Our customer is a leading manufacturer of cheese, whey protein, and other dairy ingredients. Maintaining a clean and sanitized production facility is vital to ensuring dairy products are safe for consumers and will have maximum shelf-life. Most sources of contamination come from outside the production facility and are brought in by various means such as articles of clothing, equipment, tools, etc. For our customer, there was a concern that bacteria from uncontrolled and unsanitary parts of their facility could harbor on personnel’s shoes and unknowingly be brought into sanitary production areas. Our customer requested Placer Process Systems design and build a portable disinfecting cart that would automatically spray a disinfectant solution onto the ground and onto the personnel’s shoes to destroy any possible contaminants as they entered production areas.
A typical sanitary portable cart is constructed from hollow square tubes welded together with the open ends sealed together. This type of framework structure can support the weight of a full tank or other types of equipment while eliminating the open cavities of the hollow square tube that can trap water. Our customer was concerned that over time as the cart framework is subjected to heavy tank loads, harsh cleaning chemicals, and vibration from moving the cart, the framework welds could potentially crack which would expose the internal cavities of the hollow tube and trap water. The cart itself had to be designed and built to minimize possible sources for harboring bacteria and could not be designed and built using standard structural members.
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Placer Process Systems designed and built the portable sanitizing cart framework using only stainless steel flat bar. By notching and grooving the various flat bar members together and welding at the adjoining seams, the non-structural flat bar formed a rigid framework to support the weight of the disinfectant solution storage tank.
The cart consisted of a disinfectant solution storage tank, circulation pump, and assortment of valves. A proximity sensor was used to detect the motion of an operator walking thru a doorway that would automatically trigger the dispensing valve to open and spray the disinfectant solution. Non-streaking corrosion resistant casters were used to prevent leaving marks on the facility’s flooring as it is moved around.
The concept of using stainless steel flat bar to construct the cart framework minimized the possible surface area and eliminated voids where water can collect. By using a notch and groove construction concept, the flat bar structure could also withstand the heavy weight of a full disinfectant storage tank.
By making this disinfecting system cart mounted, the customer had the flexibility to move the cart around the production facility as needed. This eliminated the need for our customer to spend more of their capital budget on additional stationary disinfecting systems to be installed at multiple locations around the facility. The concept of making the dispensing of the disinfecting solution automatic made this system easy to use while minimizing dependency on site personnel to operate and maintain.