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Making Screw Holes by Hygienic DESIGN
An innovative aseptic flat washer sets new cleanness standards in sealing technology for the the food, drink, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The cavity-free screw hole was devised specifically for this flat washer.
At the works of equipment and machine manufactures that supply the process industry it is unfortunately still very common that non-EHEDG-compliant flat washers are used for screw fitting in or on the product room. The result is that the screw system is not coordinated appropriately with the sealing washer. Screws and nuts are taken off the "shelf". These bulk commodities have numerous disadvantages like screw heads with dents or deep scores on the surface, partial damage, flashes pinched around the edges, cracks, sharp flashing on the edges and radii.
These screw connections are far removed from a secure, EHEDG-compliant, cavity-free seal. But not just the cavities present in the beading, scoring or cracks at the edges pose a hygiene problem. Most commonly, though, the seal is damaged as a result of tightening the screw hole due to screws that are not manufactured properly. With the objective of sealing the screw hole, the "door" in the production room responsible for foods is opened to germs. The circumvention of the screw heads or nuts by products from the food industry, pharmaceutics or biotechnology cannot be avoided. The contamination of the system is only a matter of time. The respective deposits build up under the screw head and amidst the thread when using improper sealing washers and screw fittings. An ideal breeding ground for bacteria and germs that then might mix with the product produced.
Screw holes are usually hard to clean and especially to seal. Substances that may have penetrated can only be eliminated by means of disassembly. This is why gentle but thorough cleaning of these persistent spots is so absolutely critical. As a rule, systems like these are cleaned in CIP (cleaning in place) or WIP (washing in place) and SIP (sterilization in place) processes without disassembly – and then the hygiene needs to be restored.
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