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Lubricants in the beverage industryExtracting value from food grade lubricants in the beverage industry
Shell Cassida Fluid GLE is proving to be a winner for customers in the beverage, juice extraction and brewing industries. Apart from peace of mind, this food grade lubricant is delivering savings in time and money, through reduced downtime and lower maintenance costs.
Accidental oil contamination during the bottling and canning process needs to be avoided by breweries and beverage manufacturers, which bottle and can millions of litres of beverage for global and local markets every year. Take the example of the soft drink manufacturer in Europe that lost 5% market share in 6 months, and had to spend US $103M to recall product after a contamination incident.
Today major brewers and beverage manufacturers, are taking the risk out of bottling and canning by switching to food grade Shell Cassida as the safer lubrication alternative for can seamer and bottle crowning machinery.
Shell Cassida GLE was developed when increased awareness about the risks of potential oil contamination led Angelus, the world’s largest manufacturer of can seaming equipment, to ask Shell to develop a suitable food grade lubricant. Made from synthetic base oils and additives, it is tasteless, odourless and harmless if accidental food contamination is kept below the US FDA 10ppm limit, thereby minimising the risk of harmful contamination and costly recalls.
In field trials conducted in an Angelus can seamer at a major soft drink bottling plant in the US, Cassida GLE performed superbly to the extent that a recirculating machine that had been operating for over 16,000 hours still did not require an oil change. Delighted at this, Angelus approved Shell Cassida Fluid GLE, and began to use the product extensively at the first fill stage in all new and rebuilt seamers. Angelus now installs a plaque on all new seamers recommending customers use Shell lubricants throughout the lifespan of the machinery.
However it is not just can seamers that are benefiting from the use of Cassida food grade lubricants. As well as approving Cassida GLE for use in their can seamers, global food equipment manufacturer FMC has recently given approval for the use of Cassida GLE in their citrus juice extraction machines.
Squeezing juice from oranges and other citrus fruits is a messy process, which requires processing machinery to be kept in tip-top condition to prevent breakdown and potential food contamination. The crushing machinery in FMC extractors is lubricated with oil and is driven up and down on guide posts by cams and springs. Juice can be drawn up into the oil that lubricates the mechanism and oil can also leak down into the juice.
Overseas field evidence indicates that for every one million litres of juice produced, a machine will consume one litre of oil, which could result in a potential contamination of 1ppm. Under the US FDA rules the maximum allowable contamination of non food grade oils with food or beverage products is ZERO ppm. It is therefore critical that suitable food grade oils are used in the juice extraction process.
In a carefully monitored test trial involving three machines at a Florida orange juice extractor, the use of Cassida Fluid GLE 220 resulted in a dramatic decrease in oil pump problems caused by sticky deposits; fewer stoppages for machine service; and lower repair costs. Shell’s Cassida GLE did not have to be changed at all during the seven-week trial period, whereas previously the company would have had to change the oil 5 times when using a competitor’s food grade oil. Furthermore, if Cassida GLE is used over all 24 machines the customer benefits from savings of up to US $30,000 per harvest season.
Longer oil life, fewer stoppages for service and maintenance means that more juice is squeezed, more bottles are filled, and more cans come along the line. This all adds up to a better bottom line for the beverage manufacturer, as well as the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re protected because you’ve chosen food grade lubricants.
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