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VICOTE® Coatings Deliver Cost Savings and Significantly Reduce Maintenance Down Time at United Biscuits

Published on 2009-09-21. Author : SpecialChem

THORNTON CLEVELEYS, UK -- Down time for maintenance in the food processing industry is devastating to productivity and costly, particularly when today's manufacturing plants tend to operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week. United Biscuits ('UB') has recently specified a new coating to significantly reduce the down time required for the re-coating of a compression roller and a doctor blade that are both deployed in its cake manufacturing facility in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

The compression roller is used for pressing biscuit crumbs, a somewhat abrasive and sticky food compound. The doctor blade scrapes the excess compound off the roller. Traditionally, both the roller and the blade were coated with a stainless steel reinforced fluoropolymer based coating. The new coating, VICOTE® F810Blk is part of a relatively new range of coatings from Victrex Polymer Solutions, a division of Victrex plc, and is based upon VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer.

Working closely with plant engineers at UB, the coater, Metalcraft Plastic Coatings Ltd., of Accrington, Lancashire in the UK saw the potential for VICOTE Coatings to enhance the longevity of the roller and blade. Today UB is using FDA compliant VICOTE F810Blk to coat the doctor blade and roller and benefiting from enhanced wear resistance combined with good release properties.

"The roller, which is 1200mm long and 355mm in diameter, and the doctor blade were both coated with VICOTE F810Blk on the approval of UB engineers and the results achieved were impressive," said Gary Hull, Managing Director of Metalcraft. "The previous coating was problematic and in line with new product developments an improved surface was required. When VICOTE F810Blk was applied a re-coat was not required for six months. Further, the roller and doctor blade were recently re-coated by Metalcraft during a Bank Holiday weekend in order to further reduce the effect of the down time. This increased lifecycle and level of service has led to UB engineers to consider adopting VICOTE Coatings for other applications."

The VICOTE Coatings range of products consists of more than 30 different grades ranging from electrostatic powder grades to the aqueous based dispersion grades, many of which are enhanced by the addition of other additives in order to improve their wear resistance and release properties. A key benefit of VICOTE F810Blk coating in this application was that it is aqueous based and contains very low levels of solvents which is important for coaters looking to reduce VOC emissions.

Andrew Storm, Victrex Polymer Solutions Sales Director commented, "The unique value of Victrex's materials solutions lies in our ability to tailor high performance VICTREX PEEK-based polymers for customers' best advantage. By working with Metalcraft, we are able to provide UB with a practical, cost effective and time saving solution."

About Metalcraft Plastic Coatings Ltd.:

Metalcraft Plastic Coatings Ltd., based in Accrington, Lancashire in the UK has an extensive coating portfolio and provides 24 hours/day, 7 days/week technical back-up and services to major bakeries, including Warburton's and Northern Foods. All work fully documented and controlled under our ISO 9002-regulated systems.

About United Biscuits:

UB is the leading manufacturer and marketer of biscuits in the UK and second largest in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland. In the U.K., UB is the leading manufacturer and marketer of packaged nuts and the second largest manufacturer and marketer of savoury snacks and crisps. In Ireland, UB is number two in biscuits and number three in snacks.

UB manufactures and markets a wide range of products in the U.K. and continental Western Europe that are household names in their respective markets. Branded products accounted for approaching 90% of sales in 2008.

Among UB's popular brand names are McVitie's, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie's Jaffa Cakes, Jacob's, Jacob's Cream Crackers, Twiglets, Hula Hoops, Skips, Mini Cheddars, McCoy's, Phileas Fogg and KP Nuts in the U.K. and BN, Delacre, Verkade and Sultana in Continental Europe.

McVitie's is among the best known brands in the U.K.. UB's branded biscuits were purchased by 96% of UK households in 2008. UB owns and operates 15 manufacturing facilities of which 11 are in the U.K.. UB employs over 8,500 people of whom over 7,000 work in the U.K.

Source: Victrex

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