Machine guarding for the Food and pharmaceutical industry
Our company can trace its history back to 1740 and some of the earliest products we manufactured were sieves – hence we have a very longstanding connection to the food industry. Today the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries require rigorous adherence to standards for production equipment and machine guarding.
Our guards for this sector are therefore of the highest quality; the designs avoid bug traps and allow for easy cleaning, while the materials of construction are fully approved and suitable for washdowns with aggressive chemicals.
We understand the issues specific to this industry and have an in-depth knowledge of the relevant machinery safety standards, as well as ergonomics. You can therefore be sure that our machine guards for food, beverage and pharmaceutical machinery will be safe, standards-compliant, resistant to harsh cleaning solutions, and will not hinder operation or maintenance.
Our capability extends beyond the physical guarding to include related aspects of control systems – such as guard switches, emergency stop pushbuttons, and so on. If required, we can design and implement the complete safety-related control system, including on-site wiring and commissioning.
All of our machine guards for food, beverage and pharmaceutical machinery comply with relevant standards; in Europe this includes the following as a minimum for these industries:
- EN ISO 12100
- EN ISO 14120
- EN ISO 13857
- BS EN 1672 parts 1 and 2
Many machines used in the food industry are covered by Type-C (machine-specific) harmonised standards, so we ensure that our guards comply with relevant clauses of these as well.
In addition, we can comply with any in-house standards or codes of practice requested by the customer or end user.
We have the capability to design and manufacture guards in-house, but some specialist treatments are outsourced – for example, electropolishing of stainless steel. Depending on the type of machinery and guarding, we trial-assemble the guarding prior to delivery to ensure everything fits first time when installed on the machinery.
Our ISO 9001 Quality Management System covers the design, manufacture and installation of machine guards.
Why do food and pharmaceutical machines need guards?
New machinery in Europe has to comply with the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. The easiest route to compliance and CE marking is to apply the relevant harmonised standards, some of which relate to machine guarding. Markets elsewhere in the world have similar requirements for machines to be adequately guarded.
OEMs serving the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries often ask why they should outsource the machine guarding when they have the capability to design and manufacture it in-house? The main reasons for outsourcing the guarding to Procter Machine Safety can be summarised as follows:
- Save money – our specialists can usually design and manufacture the guarding more economically than an OEM
- Save time – our design and manufacturing teams are set up specifically for producing machine guarding
- Standards compliance – our designers have a detailed working knowledge of the relevant standards
- Avoid over-engineering – our designers have a wealth of relevant industry experience and an unbeatable knowledge of what the HSE would expect to see in terms of reducing risks to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’
- Better resource utilisation – in other words, let your designers focus on adding value through innovation, rather than being tied up with guarding
Types of guarding
Food, beverage and pharmaceutical machinery usually has close-fitting guards fabricated in stainless steel. Infill panels can be sheet stainless steel, welded wire mesh or clear polycarbonate. Nevertheless, in some areas it might be more appropriate to use perimeter guarding – such as end-of-line robotic palletisers.
In addition, we offer:
- interlocks, light guards and other safety devices
- bespoke access platforms, stairs, fixed ladders and handrails
Comprehensive service for machine guarding
Our service covers all of the following, or you can just select the elements required:
- machine surveys
- site surveys
- risk assessments
- PUWER inspections
- stakeholder consultations
- installation – at times to suit the customer or end user, such as overnight, at weekends or during scheduled shutdowns
- electrical integration of safety light curtains and other electrical items
- design of safety-related control systems
- modification of existing safety-related control systems to accommodate new safety devices
OEMs often make use of our installation services for food, beverage and pharmaceutical machinery. Benefits include:
- highly experienced fitters
- large team of fitters enables installations to be completed very quickly
- electrical items connected in compliance with necessary standards
- installation at times that are convenient for the customer and end user
- the OEM can remain focused on the more technical aspects
If you are an OEM in the food, beverage or pharmaceutical industry, contact us to discuss your requirements.