There are several important factors to consider when designing plumbing fixtures for a food processing plant. Designing a workflow which factors in cleaning processes, traffic loads and slip resistance requirements is essential for meeting hygiene and safety requirements in a working environment and ensures longevity of the plant. To optimise the function, layout and processes, drainage design must take into account factors such as ease of cleaning and safety for workers.
Any designer of a food manufacturing plant knows that biological contamination is an ever-present risk. Harsh chemicals and sanitisers are therefore essential to eliminate risks and meet food safety standards, so the fit out of a plant must include equipment and materials manufactured specifically to withstand these cleaning products.
Adequate cleaning processes are essential, but a difficult - or impossible - to clean drainage system provides the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms. ACO developed 'HygieneFirst', a commitment to the ultimate in hygienic drainage, which is unparalleled in the industry. To demonstrate the cleanability of this range, ACO engaged leading German research organisation Fraunhofer to conduct 'cleanability' simulations.
Hygienic drainage supported by a thorough cleaning regime often includes the use of harsh chemicals and sanitisers. This reduces the risk of product contamination from pathogens, insects, rodents and other pests hidden throughout the plant. While a necessity, the chemicals used often require extremely resistant materials to prevent corrosion.
The ACO Gully stainless steel bucket traps and floor wastes are made from corrosion resistant stainless steel in either grade 304 or the higher corrosion resistant grade 316. Stainless steels are durable and withstand harsh production conditions, heat/hot liquids and chemicals, whilst being easy to service and maintain.
Workplace Health and Safety is essential in any workplace. In a manufacturing plant, designers must provide a safe and slip resistant working space for staff. In food processing operations, the workflow layout requires flooring and drainage to be carefully specified. In a previous article, ACO has explored how Heelsafe® Anti-Slip grates assist in reducing the risk of falls and accidents. The ACO Gully drain grates have been designed to reach various levels slip resistance (according to AS 4586) to suit a variety of different slip resistant requirements throughout the plant.
Consideration must be given to each machinery component with its individual cleaning and sanitising processes. Where the release or discharge of water or other liquid waste on the floor from machinery is required, sufficient floor drainage in those areas is necessary to prevent accidents from occurring.
To directly capture waste water from equipment and cleaning processes, the ACO Gully range can be installed with the ACO Food line of hygienic linear channels. The ACO Gully range of slip resistant grates helps prevent workers slipping, tripping or falling on wet or dry areas as a result of oil, grease, solids and liquid waste present in the food processing environment.
The floors of food processing plants must withstand a range of loads, from foot to wheel traffic (including pallet jacks and forklifts). Flooring and drainage components must be designed and specified according to anticipated traffic throughout the plant operation, clean up and maintenance periods. Poorly or wrongly specified grates can compromise the performance and lifespan of a food processing plant. ACO Gully grates offer various load class options to suit every area of the food processing plant. As of publication, there is no Australian Standard regulating the performance of floor gullies. ACO's gullies are designed in line with the specifications in the International Standard EN 1253 - Gullies for buildings. This Standard specifically offers test criteria for small grates, which is not addressed in AS 3996 - Access covers and grates.
Designers of food processing plants must follow best practice to ensure food safety requirements are met, minimise problems and prevent unforseen rectification and replacement costs down the track. The design of a food processing facility must prevent:
- contamination from pathogens and pests
- deterioration of plant equipment and resources
- damage by incorrect load class selection, and
- accidents occurring in the workplace.
Having the most advanced and innovative drainage implemented into the plant's design ensures that designers are meeting food safety requirements and is a necessary investment to ensure the smooth running of any food processing operation. Integrating a ACO Gully drainage systems specified to suit the food processing plant's unique operation requirements ensures easy cleaning, maintenance and service, while being corrosion resistant to withstand the test of time. The ACO Gully range can be specified to suit the correct load class and slip resistance requirements to suit any food processing plant design.