In order to improve sanitation in food manufacturing systems, igus has rolled out its maintenance-free toothed belt axis. The ZLW variant is a ready-to-connect system designed with cleanliness in mind. It is lubrication-free and built with FDA-compliant materials, which is best for integration in the food and beverage industry.
Following guidelines of a hygienic design, its structure has minimal undercuts and gaps where food scraps can accumulate. Compared to linear axes and carriages that are typically used, utilising the toothed belt axis lowers the chances of raw materials depositing in hard-to-reach areas, decreasing risk of contamination too.
Corners are rounded so that water can flow better and not stagnate in one place. Sanitation of equipment used in food production typically involves high-pressure cleaning, so incorporating this is a poses a great benefit.
For the shaft end support and linear carriages, corrosion-resistant stainless still is applied. Plain bearings are made without external lubricants, resulting in a low-friction dry operation. Material used is food-grade tribo-plastic iglidur A160.
The ZLW toothed belt axis can operate at 1.5 million double strokes at 0.5 m/s, acceleration of 2m/s² with 3kg load.
“In order to reduce the cleaning of systems in the food industry or even in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, we have now expanded our portfolio of ZLW toothed belt axes,” says Michael Hornung, igus Product Manager for drylin linear and drive technology. “The new model can be cleaned particularly quickly and thoroughly – whether with high-pressure steam jets, chemicals or simply running water. This also increases product safety.”