Food Processing Systems: Aluminium Gear Motors

NORD Severe Duty gear motors from NORD Drivesystems can prevent corrosion, contamination and low performance thanks to its aluminium IP69 housing

  • NORD Severe Duty or nsd tupH drives from NORD Drivesystems gives aluminium drives a smooth, permanently corrosion-resistant surface.
    NORD Severe Duty or nsd tupH drives from NORD Drivesystems gives aluminium drives a smooth, permanently corrosion-resistant surface.

Ambit Projects Limited develops and manufactures high quality automation equipment for handling, preparing and processing all types of foodstuffs with machines tailored to individual customer needs. NORD Drivesystems' UK subsidiary has recently been working with Ambit Projects, supplying several drives that feature the industry-unique surface protection system that the German drives manufacturer has developed for hostile and high hygiene environments.

Designated NORD Severe Duty or nsd tupH, the drives were used for a major upgrade and line expansion of a celery cutting and packaging machine for a regular Ambit customer and one of Europe's leading fresh produce growers and suppliers. These durable long-life aluminium IP69 rated gear motors replaced the previous drive suppliers' units on the upgrade part of the machine, and were preferred for use across the additional processing line to solve a problem with paint peeling and corrosion due to the wet process environment.

The machine processes freshly harvested celery; removing its root and flag then washing, inspecting and packaging the produce in a continuous operation. The constantly wet environment, regular washdown and foaming agents used on the machine had caused the old drives, although prepared with a high specification paint process, to split and peel over time with a danger that paint debris might contaminate the celery produce. This was particularly prevalent for conveyor drives close to the washing process where turbulent flushing water is used to remove soil and stones from the produce. Whilst trays and covers had been used to prevent such contamination and shield the drives from splashing water, Ambit Projects looked for an improved solution that would cost-effectively remove the need for further protection.

NORD's Severe Duty solution takes fully machined aluminium castings for both motor and gear unit components and applies an electro-chemical process which changes the surface properties of the aluminium to render it corrosion free. Unlike stainless steel motor variants, which are much more costly, the aluminium motor housings do not affect the performance of the drive as no de-rating is necessary - allowing compact and lightweight high performance drive solutions.