First Sanitary Standard for Food Industry Robots Goes Into Effect

October 27, 2016

2 Min Read
First Sanitary Standard for Food Industry Robots Goes Into Effect
Image courtesy of Flickr user archeon

The first industry standard for industrial robot system design, materials, and fabrication/installation to meet minimum sanitary (hygienic) requirements was issued by 3-A Sanitary Standards in September. The new standard went into effect on Oct. 13.

“The new standard reflects nearly five years of work to develop criteria for robots employed in the food processing environment that allow robots to be cleanable and not a source of food contamination,” said a 3-A Sanatiary Standards in a Sept. 8 press release. “With the introduction of the new standard, RBAS manufacturers, processors, and regulatory sanitarians now have accepted and [a] uniform criteria for materials of construction, fabrication requirements for product contact surfaces and non-product contact surfaces, and informative appendices to ensure cleanability and inspectability in a food processing plant.”  

The new standard, 3-A Sanitary Standard for Robot-based Automation Systems, Number 103-00, will apply to hygienic applications of Robot-based automation systems (RBAS) in food processing, preparation, and other industries where process equipment cleaning and sanitation is necessary, according to the not-for-profit organization, which develops product safety standards for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries.

“The standard addresses the robot and ancillary robotic system equipment, including the robot base, end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), tool changers, and robot dressing. Specifically, the standard includes materials and fabrication requirements as well as special requirements unique to robot systems, including zone considerations, programming requirements, controller requirements, wiring/robot dressing requirements and tooling, and installation,” the organization’s release explained, noting that the standard does not apply to milking systems on dairy farms.

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