By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online
Equipment durability is an important consideration in food production, and within the harsh environments of many food processing operations, having sharp and durable blades results in better productivity and profitability.
According to this report, by applying a smooth Ra micro-finish coating on blades, a process has been developed that provides high levels of protection against corrosion and other conditions that are common within a seafood processing environment. During extensive testing, the blades, which are designed to work with both freshwater and saltwater applications, have proven to hold up to the rigors of processing in land-based plants and ocean-bound ships alike.
To improve the durability of the stainless steel blades, a smooth micro-finish coating is applied to them, which reduces blade friction during cutting. With less blade friction, it becomes less likely that fish and waste products stick to the blade. When blades are cleaner, they tend to last longer, cut more efficiently, provide greater yields, and generate less waste. The blades are also polished and honed to deliver sharp, clean cuts.
The blades were put through 500 hours of a constant salt spray to test for durability and resistance to degradation. After testing, the blades showed virtually no signs of rusting or corrosion. Additionally, while most plants tend to clean and sharpen processing blades about every two to four shifts, the blades with the smooth micro-finish endured the equivalent of 62.5 shifts, or about 21 days, of testing without breaking down.
As with any processing operation, the fewer the amount of stoppages that are necessary for sharpening or changeover, the more productive the operation is. Although upkeep is necessary for the longevity of the equipment, production suffers each time a processing line needs to be paused in order carry out blade maintenance. By using blades that can extend the time between regular maintenance, seafood processors can improve their productivity.