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Addressing the challenges of food grade lubrication

Keeping food processing equipment well lubricated can be a challenge. Callum Ford, national marketing manager at Lubrication Engineers (LE), outlines the challenges associated with the lubrication of food processing equipment and explains how to address these challenges.

He says that a significant challenge in keeping food processing equipment lubricated is temperature. High temperatures can speed up the oxidation of greases and oils; and a low temperature, such as in a refrigerated area, can result in wear on equipment due to channelling of the lubricant or the presence of condensation.

Moisture is a danger to the effectiveness of lubrication. Hygiene requirements in food production mean that the presence of water and steam is required, but this can wash out or cause the deterioration of lubricants, resulting in corrosion or rust. Another challenge is the presence of chemicals in the food itself or in the cleaning process. Yet another challenge is the heavy workload of food processing equipment, with machines running up to 24 hours per day. During high volume operation, greases and oils become highly liquid or may thicken and harden, thereby losing efficacy.

“Our synthetic H1 lubricant is not only rated food grade, but can also operate in a wide temperature range and withstand washing due to our exclusive Quinplex additive, which is a tackifier that keeps the lubricant in place,” explains Ford. “Attention to detail in cleaning and maintenance, combined with the use of LE’s high grade Quinplex food machinery lubricants, will ensure more durable and effective lubricant use and a longer equipment life.”

This article was featured in the Motion Control Magazine, read the article here.