Food Grade Hoists vs Clean Room Hoists - Choosing the right equipment
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by Andrew T. Litecky on December 9, 2015
A project architect recently contacted me about his application where I had quoted a clean room hoist. When he mentioned the owner's uncertainty about special features, this threw up a red flag: Do you need a food grade hoist or a clean room hoist?
In the material handing industry, we often use the terms interchangeably, but indeed, there is a big difference in both price and design between a food grade hoist and a clean room hoist.
Food grade hoists are designed for clean environments such as commercial kitchens. They're loaded with stainless steel and corrosion-resistant surfaces and intended for use in a room that is regularly sanitized by chemicals and water spray. This equipment uses food grade lubricant, so if the gear case oil drips through a seal, the product is not contaminated. While this type of equipment is suitable for many pharmaceutical applications, there's no design consideration for operating in a real clean room, where everyone entering is gowned and gloved.
Clean room hoists are really in a different category and usually have a grease-filled, non-vented gear case. They’re designed to work in a clean atmosphere where air is filtered and purified and where the hoist is routinely wiped down to prevent dust buildup. Similar to food grade hoists, it has corrosion-resistant features, but it’s really fitted for a dry, clean area. When this functionality is required, the price tag is higher.
A clearly defined specification or scope of supply is the best way to get the hoist that is required for the application.