Hygiene and the 'cleanability' of equipment used in the production of food are paramount. The widespread use of stainless steel equipment in the food industry goes some way towards ensuring these criteria are met - but the assurances provided by stainless steel are only as good as the fabrication quality of the equipment.
Following a presentation at ASSDA's annual conference in 2003 on the quality of food fabrications, particularly in the dairy industry, it became apparent that fabrication specifications, if they existed, were often inadequate and inconsistent.
As a result, ASSDA launched a co-operative venture, working closely with many fabricators involved in the food industry, to create the “ASSDA Food Specification: Fabrication and Installation of Stainless Steel Process Plant and Equipment in the Food and Beverage Industries”.
The title may be complex, but the intention is simple: used in conjunction with ASSDA's Accredited Fabricator scheme, it will standardise fabrication practices in Australia and improve efficiency and reliability by raising the standard of quality delivered.
ASSDA's Food Code of Practice is not intended to replace accepted national and international standards. Instead, it reflects their requirements in the design and fabrication process specifically for food and beverage plant. The specification is intended as a step forward from the more generic advice offered by the well-known “Blue Book”, published by ASSDA's sister organisation NZSSDA.
The Food Spec supplements the purchaser's specification and contract, with the purchaser's performance criteria and the supplier's design being the default conditions. There are prescriptive sections, such as those relating to spacing for access or acceptable levels of heat tint. However, best practice is flagged with the expectation that a contrary decision must be well supported. The consistent theme throughout is the delivery of cleanable surfaces in a hygienic environment.
The specification can be broken into four sections:
1. Scope, definitions, interpretation, document hierarchy and supplier systems required;
2. Design requirements with both general rules and specific items for process equipment, process piping and other piping;
3. Fabrication requirements for:
- Overall necessities of grade, materials care, welding and finishing procedures;
- Process vessel fabrication, whether by the supplier or others;
- The handling, welding and finishing of process tubing at ambient or elevated pressures; and
- The fabrication of non-product contact pipework at low or high pressures.
4. Practicalities such as transport, installation, commissioning and insurance.
The specification includes two appendices that list relevant standards and a discussion on the pros and cons of autogenous and filler metal use in welding of tubing.
There is no doubt that ASSDA's Food Code of Practice fills a void in the food industry. It is now up to operators in the industry to use it to improve practices in both their own businesses and the industry as a whole.
Third edition (May 2015) now available for purchase from ASSDA.
'Code of Practice for the Fabrication of Stainless Steel Plant and Equipment', also known as the "Blue Book", is intended to assist industry achieve the quality, structural integrity and food safety requirements necessary for stainless steel plant and equipment.
The document is intended to form part of any tender or contract document for the fabrication of such items and provides guidance on the following code of practice topics:
- Information and requirements to be agreed and documented
- Quality Assurance
- General design requirements
- Specific design features for tanks, vessels and silos
- Placement and type of welds
- Contamination prevention
- Cutting and forming
- Finishing processes
- Transportation and installation
- Insulation and cladding
The 58-page publication is prepared by the New Zealand Stainless Steel Development Association and is available for sale through ASSDA.
Cost: A$50.00 (includes GST) + postage and handling
Download ASSDA Product Order Form
Delivering Quality Finishes
|Stainless Steel in Heavy Engineering
This seminar examined key technical and commercial issues for heavy engineering projects. It focussed on how to get maximum benefit from stainless steel and corrosion resistant alloys, ensuring cost effective initial capital expense and lowering operating costs.
|Structural Design of Stainless Steel
This seminar provided an overview of currently available specifications for the design of stainless steel structures, the scope of these and their main areas of application, with a focus on the European and Australian specifications and design aids.
|40 Frequently Asked Questions About Stainless Steel
This no-nonsense seminar included practical answers to the most common questions about stainless steel. Industries covered included architecture, building and construction, marine, mining/mineral processing, chemical/petrochemical, high temperature, food and beverage and maintenance.
|Surface Finishing of Stainless Steel and its Effects
This seminar presented practical knowledge of the different types of surface finishes for architectural and industrial applications.
|Stainless Steel Fabrication: tips and tricks for quality outcomes
This seminar provided attendees with the fundamentals on quality fabrication of stainless steel and expanded on the knowledge requirements ASSDA seeks in accrediting fabricators. For specifiers, this seminar provided an insight into potential pitfalls to avoid when specifying stainless steel fabrication.
|Stainless Steel in Marine Infrastructure
This seminar provided practical advice on specifying the appropriate grade and surface finish of stainless steel for specific marine applications, including in marine atmospheres, tidal zones, submerged use and concrete reinforcement.
|Preventing Coastal Corrosion (Tea Staining)
This seminar covered what tea staining is and what causes it, a practical demonstration of tea staining forming, how to specify your way out it, how it can be prevented and if its is already occurring, how it can be fixed, and simple clauses to include in your specification.
|Stainless Steel in Civil Construction
This seminar provided practical advice and case studies on why and how to specify stainless steel for civil construction projects.
Stainless Steel Welding: from basics to high productivity
|Successful Use of Stainless Steel in the Food Industry
This seminar covered a range of topics including stainless steel properties, finish requirements, the effects of cleaning regimes on design, and fabrication and welding of stainless steel.
|Stainless Steel in the Water Industry
This seminar looked at the exposure conditions and their effects on the typical (and possibly new) stainless steel in use in the water industry, with emphasis on how to treat this premium material to get the best possible performance.
The Stainless Steel Stock Guide is a generic stock list of products reported to be regularly available ex stock. The guide provides essential information for anyone designing in stainless steel.
- Coil, Sheet and Plate
- Pipe and Tube
- Safety Flooring Products
The Stock Guide was last published in 2009, and ASSDA is excited to share that will begin work on a new edition, with the addition of the following sections:
- Reinforcing bars