- Offers no contact surfaces for contamination
- All seals are closed without gaps
Wherever foodstuffs are being processed, hygiene is a top priority. To ensure compliance with hygiene standards, production facilities are treated with strong cleaning and disinfection agents under strict regulations. Cables, plugs and conduit glands are also subjected to severe loads and must withstand these aggressive media. But how can this be tested and what should you consider when selecting conduit glands and cables for the food industry? You can find this information and more in our article.
What is ECOLAB®?
ECOLAB® is a global leader in the development and marketing of high-quality products in the field of industrial cleaning and hygiene. For cleaning and disinfecting food and beverage technology processing equipment, ECOLAB® offers a full range of cleaning agents and EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) registered cleaners and disinfectants. These are suitable for cleaning in place (CIP), cleaning out of place (COP), outer foam or manual cleaning.
However, ECOLAB® is not just a manufacturer of its own products, but also one of the leading standards institutes for hygiene-critical industrial sectors. Among other things, the company offers a testing service that enables cable manufacturers to certify their products.
What is the ECOLAB® certificate / ECOLAB® certification?
What is known as the ECOLAB® certification or ECOLAB® certificate is issued by the company of the same name for products that are resistant to certain chemicals used for cleaning the machinery used in food production.
LAPP offers products such as cables, conduit glands and protective cable conduits with ECOLAB® certification, which are particularly suitable for heavy-duty environments subject to e.g. chemical cleaning agents.
With the certificate for their cables, plug connections or conduit glands, manufacturers can demonstrate that these have a passive resistance to the necessary cleaning processes without generating pollutant emissions.
Many of our LAPP products have already been tested and certified according to the ECOLAB® test method F&E/P3-E no. 40-1 (based on 9-2014). We thereby ensure that our products can withstand the cleaning requirements in your application areas in the long term.
How do products receive the ECOLAB® certificate?
Whether you're testing a cable, conduit gland or plug connection, a successful ECOLAB® certification requires that these be placed in six different test solutions for 28 days each (current ECOLAB® test conditions according to test method 40-1 for the material suitability test):
|Test solution for||Suitable cleaning agents or disinfectants for product cleaning after disassembly (COP)|
|alkaline, surfactant-containing cleaning||e.g. Topactive 200|
|acidic, surfactant-containing cleaning||e.g. Topactive 500|
|alkaline cleaning/disinfection containing active chlorine||e.g. P3-topax 66|
|acidic, oxidative disinfection||e.g. P3 top-active OKTO|
|neutral disinfection||e.g. P3-topax 990|
|deionised water||deionised water|
Within the specified time period, the test samples are checked every two days for visual changes. In addition to the changes to the product itself, such as a swollen or brittle surface, colour changes and defects such as cracks or abrasion of the material, colour changes to the test solution itself are also precisely recorded.
For example, in the image below you can see two conduit glands of our SKINTOP® product brand in a P3-topax 52 test solution, which is a liquid, acidic foam cleaning agent for use on stainless steel in the food industry.
The image shows that on the left-hand side, both the test solution and the conventional conduit gland made of brass and not resistant to the special cleaning agent have had chemical reactions within the test solution. By contrast, our special SKINTOP® HYGIENIC or SKINTOP® INOX conduit glands with ECOLAB® certification remain unchanged in the test solution after 28 days, making them resistant to "P3-topax 52".
Who carries out the testing for the ECOLAB® certificate?
At LAPP, we carry out the ECOLAB® tests at our special designated laboratory of the LAPP Group in Stuttgart. The test for the ECOLAB® certificate is accurately recorded and documented. We then submit the documentation and the tested sample of the test analysis to ECOLAB®.
If all criteria are met, ECOLAB® then issues the ECOLAB® certification based on the submitted data.
Why is the ECOLAB® certificate important for products in hygiene-critical areas?
Reliable and uninterruptible production operations are essential in the food and beverage industry, as a standstill in the processing of perishable foodstuffs can lead to high costs as a result of disposal and restarting production. In a worst-case scenario, even the health of consumers could be put at risk.
The use of special cleaning agents and disinfectants is essential to maintain the hygiene quality, so components that can withstand these sometimes aggressive agents in the long term must be used.
If unsuitable components are used, conduit glands, for example, could corrode and cable insulations could swell. The components then lose some or all of their functionality. Fragments of defective components could end up in the production materials or chemicals could evaporate from the plastics of the components. This results in hazardous situations for employees and consumers that you, as a manufacturer, must avoid.
Tip: Use ECOLAB®-certified products for your production facilities to make sure that they are resistant to the wide range of cleaning agents and disinfectants employed in your industrial operation, allowing you to use them without hesitation.
Which LAPP products are available with an ECOLAB® certificate?
Products that are now particularly resistant to regular contact with chemical cleaning agents, for example, include our SKINTOP® HYGIENIC and SKINTOP® INOX conduit glands. These are based on the general design principles of DIN EN 1672-2 for the food industry and are certified according to the latest EHEDG test.
Benefits of our SKINTOP®-HYGIENIC conduit gland
Advantages in construction
- It has a moulded seal with a radius over the connection thread Instead of an O-ring
- Blue sealing ring under the cap nut
- Specially shaped conduit sealing ring for cable
- Smooth surfaces and no edges
Fulfills the ECOLAB® specifications
Blue colour in the food industry
Did you know that there are no raw materials in nature with a blue colour as intense as that of our plastics for products in the food industry?
This makes it easier to detect a piece of plastic that has fallen into the foodstuff and avoid major damage at an early stage.
In addition to the aforementioned conduit gland SKINTOP®-HYGIENIC with ECOLAB® certificate and EHEDG certificate, we also offer our SKINTOP®-INOX conduit gland in our product range.
Our SILVYN®-FG NM protective cable conduit hides cables in the hygienic area excellently for you and banishes expensive stainless-steel pipes for the installation of cables in the hygienic zone from your facilities. All products meet ECOLAB® requirements and are particularly dirt-repellent and resistant to a wide range of cleaning agents and disinfectants.
What's more, we can also offer you a whole range of products that are not specially labelled as HYGIENIC products or as ECOLAB® certified for use in food production. In particular, our classic ÖLFLEX® ROBUST, a series of cables that can easily withstand the cleaning loads in hygiene-critical areas.
The same applies to a wide range of accessories and cables made of PVC, TPE or PUR, some of which are also ECOLAB® tested.