When customers in a supermarket reach for a yoghurt or a bar of chocolate, they should never need to worry about possible cleanliness issues during the production process. The prerequisite is that all machines, equipment and components of a food production line possess a hygiene-compliant design and can thus be cleaned regularly and thoroughly. Switzerland-based Tophinke Automation & Gebäudetechnik AG has chosen to use a combination of Hygienic Design (HD) stainless steel and MCC enclosures (Motor Control Centres) from Rittal for a project realised with the Hochdorf Group. The latter drew up its own strict functional specifications for a new production line for baby foods and similar products. Particular attention was paid to the enclosures and housing systems at the human-machine interface, which were required to meet all requirements of the EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group). This guarantees that they can be cleaned quickly and simply, and reliably avoids the formation of dirt traps.
The HD enclosures from Rittal meet both the EHEDG guidelines and all European standards. The enclosures offer no dead spaces in which bacteria or detergent residues could accumulate. Typical design features such as a 30-degree sloping top or the overhanging top with horizontal drip edge ensure that liquids are drained from the HD enclosures quickly and safely. There is thus no risk that residues rinsed off during cleaning might resettle elsewhere on the enclosure. The blue silicone seals of the Rittal HD enclosure guarantee safe protection of the enclosure contents. They are resistant to all standard cleaning agents and disinfectants used in food production and are attached externally to provide a reliable and gapless seal between the door or cover and the enclosure. The seals are manufactured in one piece and can be replaced in a matter of minutes if necessary. Through the provision of HD enclosure solutions from Rittal, Tophinke is supporting the Hochdorf Group in its efforts to minimise hygiene risks by optimising cleaning results.
Pre-configured enclosures shorten throughput times
Within the framework of this project, Tophinke has been responsible for the entire automation, installation and enclosure configuration. A total of 74 Hygienic Design stainless steel enclosures and 46 MCC enclosures from Rittal were incorporated. “We have put a lot of work into becoming more efficient and optimising our internal processes,” says Jürg Wittwer, Head of Sales and Marketing at Tophinke. If the time required for commissioning can be shortened, then the company saves costs and the customer also benefits because production can be started earlier. To accelerate installation of the enclosures for the new production line, Tophinke ordered pre-configured enclosures from Rittal. “The cut-outs and all external components were already prepared. That helped to shorten our throughput times,” says overall project manager Thomas Baumli. Tophinke and Rittal have maintained a close partnership for many years. Jürg Wittwer is full of praise: “The quality of the Rittal products is excellent. The enclosures are a perfect match for the required internal installations and the needs of our customers. We could not be more satisfied with Rittal’s flexibility.”
- To ensure supermarket customers reaching for a yoghurt or a bar of chocolate never have any cause for concern regarding the cleanliness of the manufacturing process, all machinery, equipment and components in food production lines must have a hygienic design that enables effective cleaning.