A UK engineering firm has invested more than £250,000 in a new tube product that could help food manufacturers to cut production costs and improve hygiene standards.
The Versaline range “improves maintenance intervals while safeguarding food quality,” according to its manufacturer, HPE Process. It follows eight years of research and development, working closely with key customers in the development of a “financially and ehtically sustainable” system.
It features manufacturing marks that will improve the traceability of tubing, the company added.
HPE Process’ managing director, Andrew Allman, explained: “Tubes in food production are subject to unusually frequent expansion and contraction due to the nature of food processing and cleaning regimes. They are also often subject to high levels of chlorine – one of the few elements that can damage stainless steel which has not been passivated. This causes stress cracking and corrosion.
“Food manufacturers often ask suppliers to supply or replace tubes without giving a full material specification. This leaves them wide open to abuse as suppliers use cheaper tubing that is not just sub-standard but not made for food production.
“Versaline tube has been designed to reduce corrosion and stress cracking; all of our tubes are marked with the manufacturing detail, so that the end customer can see that the material is a true food grade standard and that it can be traced back to us.
“The piping is more robust, so increasing intervals between replacement. Early tests have been positive so we are looking to roll it out across all our sectors as part of our ongoing commitment to customer service,” he added.
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