Bervina Develops Unique Products for Special Applications
According to the current forecast and estimates industrial production is moving toward greening manufacturing which is why the green manufacturing of drive components has a strong market potential all over the world. In the United States the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already launched a quality standard for the food and pharmaceutical industries, and although it is not a requirement anywhere around the world, it is still a quality indicator that companies recognise and trust.
Bervina Ltd has been producing cast timing belts for more than 30 years according to its own patented technology. These quality products are unique and are designed and manufactured for special applications. Besides traditional polyurethan products Bervina initiated a project with creating some of its products in nontoxic, green version mainly for food and pharmaceutical industry. With taking this challenge the company becomes leader of the market segment in Europe.
In the framework of Green Drive project four products will be developed and fine-tuned in order to create green and clean manufacturing drive components. These four products have been selected in order to satisfy the most important customer needs.
These products are:
• Heat resistant timing belts getting into contact with food and pharmaceutical products
• Timing belts getting into contact with food and pharmaceutical products for transport
• Timing belts getting into contact with food and pharmaceutical products for transmission
• Metal drive components getting into contact with food and pharmaceutical products
Description of the technology, product or process including its innovation aspects
Timing belts are normally produced using a TDI (toluene diisocyanate) based PU prepolymer. Results of some animal tests show that TDI can be carcinogenic, and although this claim is disputed, products using TDI cannot get FDA approval. The non-carcinogenic replacing material for TDI is a compound called MDI (methylene diphenylene diisocyanate). Many variants of MDI including the one we intend to use are approved by the FDA. There are additional benefits during the manufacturing process:
The MDI prepolymer and binding component only need to be heated to 45°C for the measurement and casting, while the TDI prepolymer needs a temperature of 60°C for measurement and 90°C for casting. This does not only mean energy savings but also that the isocyanate contamination of the air is reduced since the inherently less damaging MDI prepolymer does not evaporate as much on the indicated lower temperature. As a result, the quantity of harmful substances vented into the environment is reduced and of course the waste and residue generated during the production process is less harmful to the environment with MDI as the raw material.
Toothed timing belts
1. Highly heat resistant pure silicone timing belts
Silicone is neutral to the human body but its tensile strength is much lower than that of polyurethane used for traditional timing belts. Although this timing belt is not fit for power transmission tasks it can be used in temperatures between 100-250°C for the moving of materials and objects. Current applications use steel chains for this, which is very pollutant due to the lubrication it needs, and is also very loud.
2. Timing belts that come into direct contact with food products
During the processing and packaging of food products many objects come into contact with the materials. These objects are primarily made out of stainless, acid resistant steel and plastics, which do not cause any alterations in foods which would be dangerous or would have harmful consequences. We intend to produce and market toothed timing belts that can be used in food production machinery without any risks.
To produce these timing belts, the following are needed: identifying and procuring the suitable polyurethane; determining the correct moulding technology, taking into account the design of a production area which ensures the applicability of the product in the food industry; designing a tool construct which is suitable for the production of multi-layered one-piece conveyor belts; and development of the necessary adhesion for the moulding together of two layers using surfactants in a way which allows for the usage of the centrifugal casting technology patented by Bervina
3. Moulded or vulcanised silicone covers for traditional toothed timing belts or for those that come into direct contact with food in smooth or patterned versions. In many cases packaging machinery use traditional power transmission belts made of neoprene or polyurethane but the cover of these belts is silicone or FDA quality polyurethane which are harmless to health.
Besides polyurethan and silicon products the company have been processing power transmission elements from metal as well. It is fairly unusual that a processing company can work with so many raw material. Companies usually work with either plastic or metal so this capability shows the diversity of the company.
Metal Drive Components
Couplings should be of good quality, resistant to acids from food products, so that harmful materials do not dissolve from them. First couplings were made out of aluminium that contained lead due to its better cutting properties. Later the lead was switched to pewter, and today these components are made out of stainless steel, which we intend to use for the production of our EASY couplings.
Finally Bervina also have taper bush products in stainless steel. The BS type products are suitable for food industry application.