A great procedure for sterile or clean conditions, orbital welding procedure is now being adopted by many industries today. Learn how orbital welding programs are used in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industry.
Orbital welding procedure for food
The orbital welding procedure has shown to be very effective in joining stainless steel tubing for systems where the products flowing through them has to be maintained in a sterile or clean condition. The ability to make smooth, crevice-free welds that maintain consistency and uniformity for numerous joints have made orbital welding technology the accepted joining technology for pharmeceutical in the United States. Crevice-free welds are important for controlling the growth of microorganisms in hygeinic pipe systems. The food and dairy industries in the country, which has been slow to adopting orbital welding, have shown a growing awareness during the previous years that the joining technology used to fabricate sanity piping systems is essential to achieving and maintaining sterilizability and cleanliness, and they are taking steps to improving the hygienic condition of their systems.
Orbital Welding Procedure for the Biopharmaceutical Industry
Orbital welding has been used for water for injection (WFI) and deionized (DI) piping systems throughout the pharmaceutical industry since the 70s. One example is a facility in Brazil that used orbital welding to join piping systems for WFI, hot DI water, cold water and compressed air at a high-tech art R&D and production facility for the production and manufacture of vaccines. Orbital welding is mostly used for installing process equipment on-site like the larger fermented for antigen production installed in a clear room at the facility. Welding standards in this facility had to meet the exact criteria needed for export of the vaccines to countries outside Brazil.
Another common orbital welding application is the installation of skid-mounted equipment. Biopharmaceutical equipment is mostly installed on skids with connecting piping and associated equipment that are fabricated off-site. This gives some amount of flexibility in location the equipment on-site and facilities installation. One example is orbital welding of boiler tubes used for joining the important pipes that gives gases to the bioreactor on the bio-reactor skids made by biotechnology facilities.
Orbital Welding Procedure in the Food Industry
Many of the major food industry suppliers have started using orbital welding. For example, Kraft Foods have bought orbital welding systems for many of its plants in many parts of the United States. They find it practical to have an orbital welder on-site for maintenance jobs and small installations that they can do themselves without the need to hire a contractor. Procter and Gamble installed piping systems. The company has specified that orbital welding should be used in their new construction if practical. Many fabricators have also been uisng orbital welding to manufacture fittings and equipment for food and dairy applications for at least a decade.
The North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement has shown interest in orbital welding in Mexico to meet the new requirements for export in Canada and United States. More food industry end users in Mexico now specify orbital welding. One company uses orbital welding to weld 316L tubing in different sizes for pulp, fruit juice and dairy application. In India where skilled manual welders are scarce, one company orbitally welded the stainless steel piping systems in a cheese plant to process cheese slices for McDonald’s.
Orbital Welding Procedure in the Beer Industry
From the beginning, breweries have recognized the need control microbial growth in their process piping. One particular brewery in California that orbital welded around 11 miles of four and six-inch schedule pipe was one of the first orbital welding applications. Orbital welding is particularly important for making draft and cold filtered beer that are not pasteurized. Many of the major breweries in the United States and several in Latin America countries like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Nicaragua have successfully done orbital welding installations. And, to date, more breweries are replacing their manual welds with orbital welds.
All these is a proof of a growing interest in improving standards in the dairy, food, beverage and the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, Latin America, and in other countries as well. If end-users examine the cost-benefit ratios of new technologies, they discover that the orbital welding programs offers higher quality welds with better corrosion resistance at a reasonable cost in many applications of higher productivity. As these industries continue to improve on their fabrication practices, using orbital engineering is at the forefront.