Safe signals in food industry
Posted to News on 22nd Feb 2024, 11:00

Safe signals in food industry

Dutch company Innovotech has optimised production for a food processing customer using the CleanSIGN LED signal tower from WERMA.

Safe signals in food industry

(See WERMA at FoodManufacturing.Live, 1 May 2024, on stand 68)

The food industry places the highest demands on hygiene. This applies both to the employees working there and to the machines, systems and accessories used. The need for reliable hygiene standards and consistently implemented standards and guidelines is of enormous importance in this industry. This starts with the design and planning of all machines, components and parts.

It is precisely in this area that the Dutch company Innovotech has specialised and established itself as an important solution provider of complete plants and machine lines.

Recently, Innovotech realised an exciting large-scale project for a company active in the food processing sector. WERMA signal devices were a key element of this project, with Innovotech making use of the CleanSiGN LED signal tower, which was specially designed and developed for use in clean rooms, as well as in the hygiene and food sector. It signals in the usual traffic light colours whether production is running smoothly and if there are any problems or malfunctions.

Complete solutions from a single source

IJmuiden is the largest town in the Dutch municipality of Velsen in the province of North Holland and a major seaport in the Netherlands. This is where Innovotech has been based since 2019. The research and development company specialises in solving technical product problems, creating optimal production processes and realizing both special machines and complete production lines from the first sketch to the last screw.

The company has its core competence in the demanding area of the food industry: it supplies special machines and complete lines as well as high quality components and parts to manufacturers and processors operating in this specific food processing environment.

Frans Dobbelaer, co-director at Innovotech has 35 years of experience in the field of mechanical engineering and the realisation of complex projects. Together with his colleague Rick van den Berg they manage Innovotech and work closely with a small specialised team of five people.

Peeling crabs made easy

A short time ago Innovotech realised an exciting large-scale project for a company operating in the food processing sector: Innovotech developed and designed a machine that fully automatically peels grey shrimps. In addition, the requirement had to be met to safely and reliably indicate malfunctions and stoppages with the help of a luminous signal using a signalling device that meets the hygiene standards in this sensitive industry.

Frans Dobbelaer and Rick van den Berg were faced with a major challenge, as several signalling devices had already been in use in the past and could not withstand the high requirements. The very intensive cleaning with high pressure and aggressive chemicals ensured that water penetrated the signalling device or it failed completely.

Rick van den Berg took up the cause and searched intensively for a solution, saying: I found what I was looking for on the Internet and became aware of the CleanSIGN LED signal tower from WERMA. I was immediately struck by the fact that this product was specially developed for the food industry and meets the high IP69k protection class that thrilled me from the first moment. He ordered a sample and the product was put through its paces.

After successfully passing the first practical tests, Innovotech ordered the WERMA LED CleanSIGN signal tower. In the meantime, almost 90 pieces not only clearly and reliably signal the current status of the production line in the common traffic light colours of red, yellow and green, but also meet all requirements and standards. For example, the CleanSIGN has no uneven surfaces, grooves, elevations or seams where dirt could settle.

Rick van Berg says: By using the CleanSIGN, machine downtimes or malfunctions are noticed in time and a lot of money and time is saved because you can react immediately. The cleaning-friendly design of the signal tower also significantly reduces the amount of cleaning required and ensures that dirt can be removed easily and without leaving any residue.

The CleanSIGN's polyamide housing is FDA approved and therefore food-safe and resistant to detergents and disinfectants. In addition, the connection element of the column and the mounting bracket are made of a single casting. This avoids additional connection points where dirt can accumulate.

A multitude of refinements

The CleanSIGN LED signal tower from WERMA has been specially designed and developed for use in clean rooms, as well as in the hygiene and food sectors. From the outset, the existing standards and guidelines were consistently taken into account, and experts and specialists in the field of hygienic design were consulted (including TU Munich, and the Frauenhofer Institute).

This signal tower has no uneven surfaces, grooves or seams where dirt can accumulate. This prevents soiling and significantly reduces the risk of contamination. A 30 slope of the housing top and angle ensures that liquids drain off quickly, cleaning is fast, and it is easy to see.

Rick van Berg is enthusiastic and says: The luminous signal tower safely and reliably signals the current status of the production line and meets all our expectations. Our customer is very happy and so are we.


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