It goes without saying that it's extremely important for a bearing to meet the high standards of cleanliness and hygiene demanded by the packaging industry.
Each morning when I add sugar to my coffee, I don’t worry about whether it was contaminated by a machinery component during the packaging process or not. I trust that the packaging or food manufacturer thought of this before the item made it to my cafeteria.
In truth, this is a consideration design engineers working in the food industry have to take into account all the time. And, of course, they are seeking bearing solutions at competitive costs that also deliver trouble-free performance.
Here is a good example of a case study that touches on all these considerations.
drylin® R linear bearings are dry running and do not contaminate the food items or become clogged with flour and sugar excess like other types of bearings that require constant lubrication. Their corrosion-resistant and maintenance-free features have also helped to reduce downtime and repair costs.
The packaging machines also use a new type of hybrid linear bearing from igus®. drylin® WJRM features a combined rolling-and-sliding carriage for reduced friction and can reduce the drive force necessary to power an application by a factor of four or five. The hybrid linear bearings are used on the machine’s bag magazines, which hold packages open as they are being filled with flour, sugar or pet food. drylin® WJRM bearings act as a mobile arm behind the bag to prevent it from falling backwards and spilling its contents. drylin® WJRM is also dry running and does not require messy lubricants.