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How to Optimize for Washdown Applications

August 31, 2015 - Rockford, IL  -  Posted by PBC News

The design and build of automation equipment in a washdown environment creates challenges for a Design Engineer. A “washdown environment” is considered to be one that utilizes cleaning with water, chemicals, or a combination of both by means of either automated or hand-washing.  Generally, the overall goal of a washdown application is to kill and eliminate bacteria or other microorganisms that can cause and spread disease.

There are set standards and regulations a company in must abide by with regards to washdown applications.  These regulations are inspected by multiple local, state, and federal organizations to ensure materials and machines are compliant and meet cleanliness and performance standards. Some of these organizations include, but are not limited to: FDA, HACCP, GRAS, USDA, 3-A Sanitary Standard, Inc., NSF International, and ASTM.

There are multiple linear motion design choices, optimized for washdown applications, which aid in achieving the standards that are required to operate in certain industries. PBC Linear offers a variety of products that meet these standards, such as:

  • Round Shaft Technology
    • Simplicity Self-Lubricating Bearing: three grades of frelon liner include FrelonGOLD®, Frelon® J, and Frelon® W*; all simplicity bearings are self-lubricating which helps decrease the amount of material deposits and potential for bacteria build-up.
      • *Frelon W liner is FDA compliant

Simplicity Bearing

Simplicity Self-Lubricating Bearing
  • Cam Roller Technology
    • Redi-Rail® Linear Guides: highly resistant to corrosion in washdown applications; rail is aluminum with antimicrobial powder coating with 440 stainless steel shafts embedded into it; 3-wheel slider is composed of 440 stainless steel bearings.
    • Commercial Rail Linear Guides: corrosion resistant and cost effective; roll-formed 304 stainless steel rails; 3-wheel slider composed of 440 stainless steel sealed bearings.
    • V-Guide System: 400 series stainless steel rails; v-wheel bearings constructed of 420 stainless steel and 304 stainless steel shields or nitrile rubber seals.


Commercial Rail

V-Guide System

Redi-Rail Linear GuideCommercial Rail    V-Guide System

To learn more about linear motion design and optimization for washdown, watch PBC Linear’s Motion Control in Washdown Applications video, or download the Linear Motion Design for Washdown Applications datasheet.

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PBC Linear®, a Pacific Bearing Company, is the world leading manufacturer of the Simplicity self-lubricating bearings based in Roscoe, Illinois.  With over 30 years’ experience in linear motion and bearing technologies, PBC has a wide range of solutions designed to solve difficult motion applications.



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PBC Linear | 6402 Rockton Road, Roscoe, IL 61073 | P. O. Box 6980, Rockford, IL 61125-6980 | Toll-Free (800) 962-8979 | Fax: (815) 389-5790

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