Choosing the right industrial washdown hoses can mitigate the risk of worker injury and cross contamination between production batches.
The washdown process is an important part of food and beverage manufacturing because it helps mitigate the risk of contamination to products. However, the importance of reliable washdown processes can sometimes we overlooked.
Scott Weston, national business manager at Continental ContiTech Australia, said having a robust and reliable washdown hose provides a host of advantages.
Continental prides itself on offering the food and beverage industry connected, environment-friendly, safe, and convenient industry and service solutions around industrial fluid transfer, including washdowns.
“Our mission at Continental is to provide the industry with solutions that incorporate quality and safety, securing customer investments which in turn supports their business. That is what we really try to do within the industry,” said Weston.
“Our washdown hoses are flexible enough to be used across many areas within the Food & Beverage sector. From abattoirs, breweries, distilleries to wineries and even into local pubs and supermarkets. The hoses are suitable and should be regarded as the industry standard to meet the tough handling and cleanliness regulations of the Food & Beverage industry.”
A unique feature of Continental’s industrial hoses is the exclusive use of Microban technology.
Microban antimicrobial technology is becoming popular within the food and beverage industry because of its ability to protect products during the manufacturing and washdown process. It extends the life cycle of the hoses and limits the risk of failure and contamination in the manufacturing process.
The technology is designed to protect products from the growth of bacteria, mould, and mildew, all of which can cause a range of issues in the production process if not carefully managed.
“That takes us into the washdown range, which is used after production, so it is about getting your facility clean and ready for the next batch or service” said Weston.
“This range is designed around that idea, and it incorporates a good, better, and best line up, depending on the different performance and added value of the product itself.”
The range of washdown hoses offered by Continental is comprehensive and designed to specifically suit the needs of each application in the Food & Beverage industry. This includes the various applications such as exposure to fatty acids, temperature of the fluid, the chemicals being used and whether Food & Drug Administration (FDA) conforming materials are a requirement.
“That is how we have established the Continental washdown range. So, when we talk about the actual application, it is about cleaning the facilities after the fact and preparing equipment to produce the best product available. The main objective with the Continental washdown range is to eliminate the exposure of contamination to the products being manufactured and allows the operators to do this in a safe manner,” said Weston.
Weston said that in his opinion that many hoses observed as being used in the washdown processes, particularly at food manufacturing facilities, simply are not suitable and will be degrading the finished product.
“It doesn’t really clean the product in my opinion. What we do is use specific compounds that aren’t going to taint the product and equipment being used to prepare and manufacture,” he said. “It is designed specifically for that application in order to protect the quality of the finished product.”
Continental industrial washdown hoses also promise a longer life span, which has a positive impact on protecting the customers investment as well as worker safety.
“A lot of washdown processes are high temperature. The fluid that they are pumping through to kill the bacteria can be in excess of 90 degrees Celsius,” said Weston.
“Along with the use of chemicals, we make sure our products are tested to a temperature range that can withstand the washdown process, which is also critical for worker safety because it prevents leaks or bursting, which can spill scalding water directly onto the operator.”
One way Continental ensures its product quality is through extensive development and testing of the products which includes third party approvals such as conformance to FDA stipulations. The compounds used are developed in house by the many Continental chemists and R&D engineers.
“We go that extra mile to help protect the industry and the people within it,” said Weston.
“We also use blends that are specifically formulated for this application, which is the same for all of our products to suit each specific application.
Some of these industrial washdown hoses include the Blue Fortress 300 with Microban Antimicrobial Protection. Continental works exclusively with Microban to incorporate the technology, which ensures the highest quality washdown hoses offered by a manufacturer.
Applications include washdown service in food processing plants, dairies, packing houses, bottling plants, breweries, canneries, and creameries.
Its abrasion and oil-resistant cover also provides maximum protection against the adverse effects of oil and animal fats. Meanwhile, the cover of Fortress washdown hose incorporates Microban’s antimicrobial built-in product protection.
The Continental Blue Fortress 300 washdown hose, is the regarded as the market leading offering as it has been developed to withstand hot water up to 99˚C for clean-up service, as well as incorporates Microban technology and conforms to FDA requirements.
Continental also offers the whole assembly around industrial washdown hoses to double down on its assurances of a safer piece of equipment that will ultimately last longer and improve efficiency.
“What we always recommend in this application is what we call a crimped fitting to secure a Continental DINGA spray gun,” said Weston.
The crimped assembly process is far superior and recommended by Continental for all beer, beverage, and food hoses. The addition of protection rings will also help elevate the fittings and prevent them from touching the floor which may cause damage and contamination.
“The most effective washdown assemblies are constructed using a crimped fitting and Continental DINGA spray gun as opposed to the more commonly used method of using screw clamps or an open-ended hose.
“We recommend these to prevent the nozzle blowing off, it isn’t just the hose but the whole assembly that we offer and encourage customers to look at is a safer and more productive alternative.”
The use of this Dinga gun helps to save water and energy costs, which along with its chemical-free cleaning capability, contributes to the protection of the environment.
Food safety is one of, if not the, most critical factor when it comes to food production and manufacturing and industrial hoses present a strong tool in combating these risks.
“Limiting downtime is always an important part of the manufacturing process so we aim to provide the best possible technology for industrial washdown hoses,” said Weston.