Important Considerations Required in Fans for Food and Dairy Processing
Manufacturers of food and dairy products are well aware that there are increased Federal and State guidelines that impact their operations in the interest of greater health and safety. Industrial fans for food and dairy processing are no different.
Industrial fans play a pivotal role in keeping this equipment sanitary and free of contamination by harmful bacteria. The additional guidelines specify:
- Construction materials
- Welding process
- Final finish and coating procedures
- Cleaning and sealing capabilities
Ingredients Matter: Material & Welding Requirements
Food product manufacturers must be as concerned with what goes into their equipment as what goes into their products. It’s not just aesthetic: it’s all about the safety of the finished product because, to put it bluntly, what’s inside the processing equipment is often inside the food. The appropriate fan for food and dairy processing helps keep these unwanted ingredients out of the mix.
The majority of dairy and food processing applications require stainless steel fans. For some, only the fan airstream parts are stainless, while others dictate the entire fan be stainless steel, including the motors and safety guards.
The welding process is also an important consideration. The welds need to be smooth and continuous, preventing any crevices where bacteria can lodge. To provide welds of the necessary high-quality for these applications, the fan airstream components are often TIG (tungsten inert gas) welded.
As you might guess, the final finishes and coatings are also vitally important. Depending on how the fans will be used, there are different requirements and options, for example:
- Removal of weld discoloration with chemical treatment or glass bead blasting
- Complex polishing of the welds and stainless steel materials to a 32 micro inch finish
- A simple epoxy finish for non-stainless steel components
Keeping it Clean: Access During Use
Now that you’ve put all the effort into ensuring that your fans for food and dairy processing are clean and compliant, to begin with, they should be easy to clean in order for them to remain sanitary. It is essential that the fan design allows cleaning during use, with easy removal of all cleaning fluids.
To enable this, clean-in-place (CIP) nozzles can be used inside the fan housing along with a drain system at the bottom of the housing. When processing dairy or food products, be sure not to ignore the fan seals and gaskets. Teflon shaft seals and housing gaskets are available to provide food-grade sealing capabilities.
The Application Engineer is Your Industrial Fan “Chef”
While there are common guidelines and needs, each application is different. Not every application will require all of these options. Recently, we captured a video overview of requirements for fans for food and dairy processing, allowing you to see the equipment as we describe it.
You can watch the full 2½ minute video here.
When you’re ready to start your project, reach out and connect with one of our application engineers to discuss which options you may need.
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