Fraunhofer IVV tests efficiency of LASKA Hygienic Design

News 2021 05 Fraunhofer

Am Institutsteil für Verarbeitungstechnik in Dresden wurden in einem ersten Versuch 35% Ersparnis beim Reinigungsaufwand durch das Hygienic Design von Laska im Vergleich mit älteren Konstruktionsvarianten nachgewiesen und im jüngsten Test eine um 30% geringere mikrobielle Belastung bei gleichem Reinigungsaufwand.
Siegfried Beckmann, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Fraunhofer IVV in Dresden mit dem Forschungsschwerpunkt Hygienegerechte Produktion, gibt uns in einem Interview Einblicke in die Forschungsarbeit seines Teams, die Bedeutung des Themas Hygiene für unsere Branche und die konkrete Arbeit im Testlabor.

The name Laska is synonymous with high standards of quality as well as continuously striving for improvement, especially with regard to detail. We are constantly evaluating the benefits of our developments. This calls for authorities that conduct objective assessments. One such authority is the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV (Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung). At its processing technology division in Dresden the first test proved a reduced cleaning effort of 35% thanks to the Hygienic Design of Laska in comparison to the older design variations. The result of the latest test was 30% less microbial contamination with the same cleaning effort. Siegfried Beckmann, scientific staff-member at Fraunhofer IVV in Dresden, who focuses his research on hygienic production, allowed us in an interview to gain insight in the research work of his team, the significance of the topic hygiene for our branch of industry and the practical work in the test laboratory.

What is the purpose of the research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging? What is the nature of your work at the processing technology division in Dresden?

Fraunhofer IVV conducts application-orientated research and development, and provides custom-made solutions to different challenges presented by the industry and science. Our aim, besides the current demands of Industry 4.0, is to help develop the future topics of bioeconomy, recycling economy and digitisation. We analyse and optimise machine processing and cleaning processes in the food and pharmaceutical industry, as well as in the production of packaging material. One of our focus areas is hygienic production. In this field, we develop innovative cleaning systems, grant support with the hygienic design of facilities, and optimise processes with regard to the protection of resources, efficiency and application-based digitisation solutions. At our technical centre we are able to carry out appropriate experiments to validate these systems.

Let's move on to the topic of hygiene: What does the concept mean to you?

Within the context of food production, it signifies one thing in particular: Consumer safety. Being an independent institute, we view it as our responsibility to raise awareness in this regard. Simultaneously however, we conduct research and development for an efficient and resource-protecting production, and offer hygienic design consulting services. Besides maintaining hygiene standards set by law, we must also consider the aspect of economic viability. In fact, safety is a central focus from the viewpoint of economic viability: If, due to a hygiene scandal, consumers no longer buy a product or, at a high cost, recalls of the product follow, the existence of the producer is at risk. This need is relayed to the machine producer, who, by clever hygienic design, is worth a lot to producers.

Does it happen often that machine producers such as Laska turn to you for help?

Yes, we work closely with the industry. Presentations of the research institute at trade fairs and conferences result in interesting discussions and often close cooperation. This was the case with Laska, after we presented our research results at the IFFA 2019. We are furthermore involved with different bodies such as the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group or the International Association (EHEDG) - Supply Chain Safety, and we work closely with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA, Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau). This all ensures that Fraunhofer conducts contractual and applied research within the industry.

How would you describe your cooperation with Laska?

It became already clear at our first meeting at the IFFA that Laska shares our viewpoint that hygienic design plays an essential role in the design of food processing facilities, and should be an inherent part thereof. This resulted in a good, productive and goal-orientated cooperation aiming at consolidating the significance of the hygienic design of facilities in this field.

Moving to the topic of cleaning: What are the basic questions that should be posed before a cleaning test?

The paramount considerations are always reproducibility and comparability. Therefore, against the background of many years of experience of design and implementation of such tests in various fields of application, we chose a setup where the basic conditions stay constant as far as possible, with only the test object changing. Basically, the following must then be decided: Do I principally want to the test the cleaning capability in respect of a particular cleaning system (therefore, does the component become clean through that particular cleaning system within a certain period of time?), or do I want to conduct a cleaning test in respect of the improved hygienic design (i.e. which component gets clean faster?). With the latter, as in the case of Laska, a reference framework is needed. In most cases this will be the previous level of development of the own product portfolio. Furthermore, appropriate cleaning parameters should be determined, and contamination be defined in a way that are representative of the typical customer applications of the machine builder.

