Air Bearings for Food and Beverage
New Way Air Bearings® is dedicated to expanding the horizons for our products. While precision engineering is often the first industry to come to mind when imagining 24/7 production schedules, food and beverage production is equally as demanding of its equipment, if not moreso.
The types of manufacturing steps to produce the foods and drinks we love are as complex as the steps to build an airplane. Whether your process requires heat, cold, grinding, milling, or simply around-the-clock reliability for product conveyance, Porous Media Technology™ delivers the solution you’re looking for.
Food and beverage facilities most commonly invoke images of a maze of conveyors moving products from stages of production to final assembly. These conveyors are a complex mechanical system, each of which is composed of dozens if not hundreds of individual roller bearings. Our thrust bushings and air bushings easily support rotary motion, with the ability to be plumbed in series or parallel.
When it comes from moving products to final packaging, pick and place systems reign supreme. These robotics arms move along an overhead gantry, safely and efficiently packaging bottles, individual foods, or packages into trays, cases and boxes. New Way offers a robust lineup of linear motion products—many of which can be stacked to form XY and even XYZ gantry configurations—for the next generation of pick and place systems. Our Linear Slides and Flat Rectangular Air Bushings provide the precision you need for delicate product handling, while providing unmatched speed and reliability.
Numerous cooking, baking, and food manufacturing processes inevitably get a little messy, as we can all attest to if we’ve baked at home. Scaled up, this becomes an issue even for the largest names in bearing manufacturing. Fluid and particle infiltration inevitability destroys contact bearings, which has led to some unconventional solutions. For instance, SKF’s line of bearings can use fry oil for lubricant.
If you’re less inclined to trust your manufacturing process to the same fluid which just cooked your french fries, New Way’s revolutionary New-Seal ® offers simultaneous rotary motion and shaft sealing. The positive pressure which allows smooth shaft rotation also creates hydrostatic pressure between the two halves, resisting particle and fluid infiltration up to 35 PSI.
Producing food and beverages requires an immense amount of maintenance for the production machinery. Food grade seals and lubricants occupy their own entire catalogs, and often come with their own price increases too. On the other hand, all of our air bearings are more than food safe. In fact, they meet ISO Class 1 cleanroom compliance standards simply operating under normal conditions.
The Porous Media bearing surface acts as a sub micron filter, removing any particulates which may remain in the already filtered air supply. Since our bearings are non contact, there are no guideway particles which can break off and become airborne or aerosolized.
All-Day Safety and Reliability
For manufacturers operating around the clock, unplanned downtime can cost as much as $30,000 per hour. This is why our air bearings are uniquely suited to 24/7 operation. Their non-contact motion means no wear and tear, and no dynamic components or lubrication means no routine maintenance or unplanned downtime to replace a spalled bearing. Even in the event of complete power loss, Porous Media air bearings slowly depressurize, gently setting the stage, conveyor, or roller down on its support surfaces, all without any damage to your assembly.
If you have questions about how New Way Air Bearing products can be applied to your food or beverage solution, or have ideas you’d like to discuss, please reach out to us!