or caustics, the Design Engineer,
processing equipment, maintenance teams, sub‐assemblies, and the
moving components installed are increasingly being asked to meet
A good understanding of the environment, life expectancy, standards,
and other parameters along with the knowledge of the materials that
meet these challenges and regulations is important to select the right
components for the conditions.
Lee Linear has experience in a variety of outdoor, washdown, and food
processing applications. In addition, a broad range of products are
available that provide an engineer or maintenance technician multiple
options to solve the problems associated with liquid and chemical
interactions. Utilizing these products, application experience, and best
practices for working in washdowns, predictable life for the linear motion
components and assemblies can be achieved.
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