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VIDEOJET Shares Key Tips for Finding the Right Balance Between Effective Sanitation Procedures and Efficient Equipment Maintenance in Meat & Poultry Environments
VIDEOJET® Shares Key Tips for Finding the Right Balance Between Effective Sanitation Procedures and Efficient Equipment Maintenance in Meat & Poultry Environments
Wood Dale, Il—January 30, 2014— According to the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) and most regulatory inspection agencies around the world, all equipment in meat and poultry plants, including package coders, must always be free of rust and corrosion in order to prevent the potential contamination of products. Regulatory agencies can charge fines or even delay production if visible rust or corrosion is present, and these disruptions can be costly.
To avoid these setbacks, facilities must maintain a pristine production environment — presenting a challenge to balance harsh washdown sanitation procedures with efficient equipment maintenance. Often sanitation procedures can create extreme conditions in meat and poultry production/packaging environments, due to humidity from high pressure and hot water cleaning and strong chemical agents, which may damage equipment. Coding equipment, used to apply dates and other essential information to each package, must be protected along with all the other sensitive machinery on a production line. Videojet Technologies, a world-leading manufacturer of coding and marking products, offers equipment and accessories that are specially designed to withstand the meat and poultry environment along with key suggestions for successful washdown protection.
Rust and Corrosion Prevention
Maintaining a clean and safe production floor is critical for meat and poultry producers, and choice of equipment is important to prevent rust and corrosion from causing costly setbacks or downtime. When considering new equipment to purchase, it is vital to select products made of material that will resist rust and damage. Steps to reducing rust and corrosion include:
1. Evaluating production environment risk areas. When purchasing new equipment, this means carefully evaluating each area of a production floor and the environmental changes that occur during different shifts. For example, some areas of a production floor receive more stringent sanitation procedures than others, and some might not undergo a washdown cycle at all. By assessing the specific washdown procedures in each area, the right equipment fit can be determined.
2. Buying equipment and accessories suited to the production environment. Equipment material is a key factor in determining durability against rust and corrosion. Unlike more commonly used aluminum, stainless steel is non-porous and non-corrosive with a higher resistance to rust. In addition, employing stainless steel accessories such as brackets, stands and encoders is a good practice, as these accessories are often just as exposed to washdown chemicals as the equipment itself.
3. Practicing proper washdown procedures. Like any material, stainless steel can wear with continued use especially under conditions where the chromium oxide layer has been altered by abrasive cleaners, chlorine or sanitizers. Therefore, it is important to take proper care of even the highest quality stainless steel coding equipment during washdown shifts.
Stainless Steel Provides Protection
When purchasing new coding or production line equipment, a review of washdown chemicals should be performed along with an evaluation of equipment exposure levels. Manufacturers can take these four easy steps to help slow the wear of stainless steel equipment:
- Use the appropriate dilution of cleaners, especially in the post-cleaning rinse
- If possible, rinse all stainless steel equipment with low-pressure water after the sanitation process
- Wipe off the front surface of coders with water if any streaks are left by chemical residue
- If damaged, re-passivate stainless steel using nitric acid or other oxidizing agents to maintain a non-reactive oxide film on the equipment surface
Sanitation is a number one priority in meat and poultry plants — even the smallest amount of rust or corrosion on equipment can result in regulatory fines or downtime. The extensive line of Videojet coding equipment includes units made from the highest quality stainless steel, designed specifically for washdown environments.
For more information on stainless steel equipment designed for meat and poultry packaging facilities, visit www.videojet.com/meatpoultry.
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Videojet Technologies is a world-leader in the product identification market, providing in-line printing, coding, and marking products, application specific fluids, and product life cycle services. Our goal is to partner with our customers in the consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical, and industrial goods industries to improve their productivity, to protect and grow their brands, and to stay ahead of industry trends and regulations. With our customer application experts and technology leadership in continuous inkjet (CIJ), thermal inkjet (TIJ), laser marking, thermal transfer overprinting (TTO), case coding and labeling, and wide array printing, Videojet has more than 325,000 printers installed worldwide. Our customers rely on Videojet products to print on over ten billion products daily. Customer sales, application, service, and training support is provided by direct operations with over 3,000 team members in 26 countries worldwide. In addition, Videojet’s distribution network includes more than 400 distributors and OEMs, serving 135 countries.
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