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September 19, 2022

Improve the Performance of Equipment With Smarter Seals and Lubrication

Category: Food and Beverage

Choosing the right high-performance seals and lubrication keeps food and beverage machinery operating at peak efficiency for longer, resulting in cost savings for operators.

Every food or beverage production line needs the right parts in the right places to produce the best quality food products. Some of these critical elements include seals and lubricating oils.

The humble seal plays a crucial role in segregating materials to ensure compliance with relevant hygiene standards and supports high-performance food processing, while the most appropriate lubricants will ensure a longer life of machines and reduce their maintenance overhead.

Food cans on a factory line

Dynamic and Diverse Sealing Solutions

Seals must work reliably in harsh conditions including high pressure, temperature extremes and corrosive or abrasive environments.

Often these conditions occur in production lines that are always-on, highly automated, and exposed to aggressive cleaning liquids or other materials that could become a source of contamination.

To ensure compliance with the FDA and EFSA’s stringent food and beverage regulations, and to stay ahead of the ever-evolving food hygiene and safety regulations, the selection of each seal within a production system is integral to any food or beverage operation.

Food-grade sealing systems need to meet strict regulatory standards around the use of fluorocarbon plastics, elastomers, drinking water seals and metal detectable materials. With so many applications, production environments and requirements, there is a diverse array of sealing solutions for the food and beverage industry. It’s important to note that no single solution fits all cases.

Choosing the right profile and material for sealing equipment is crucial and is based on what is being produced, the environment and conditions it will work under, and the length of time a seal is expected to last. It also must comply with international, national, and regional health and safety requirements.

Finding the right sealing solution begins with speaking to a seal manufacturer and tapping into their expertise; determining the engineering materials and specifications is just the beginning.

Their experience will help plan for anticipated and unanticipated variables and establish the correct seals to guarantee integrity and longevity of the machinery and maintain peak production.

Lubrication and Maintenance

When projecting the lifespan of equipment, industrial seals should be considered along with other factors such as the types of lubrication needed, the maintenance cycle, and its associated products.

Maintenance products should be of the highest quality and fit for purpose. Sealant tape should be pliable, high-density, mouldable and tear resistant. It should be able to be used around almost any chemical and remain effective at extreme temperatures.

For more than 130 years, A. W. Chesterton Company, a world leader in sealing solutions for the food and beverage industry, has continued to provide innovative and reliable seals for its customers worldwide.

Chesterton seals have helped production lines around the world exceed hygiene standards, solve challenges, avoid downtime, and last longer than competitor products.

Food and beverage factory worker checking glass drink bottles on factory line

For a sugarcane customer in the Philippines, Chesterton seals helped to reduce the cost of seals by 40 per cent over five years and save over US$400,000 each year through recouped production losses and hydraulic oil cost savings. These results were achieved through replacing the customer’s previous system with the correct sealing solution for the industry and application.

In Germany, a bottling plant with a rotating labelling machine needed to replace the bearings on the machine every six months. By switching to a more appropriate high-performance Chesterton grease, the company was able to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent, maintenance costs by 14 per cent and increase production by 400,000 bottles a year.

This article was featured in Food and Beverage Magazine.

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