Airlock New USDA Dairy Accepted Airlock for Hygienic Applications

Editor: Ahlam Rais

The Global Hygienic Airlock (GHA) by Schenck Process is a USDA Dairy accepted dismountable airlock that is ideal for applications where dry raw or finished products are being handled in the process and where inspection or system clean-out are required.

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A unique feature of the airlock is the rail system consisting of externally mounted precision shafts.
A unique feature of the airlock is the rail system consisting of externally mounted precision shafts.
(Source: Schenck Process)

Because the airlock is designed for high process rates it possesses a number of features suited to processes that have a higher sanitary requirement, states the company.

The round inlets and outlets of the airlock incorporate seals and product contact surfaces that meet food safety requirements. FDA and EC 1935/2004 approved materials are used in the product contact areas. Endplates and the rotor can be disassembled and removed from the valve housing for cleaning. All endplates have specifically been designed for access to the seal area for cleaning or seal replacement. Upon reassembly, the rotor end clearances can be adjusted and set through by use of the integral adjustment screws included in each endplate.

According to the firm, a unique feature of the airlock is the rail system consisting of externally mounted precision shafts, which are fixed to the tail side endplate on one end and are supported by special composite linear bearings pressed into the valve housing on the other. The endplate/rotor assembly can be unbolted from the housing and the assembly can be pulled from the housing and drive coupling while still remaining rigid to the housing via the rail system.

These features simplify removal and provide access to the internal valve cavity, rotor pockets and all other product contact areas for quick and easy cleaning, adds the company. Once the cleaning process is complete, the endplate/rotor assembly simply slides back into place through use of the rail system and is secured with the supplied fasteners.

The airlock comes equipped with a Valve Interference Detection (VID) system that is designed to protect the airlock from damage and prevent product contamination due to interference between the valve rotor and housing. The VID system employs ceramic bearings and other innovative techniques to electrically isolate the moving rotor from the valve housing and drive system. A simple electronic evaluation unit monitors the resistance between the rotor and housing allowing it to determine if the circuit is functioning properly and if the rotor is contacting the housing, mentions the firm.

With a number of features designed to meet hygienic process requirements along with acceptance by the USDA Dairy Grading Branch, the new airlock serves as an integral component to systems designed for sanitary applications.

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