As technology progresses, machines in industries become more advanced. These heavy machines need good lubrication to work properly. In the food and related industries, it is essential to use an oil or grease that lubricates well and is safe for consumers if it accidentally touches the product during processing.

Food-grade lubricants are made for industries that need to prioritise safety and hygiene.  Pacific Lubrication Consultants & Cargo Oil products are manufactured wholly from synthetic or manufactured materials and do not contain any raw materials produced from, or substances derived of animal origins. There are no raw materials, including additives, that have origins in, or contain any products to be internationally recognized and regulated as known allergens. Moreover, only Chemicals and physical processes are employed, and none of the raw materials for these products are derived from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) or biologically altered species.

Greases, Oils & Aerosols used to make machines work smoothly in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries must follow specific rules to ensure the products are safe and pure. These rules are different from regular industrial lubricants. The Food and Drug Administration in USA (FDA) has set clear guidelines about what these greases and oils can contain in Title 21 CFR Part 178.3570, "Lubricants with Incidental Food Contact."

Distinctive Lubrication Challenges in Food, Beverage, and Pharmaceutical Equipment

The people responsible for maintaining equipment in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries encounter distinct lubrication challenges. Their equipment faces the same vibration, impact, and stress levels in many industrial settings. However, it frequently cleans with water, steam, sanitising agents, and cleaning chemicals. These conditions can harm the equipment's components and potentially degrade standard H1 greases, leading to unexpected breakdowns and disruptions. Here, you'll discover how to choose the suitable H1 grease for top performance and dependability.

PLC recommend Considering the below factors in Food-Grade Lubricants

I. Bearing Lubrication

Lubrication issues are responsible for more than 60% of bearing failures, and this problem is especially significant in the Food, Beverage, and Pharmaceutical industries.

Stainless steel is the preferred material for machinery in these industries due to its resistance to corrosion from frequent water washdowns, sanitising agents, and exposure to acids and alkalis. It also prevents rust, which can contaminate products. However, most bearings in stainless steel machinery are carbon steel because they are mechanically ductile. These carbon steel bearings are susceptible to corrosion, especially with constant exposure to cleaning and water, resulting in premature bearing failure.

Some industries use stainless steel bearing components to address this corrosion problem. Unfortunately, this approach has not been efficient. CrNi alloy bearing surfaces tend to gall and work harden, and these bearings may have up to 50% lower load ratings than their carbon steel counterparts.

II. Selecting the Right Food-Grade Grease for Bearings

Evaluating how the chosen lubrication technology aligns with the service conditions is essential to ensure practical bearings lubrication in processing and production machinery. Consider various factors impacting the application, such as:

  • Temperature
  • Corrosion Factors
  • Speed and Bearing Size
  • Shock/Vibration
  • Water Exposure
  • Metal Wear

Evaluate the current Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) and your goals for enhancing operational life. You likely have clear improvement objectives when dealing with frequent bearing failures.

Next, examine the technical data of the grease brands you're assessing. It can be challenging to determine the actual performance attributes of a machinery oil or grease from the marketing claims and sales information provided on product data sheets. While many food-grade greases may boast of being "Superior," "Unique," "Water and Load-Resistant," or "Designed for Severe Conditions," the key to bearing performance and equipment reliability lies in the grease's performance data - carefully review, interpret, and use this data to guide your decision-making process.

The Bottom Line

The selection of food-grade greases for machinery in food, beverage and pharmaceutical facilities demands special consideration. Pacific Lubrication Consultants Start by recognising and giving precedence to environmental challenges, bearing dimensions, application conditions, and existing performance benchmarks. Then, thoroughly evaluate the H1 food-grade grease characteristics offered by leading brands considering these priorities. With a meticulous selection process, you can minimise bearing failures and achieve enhanced performance outcomes.

Need Assistance in Selecting the Right Food-Grade Grease

With more than 80 years of expertise in the lubrication industry, Pacific Lubrication Consultants is the leading specialist in food-grade lubricants in Australia. PLC specialise in 2Probity, NSF, H1, Kosher and Halal standards in H1 Registered Food-Grade Lubricants, including oils, greases, and aerosols, proudly representing the trusted Cargo Oil brand, exclusively catering to the Food and Beverage sector.

If you need assistance selecting the best food-grade grease, contact us at Pacific Lubrication Consultants at 1300 733 929, and our expert and friendly team will be delighted to assist you.

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