A small solution to a large problem: how to mitigate tanker drive off damages

Dixon (Asia Pacific) Pty Ltd
By Steve Glatz, Business Development Manager — Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage
Monday, 02 November, 2020

It’s the little things that make a big difference. Overlooking these minute details can prove to be disastrous as well as expensive.

Dixon’s sanitary breakaway coupling is your best bet for minimising spillage. Its design reduces damage related to tanker pull away and drive away incidents. This is highly beneficial in the food and beverage industry. These couplings can save you many a dollar in repairs and equipment damage.

Their make

The breakaway couplings can be easily installed between a fixed point and a hose. Made of 316 stainless steel, these couplings come in a choice of ends. Owing to its usage in the food and beverage sector, maintaining hygiene standards is key. These couplings are specifically polished to 0.8um RA 3A standards. This ensures their inclusion in equipment containing edibles.

As the name suggests, these couplings offer a provision for a convenient breakaway, which can be due to excessive loads, accidental pull away or forgetfulness on part of the drivers. These unvalved breakaways use Shear Bolt technology. Their standard configuration includes 13 kN break load bolts and EPDM seals. You can customise the clamp gasket, break load bolts and end connection. The sanitary breakaway couplings have a working pressure of 350 psi at 21°C.

Easy assembling

Breakaway couplings are often a saving grace. Assembling them requires little effort. First, thread in breakaway bolts and hand tighten in the body. Next, place the gasket on the body. Once that’s done, you have to place the second body over the bolts. Start nuts on bolts and using tools, compress the bodies together. This is to evenly reduce the gap to 0.032. You can use a feeler gauge to check the accuracy. Finally, apply thread-locker to the bolts and tighten the nuts manually.

Application & significance

Dixon’s breakaway couplings are custom-made to suit the food and beverage industry. The company takes extra care to ensure the couplings meet this sector’s hygiene standards to a tee.

Let’s have a look at how these tiny couplings play a key role in bringing home your food and beverages.

Milk continues to remain a staple food in many Australian households. Processing, storing, selling and transporting milk involves many steps. Almost every dairy processing unit comprises tanker bays. Larger dairies have up to 6 to 8 tanker bays while the smaller ones have one or two. Tanks have to pick up raw milk from farms and transport it to the processing facility daily.

These tanker bays consist of many pumps and pipework. The pipes run from one side to another through the ceiling of the bay. They connect the processing facility, where raw milk gets converted into dairy products. The hoses in the tanker bays are usually quite long. Their length differs from 3 to 4 metres to 7–8 metres with diameters ranging from 2 to 4 inch. These hoses must be long enough to connect with the milk tanker.

When the driver brings in raw milk, it’s transferred to the facility using these hoses. Once the unloading gets completed, the driver disconnects the hose and leaves. However, drivers fail to disconnect on many occasions. They drive away with the hose still connected to the tanker bay. This causes significant damage to many components. Many parts of the equipment have to undergo repair or replacement. Instant rectification is essential as dairy products get consumed every day.

Dixon’s sanitary breakaway couplings are the perfect solution for these mishaps. They have used Shear Bolt technology to mitigate damage inside the tanker bays. What these shear bolts do is they break off at a certain amount of force when applied to it. Even if the driver forgets to disconnect the hose, these bolts let go under pressure and break away. One part of the breakaway stays on the equipment while the other part falls off with the hose. This only causes damage to the hose, keeping the equipment intact.

All the expensive components inside the tanker bay are free of any damage. Repairing the hose is relatively inexpensive and not dangerous. You can easily retrieve the breakaway couplings and fix them, install new shear bolts into the breakaway and then resume service almost instantly.

Sanitary swivels

Dixon’s range of sanitary swivels is also designed for the food and beverage industry. They have a wide variety of multiple combination swivel joints. It prevents hoses from kinking. These swivel joints assist hoses to move through process lines. They keep hoses away from machinery and forklifts.

All parts are 3A certified and meet the industry standards. They use 316 stainless steel for product contact components. Non-contact components like swivel clamps get created from 304 stainless steel. They have a long inner body for easier repair kit insertion. A large chamber enables quick and smooth assembly. In gaskets, you can choose from PTFE, EPDM and Silicone options. Swivels with clamp and weld connections are available.

Reduce risk, enhance efficiency

Sanitary breakaway coupling shows how great things come in small packages. It not only mitigates a risk factor but is also designed to ensure a free-flowing path. You can avert accidents and reduce your losses. A little caution from the drivers can avoid pull away and drive away incidents. However, leaving matters in their hands alone can turn out to be expensive and dangerous. Use Dixon’s sanitary breakaway coupling and stay worry-free.

 Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/lobodaphoto

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