Against this background, we would like to take a look at a specific test scenario in respect of the protective cover of a food grinder. At first the conventional design was examined, and then Laska's Hygienic Design. What had to be paid attention to exactly?

In this specific case, by means of industrial robots, a spray cleaning system was moved reproducibly around the object that had to be cleansed. In the design of the sequence of movements (nozzle distance, angle of impact, velocity etc.) care was taken that no unintentional spray shadows are formed, and that the path resembles the intuitive movement of a person (cleaning staff with spray lances). Furthermore, the operating parameters of pressure and temperature of the cleaning agent were monitored. Regarding the defined contamination, the sample preparation (the cleanness of the installation), the use of the same application method and the same drying conditions are decisive, besides the actual composition. Particularly detailed observations can be predetermined for critical areas such as the sealing points or the transitions between moving parts. All these parameters are jointly discussed with the industrial partner and agreed upon before starting the preparation for the real test. How were the results collected in the cleaning test?

In principle, for the measurement of residual contamination, we used a fluorescence-based optical in-line contamination sensor that analyses the surfaces of the components with temporal and spatial resolution to detect residual contamination. However, besides this macroscopic detection, it is also possible to examine single parts for their microbiological cleanability or allergen-free characteristics. We did this when we tested the new Laska Hygienic Design. Defined swab samples were incubated and the germ counts compared. The result of the swab sample was 30% less microbial contamination on Laska's Hygienic Design components. With its expertise as a research institute for process engineering and Packaging, the Fraunhofer IVV is a leader in the field of food, packaging, product efficiency, cleaning and processing technologies as well as recycling and the environment. To make its know-how more accessible, the FIVV in Dresden, in cooperation with the Industry Association for Food Technology and Packaging (IVLV, Industrievereinigung für Lebensmitteltechnologie und Verpackung), organised the symposium FutureClean. Participants will on two days be able to receive information on the latest developments on the topics of industrial cleaning technologies and hygienic production. Besides presentations, the event offers the opportunity of exchange between the industry and science.

The next FutureClean event will take place on 2-3 November 2022

Laska fraunhofer result

Wie wurden im Reinigungstest die Ergebnisse erhoben?

Prinzipiell können wir für die Messung der Restverschmutzung auf eine fluoreszenzbasierte optische Inline-Verschmutzungssensorik zurückgreifen, die relevante Bauteiloberflächen analysiert und Restverschmutzungen zeit- und ortsaufgelöst detektiert. Neben dieser makroskopischen Detektion ist es auch möglich, einzelne Teilbereiche auf ihre mikrobiologische Reinigbarkeit oder Allergenfreiheit zu überprüfen. Das haben wir beim Test des neuen Hygienic Designs von Laska gemacht. Definierte Abstrichproben wurden bebrütet und die Keimzahlen verglichen. Ergebnis dieses jüngsten Tests am Fraunhofer IVV war eine um 30% geringere mikrobielle Belastung auf den Hygienic Design-Komponenten von Laska.

Als Forschungsinstitut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung ist das Fraunhofer IVV mit seiner Expertise führend in den Bereichen Lebensmittel, Verpackung, Produktwirkung, Reinigungs- und Verarbeitungstechnologien sowie Recycling und Umwelt. Um sein Know-how besser zugänglich zu machen, wird vom FIVV in Dresden in Kooperation mit der Industrievereinigung für Lebensmitteltechnologie und Verpackung die Fachtagung FutureClean organisiert. An zwei Tagen werden die Teilnehmenden dort über die neuesten Entwicklungen zu den Themen Industrielle Reinigungstechnologien und Hygienegerechte Produktion informiert. Die Veranstaltung bietet neben Vorträgen vor allem die Möglichkeit des Austausches zwischen Industrie und Wissenschaft.

Das nächste FutureClean-Event findet statt von 2.-3. November 2022.