Food Grade Gearhead Motor Solves Problem for Packaging Manufacturer
By Jeff Nazzaro, product manager for gearheads and motors Electromechanical and Drives Division North America
Parker Hannifin Corporation

Gearhead design considerations

The selection criteria to be aware of for selecting products in the food packaging and process industries:

  • Lubrication – must be USDA food grade approved in case of incidental contact with food
  • Sealing – must prevent any leaking as well as prevent any ingress of the fluid during washdown
  • Finish – special FDA-approved finish must be used making it very durable and resistant to chipping, oxidizing or rusting
  • Output Shaft – stainless steel prevents any rust from developing and contaminating the processing food.


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Gearhead motors can be ideal for the food and packaging industries if they are selected with several key features. A manufacturer of machines for gluing, fill, sealing and diverting food containers for the food-processing industry had a requirement for the motor and gearhead to be mounted above the food plane. Certain modifications were also needed for the gearhead to make it safe for the food environment, and capable to withstand frequent washdowns.