You will always run into problems with a standard electric motor in a food production area. The main reason is the cleaning process at the end of the day. The combination of a high-pressure washdown with a caustic solution will cause damage to an electric motor. Most standard electric motors are IP55 so not entirely watertight. In the food industry, motors usually have a stainless-steel shroud to protect them from water damage. This may appear to be a clean solution, but that’s not always the case. Stainless Steel motors rated IP69 are now widely available off the shelf. And some are designed specifically for the food and beverage industry.
One of the most important reasons for switching to stainless steel is hygiene. Cooling fins on a standard motor are an obvious place for food particles, dirt, and debris to fester. Having a recall of a product is a nightmare situation for any food processing company. With a stainless-steel motor, the casing is completely smooth and easy to clean. Stainless steel motors are visibly clean. When a shroud is used to cover and protect a standard motor, the motor is often hidden from view. With regular health inspections, it’s important to have a perfectly clean machine.
The difference between a new stainless-steel motor and a standard motor covered by a shroud is minimal. But the ip69 casing of a stainless-steel motor is bound to give far more longevity, bringing production costs down.
But are they more expensive?
In the short term, yes. A standard electric motor will be cheaper than a stainless-steel version of the same size. But you could argue that the stainless-steel motor will last longer and therefore be more cost-effective. There’s also the additional cost of a stainless-steel shroud to protect your standard motor. A stainless-steel motor will last longer under intense conditions. The cleaning process is also much faster meaning that cleaning costs will be reduced.
Need further proof?
We tested one of our Gibbons stainless-steel motors against a high pressure jet wash and made a short video of the the results. You can also read one of our insightful case studies to get a better idea of the benefits of switching to stainless-steel.
The sales team here at Gibbons can quote for one, two, or ten stainless-steel motors depending on the size of your process. We have plenty of stock on the shelf available for next-day delivery.