Food processing facilities historically possess some of the harshest environments for electric motor manufacturers to overcome. High humidity, temperature extremes, continuous operation, and caustic chemicals all contribute to the difficulty of
the application. Add in the frequency of high pressure washdown, and it becomes virtually impossible for any general purpose motor to survive for any length of time.
Tightening regulations pertaining to food safety, the prevention of food borne illness and other foreign contamination are effectively phasing out the use of painted motors in food processing. Stainless steel motors are filling this void, due primarily to their corrosion resistance and their ability to maintain a pathogen free surface when properly cleaned and maintained.
Stainless motors occupying this space in food processing facilities are most likely classified as Washdown Duty by the motor manufacturer, but it is important to understand that the term
“Washdown Duty” is not defined by any governing authority, so all washdown motors are certainly not created equal.
The purpose of this article is to outline the features and benefits of the Bluffton HydroDuty washdown motor (owned by WEG Group) and explain the critical design elements in the motor that lead to its unmatched reliability, service life, and overall value when analyzing total cost of ownership.
There are two main culprits responsible for the majority of electric motor failures: bearing failure and the winding going to ground. The Bluffton Motor Works engineering team concentrated their design elements to specifically address these modes of failure, and have created a product that routinely outperforms all others
in terms of reliability and motor life expectancy.
Features & Benefits:
Unique Endbell Design Eliminating Water Intrusion
• Center cavity drains divert moisture away from bearings
• Tapped drains can be closed with stainless plugs, depending on mounting application
• Expanded Shell has 1” wide rabbet providing greater surface area to prevent moisture from entering the motor
• Press fit end bells with water blocking O-ring ensuring NO moisture intrusion
Fully Encapsulated Windings
• Eliminates common washdown failures with the industries’ most advanced encapsulation technology
• Provides superior heat-transfer capability while protecting windings from moisture
• Motors meet NEMA MG1 Part 31 for Inverter Duty Requirements
10:1 Variable torque, 10:1 Constant torque; IP66 Rated
• Protects bearings from high pressure spray with a stainless steel shaft slinger and custom lip seal.
• Shields against water or chemical entry with an additional check seal, and a tight tolerance shaft clearance hole
All Stainless Steel External Components
Bluffton HydroDuty Stainless Steel motors will endure chemical washdown and help:
• Reduce plant downtime
• Decrease production costs
• Ensure compliance to Health Regulatory Guidelines
Advanced Protection Technology
• Eliminates the need for drain plugs with an oil and water resistant breather vent and a flared shell design
• Halts water intrusion through extended rabbet construction and utilization of o-ring seals to guarantee a water-tight fit.
Sealed Conduit Box Featuring Submersible Motor Technology
• Prevent water accumulation at the lead wires with strategically located conduit box drain holes, which will drain in any mounting configuration
• Reduce risk of lead wire corrosion and failure with water-tight heat shrink lead splice kit. (Shrink Tube Splice Kit must be properly installed for 1 year Warranty)
Motor designs undergo a rigorous testing protocol in our lab. Our “Torture Chamber” gives us the ability to do accelerated life testing by simulating plant environmental conditions and exposure to caustic cleaning chemicals. The benefit of our extensive testing program is that it eliminates the need for the end user to conduct their own field testing to prove out the design
under environmental conditions.
“Torture Chamber” Testing Protocol
• Chamber utilizes six high pressure spray nozzles
• Motor runs to operating temperature (2 hours)
• High pressure spray (1500 psi) with chemicals
(140-150°F., 20% acid and 20% alkaline)
• 20 minute soak with hot chemicals
• High pressure spray with hot chemicals
• High pressure spray with hot water (140-150°F.)
• Flood with tap water (50°F.) for 20 minutes
• 1 cycle simulates 1 day of plant conditions
• Cycle time: ~3 hours
• 8 cycles/day
RESULTS (actual food processing facility)
In year one, ZZZ Plant used 442 motors , zero were HydroDuty. In year two, the plant used 81 HydroDuty motors, and the overall usage was reduced to 368 units. By year three, ZZZ was using 118 HydroDuty motors, and the overall usage dropped to a total of 179 units.
In two years of using HydroDuty, ZZZ Plant had reduced their motor spend by over 40%. The plant was able to reduce their total yearly costs (invoice, maintenance, downtime) by nearly $200K at this facility alone.
Total Cost of Ownership
Downtime costs are a major determining factor in plant productivity and can have a significant impact on a company’s profitability.
The scenario below is a single motor application in a Poultry Kill facility, examined over a period of 2 years. This facility has over 200 motor applications at varying levels of exposure throughout the plant. If 10% of the 200 applications are of a similar failure rate as the one above, that is a potential $1M savings over a 2 year period. Since downtime is not a hard cost, these savings drop straight to the bottom line of a company’s P&L Statement.
Total Savings by Using HydroDuty $45,730
The Bluffton Motor Works HydroDuty motor was engineered specifically to survive the many challenges of today’s washdown environment. By incorporating design elements that combat the primary sources of motor failure, the HydroDuty has proven to be the most reliable and durable motor in the industry.
Extensive testing has proved out our design against the elements and the competition. The end user should feel reassured that additional on-site testing is unnecessary. Educating the end user about the savings possible from a Total Cost of Ownership perspective will make the decision to use the HydroDuty one of the easiest the customer will ever have to make.
For more information, visit www.blufftonmotorworks.com.