Orbital in the Food and Dairy Industries

The food and dairy industries use large amounts of stainless steel tubing. It is important to note that among the various food-related applications, piping carrying meat products has been orbitally welded, breweries were among the first users of orbital welding, and some wineries have recently welded their piping orbitally. These industries share, with other high-purity industries, the need for piping systems without crevices which can entrap contaminants and that can be operated and maintained in a clean condition without degradation by corrosion. Most hygienic piping systems are designed to be cleaned or sterilized in-place (CIP/SIP) without being disassembled. For CIP to be effective, the inner surface of the piping, including the welds, must be smooth and free of crevices and cracks that could entrap product and provide a colonization site for bacteria. Without the orbital welding of the various fitting, piping runs, valve assemblies, and similar joints, CIP would not be practical. Although the dairy and food-related industries have been slower to accept orbital welding as the standard joining method because of the misconception that they do not need the quality or that it would be more expensive, many of the major players in this industry have begun to specify orbital welding in their plants. With more and more of the major companies specifying orbital welding for food and dairy applications, its use may become industry-wide within the next five to 10 years.


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