Special supplement on lubricants: Making the grade

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Food-grade, NSF H1 lubes are tough and getting tougher, and better, all the time.

If it weren’t for lubricants, not much of anything would happen. Machines would seize up, cars would break down, and food production and—and safety—would come to a halt.

Many types of lubes are used in the food industry, including those that are food grade, NSF H1 registered. These lubes are permitted to have “incidental contact” with food, as long as the amount doesn’t exceed 10 ppm.

Certification standards

Everyone in the food industry is well aware that regulations dealing with food safety will continue to get tighter and put more pressure—and cost—on the entire supply chain. “As processors assume the entire burden for ensuring a safe product and environment for food processing, more and more companies and suppliers are working toward achieving GFSI goals and adhering to FSMA guidelines,” says Eric Peter of JAX Inc. “In particular, they are interested in developing excellent HACCP controls, which directly impact lubricants and their application to parts.”

ISO 22000 is a certification standard developed to help producers and suppliers improve food safety. Although it’s a derivative of ISO 9000, ISO 22000 is more procedural than principle based and involves interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs and HACCP principles similar to schemes certified under GFSI.

To date, ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants is the only lubricant manufacturer with a complete line of NSF H1-registered lubricants produced in facilities that have earned ISO 22000 certification. Its products include Mobil SHC Cibus Series, Mobil DTE FM Series, Mobil SHC Polyrex Series and Mobilgrease FM Series.

ISO 21469 is another standard that certifies a lube is manufactured in a hygienic environment according to best practices and with FDA-approved ingredients. Porter of Klüber Lubrication says his company has over 150 NSF H1 products and more NSF ISO 21469-certified production locations than any other manufacturer.

Customer support

In business, competitiveness increases with effective customer support and after sales service. The lube industry is no exception.

The ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants SIGNUM Oil Analysis oil monitoring program gives customers access to a global network of lube professionals. It helps users in numerous areas, including extending oil drain intervals, reducing labor and maintenance costs, decreasing waste oil generation and disposal, and improving worker safety by reducing equipment interaction.

Summit offers plant audits and free used oil analyses to its customers. In addition, the company has developed an elaborate color-coded labeling system, along with other elements designed to make a food-grade lubrication program run smoothly.

From May 6, 2014 FoodEngineering