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Durable Stainless Steel Pneumatic Connections for Hygienic Applications

| Author / Editor: Thomas Maier* / Dr. Jörg Kempf

CIP system in a brewery: Eisele push-in connectors come into daily contact with splashing water and chemicals used for cleaning the systems.
CIP system in a brewery: Eisele push-in connectors come into daily contact with splashing water and chemicals used for cleaning the systems. (Source: Ziemann Holvrieka)

The connection of pneumatic control lines in brewery systems always requires the use of materials that are highly durable. Learn about stainless steel push-in connectors providing a lasting and reliable seal even in humid environments. The material also features good hygienic properties.

The companies of CIMC Enric Tank and Process (CETP) with headquarters in the Netherlands develop, manufacture and sell tanks and process technology for the worldwide liquid food industries. Ziemann Holvrieka, a member of the group, has its German headquarters in Ludwigsburg and Bürgstadt and is one of the biggest suppliers of customized turnkey systems for the brewing industry. Both craft brewers and major breweries around the world rely daily on the company’s systems. Ziemann Holvrieka offers all turnkey systems, from the malt intake to the pressure tank cellar, all from a single source.

The components for wort preparation range from the malt intake to grinding mills, mash tubs, lauter tun, mash filters, wort boiling systems, as well as the whirlpool and wort cooling apparatus. In addition, the company provides the entire cold block with fermentation and storage tanks, pressure tanks, yeast tanks and all necessary CIP tanks.

In both production areas Ziemann Holvrieka engineers, implements and automates the process and cleaning technology, installs the process pipelines and integrates the required utilities. The technology experts are also a valued partner around the globe when it comes to modernization, expansion of capacities or construction of a new turnkey brewery.

Small Components in a Large System Environment

Ziemann Holvrieka insists on uncompromising quality in design and workmanship, down to the last detail. That is why the company has implemented numerous customer projects over the years using swiveling screw-in elbow connectors with a seal from series 17 of the Eisele Inoxline. Manufactured from stainless steel, they fulfill the conditions for use in wet areas of breweries and other food and beverage production plants, and can even be used in a vacuum of -0.95 bar or at pressures up to 16 bar to provide a lasting seal with no leaks. This is made possible by the reliable design and particularly durable seal materials.

Each system is equipped with hundreds of these components with no incidents involving failures or leaks. Their function is to supply compressed air to pneumatic valves in the supply networks of the systems. Pneumatic valves are used throughout the entire process chain in a brewery. It starts in the brewhouse and ends in the so-called cold block where the beers are fermented and stored at low temperatures.

A Suitable Solution for Every Application

The general purpose stainless steel connectors from Eisele enable very fast connecting and disconnecting of compressed air tubes without the use of tools. The tube only has to be pushed to the stop in the release sleeve of the push-in connector and the patented collet inside the connector holds the tube in its position for a lasting, reliable connection with no damage to the tube. The integrated O-ring ensures a tight seal. All it takes to disconnect the tube is to press on the release sleeve. The screw-in end for mounting the push-in connector on the machine or process valve is sealed with an enclosed O-ring. Series 17 components allow the full flow rate inside the tube despite their compact design.

Hygiene is Mandatory in Breweries

Even if the components do not come into direct contact with the beer as a foodstuff, they are used in an area with stringent hygiene requirements. They can come into daily contact with splashing water and with chemicals used for cleaning the systems. They have to withstand constant temperature changes and the effects of acids, alkaline solutions and cleaners without corroding. Because this would not only result in leaks and failures, but also would affect the other stainless steel components in use.

Series 17 of the Eisele Inoxline is exactly the right choice for this requirement. The push-in connectors with a release sleeve and one seal from the Waiblingen-based company, which are available in many versions, are manufactured from non-corrosive and acid-resistant stainless steel 1.4301/07 and are designed to meet very stringent requirements with respect to cleaning and corrosion resistance. With a temperature range from -20 to +120 °C the push-in connectors are ideal for use in all areas of a brewery. From the hot processes of mashing, boiling and cleaning to the cold temperatures in the fermentation and storage cellars.

* The author is Managing Director at Eisele Pneumatics, Waiblingen/Germany.

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