Numerous Marlin stainless steel motors have been installed on United Biscuits' Twiglets production line, leading to considerable direct cost savings, as well as reduced maintenance and downtime.
United Biscuits' investment in stainless steel motors has brought significant returns in enhanced hygiene, reduced downtime/maintenance and extended motor life over conventional AC motors on its Twiglets production line.
Initially replacement Marlin stainless motors, supplied by MR Engineering of Birkenhead, were installed in a five-leg oil-spraying gantry system that coats Twiglets as they pass below on a conveyor. The 71 frame, 0.37kW, four-pole motors drive spinning discs that distribute the coating across the width of the conveyor.
The viscous oil inevitably gets deposited upon the motors and has to be cleaned off at regular intervals. Previously, with the conventional motors, this meant removal of the motors for cleaning by hand - which was a fiddly and time-consuming operation that took a whole weekend to complete.
In contrast, the Marlin motors, with their easy-to-clean smooth bodies and IP66 protection, can be cleaned in situ with steam lances. (IP66 sealing also ensures that the ingress of moisture is prevented during hose-down cleaning operations and where water is constantly present in manufacturing processes.) The smooth bodies of the motors and the round terminal boxes totally eliminate all crevices that might catch and harbour material build-up. Consequently, these design features help to enhance hygiene by facilitating effective cleaning.
Being located directly above the line, the stainless Marlin motors also offer the benefit of eliminating any potential hygiene risk of contamination from both flaking paint and corrosion.
As well as coating the external surfaces of the original motors, the oil also penetrated the cowls covering the motors' cooling fans. The result was unbalanced running that caused premature bearing wear. This, in conjunction with vigorous cleaning routines, shortened the working lives of the original motors to less than one month. Hence there was frequent downtime, plus the expense of new motors and the cost of fitting them.
In comparison, the Marlin stainless motors have been installed since Easter 2007 and are still functioning efficiently and have not required dismantling for cleaning. Also, because the motors are totally enclosed machines, there is no risk of internal contamination to cause malfunctions.
Mick Edwards, Engineering Manager, comments: "The initial five-motor installation has proved so successful because of easy cleaning, extended motor life and consequent significant savings, that we have installed a further four motors on the same line. Two of these are employed to drive the pumps delivering the oil to the spray system, the third drives a rotating brush that cleans the conveyor carrying the Twiglets, and the fourth now drives the conveyor. We are obviously extremely satisfied with the Marlin motors."