Metal-detectable seals for contaminant-sensitive processes

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Metal-detectable seals for contaminant-sensitive processesSKF is launching an extended and improved portfolio of metal-detectable seals in a variety of process-compatible materials and configurations for pharmaceutical and food and beverage manufacturers.

For pharmaceutical and food and beverage manufacturers, in-production contamination risk is of the highest concern. Meeting safety, hygiene and regulatory standards involves close and continuous monitoring of production processes in order to detect contaminants and metallic particles from bearing surfaces, for example, originating from the natural wear and tear of machinery. Such contamination, if undetected, has serious consequences in terms of cost and reputational damage for the companies involved.

Metallic particles are relatively simple to detect using standard metal detection equipment; less easily detected are fragments of elastomeric seals. Searching for and locating fragmented rubber parts is a costly, time-consuming and difficult process requiring expensive X-ray equipment, manual observation and an extensive preventative maintenance programme. Nonetheless, failure to locate missing parts can have an even costlier outcome.

A simple and cost-effective solution to this problem is to use seals manufactured from metal-detectable elastomers, fragments of which can be detected and intercepted at the earliest opportunity using less costly, standard metal detection equipment, thereby avoiding the high cost of large batch rejections or, worse, product recalls.

Extended range

SKF has offered metal-detectable seals since its acquisition of Economos in 2008. Now, with a significantly extended range, the company is able to offer seals, cord and sheet materials whose wear fragments are easily detected down to sizes of just 2mm using standard metal detection equipment, in a wide range of FDA and EU compliant, process-compatible materials, in many common and bespoke seal configurations and all in the industry's standard high-visibility blue colour.

Available in NBR, EPDM, FKM and silicone materials, the core range comprises metal-detectable hygienic seals and O-rings, extruded profiles and bespoke moulded products. In addition, SKF can now supply metal-detectable silicone-based products in sheet and cord form, together with metal-detectable machined PTFE seals in a variety of configurations for a wide range of applications.

Metal-detectable machined plastic sheet for preparation areas and conveyor components are also available in ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, nylon, acetal and polyether ether ketone (PEEK), as are ready-made metal-detectable products such as metal-detectable seals for sieve screens (see right) and magnets in various compatible materials.

Follow the link to learn more about SKF's portfolio of metal-detectable seals.

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