The hygiene regulations that govern our food and beverage companies contained within EU directives are necessarily stringent to protect public health. Any breaches by the companies can be hugely expensive, in terms of the cost of product recalls, reputational damage and financial losses incurred while the problems are fixed.
Everything associated with a food production line must meet the required standards for cleanliness, and that includes the enclosures protecting the electrical equipment that drives any associated automated processes.
These enclosures, because of their design characteristics are commonly known as ‘Hygienic Design’ enclosures (HD).
However, while there is an obligation for hygiene standards to be met, the directives and standards that bind the industry do not advise users how to judge an enclosure’s suitability to be in such a sensitive environment.
Without standardised and recognised guidance, enclosure manufacturers, the systems and mechanical engineers, as well as end users, must make their own decisions as to the type of of hygienic design that should be employed.
In response, Rittal has published a White Paper outlining the characteristics of an HD enclosures.
- Suitable materials and surfaces, in terms of cleaning, corrosion etc
- Connection systems, including seals and seams
- Angles and corners, which are angled for easy washdown and which avoid niches that could collect contaminants
- How to avoid penetration into the circuitry, not least by water ingress
The White Paper also considers testing procedures to demonstrate the suitability of an enclosure to be placed on a food or beverage production line.
All this ensures that production facilities can be cleaned as easily as possible and the highest possible safety standards for the end consumer.
Rittal’s range of HD enclosures are designed to make them quick and easy to clean. They can withstand power washing while maintaining a fully watertight environment for the electrical components within them.
Rittal’s white paper on HD Enclosure Design can be downloaded via the following link