Many associate hygienic design with IP69 ratings, but these are often confused. IP69 and hygienic design are not the same thing. Having a system with an IP69 rating does not mean you have a hygienic machine. It is purely an ingress protection rating. It has nothing to do with the sanitation of the machine and how well it has been designed in terms of hygiene. It simply ensures that cabinets and enclosures will not leak when washed down to that specification. For instance, Eagle has machines that are IP69 compliant that are not hygienically designed—whereas nearly all of the hygienically designed machines are IP69 compliant. It is important to understand the difference.
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Correct Approach to Design
It is far better to have a machine that is designed specifically for purpose using specific guidelines, such as NAMI, NSF, and European EHEDG. This way, customers can be supplied with a robust product that is designed to most closely match their purpose. If you compare a product designed in this way to one that has been adapted, the differences are very noticeable. Of course, an adapted machine will be cheaper, but in the bigger picture a machine designed for the application will have a far more attractive total cost of ownership, and will deliver a far bigger incremental value to a customer.
How long do you want a machine to last? That is the question. If you have to decommission a machine four years into a seven-year depreciation cycle, then that’s a fairly large hit to take financially. But there are other things such as cleaning cycles that are important to consider. These machines are cleaned on a daily basis—often multiple times—so to have a machine that has been designed to be disassembled, cleaned, and ready to be sanitized by one person in a matter of a few minutes is highly desirable. Most machines require two people to tear down and it takes longer. Subsequently it takes longer to put it back together. The time saved in man hours over the course of the machine’s life alone is significant, coupled with the uptime advantages associated with those hours makes for a very attractive proposition.
Working with an expert supplier to talk through requirements and to cover all available options is the first step to take when considering the purchase of a hygienic product inspection system. It’s not all about the initial investment. There is a far bigger picture to take into consideration, and in doing so manufacturers can ensure the protection of both brand and consumer, at the same time making considerable savings.
Thomas is strategic business unit manager at Eagle Product Inspection. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.