Rubber for contact with food

When rubber comes into contact with the food that we consume, it is of crucial importance that the rubber material has been tested thoroughly and complies with all relevant regulatory requirements and legislation for materials used in the production process. AVK GUMMI produces customised rubber components for a wide range of articles in the food industry – e.g. gaskets for valves and pumps and high dynamic diaphragms for dosage pumps.

Why our rubber solutions are suitable for contact with food

Rubber components for contact with food are subject to enhanced requirements as a number of factors may affect the quality of the food. Therefore, we have particular focus on the following factors:

  • The rubber material must not affect the food, e.g. by releasing taste, smell, colour or dangerous substances to the food.
    Read here: How to prevent taste and odour from rubber to food
  • The surface of the rubber component must be easy to clean and sterilise for the sake of the product quality and consumer safety, and the rubber formulation must be resistant to cleaning agents, sterilisation and of course the product itself.
    Read here: Rubber production in relation to EHEDG
  • The properties of the rubber material must provide optimal functioning, e.g. minimum permanent deformation, which ensures leak-tight gaskets. High resistance to wear ensures a long lifetime, and low friction reduces the closing torque, e.g. in a butterfly valve. This reduces the energy consumption when operating the valve.
  • During the rubber development process, it is important to distinguish between static and dynamic use. This has a great impact on the lifetime of the rubber as well as the energy consumption in a dynamic application.

Which type of rubber should you choose?

Although rubber only constitutes a small part of the food processing facilities, it is of vital importance for the quality of the finished food product as well as the function and compliance of the processing facilities. Both the cleanability of the processing facilities as well as the operational conditions – such as temperature, pressure and flow rate – have an impact on the choice of rubber.

Read here: Rubber materials - Typical failure modes and consequence of function and safety

 

IPR – ownership of your rubber solution

When we develop a new compound, we use this for as many products as possible. However, if we develop a compound for you and this is critical to your business, we can enter into an exclusivity agreement.
The tool that we design for the production of your item is based on your product design and our unique tool design. You will always own IPR of the product design.

Transparency concerning the allocation of IPR is your guarantee that our collaboration will give you a competitive edge and secure your know-how.

Read here: What does IPR mean? Why is it so important?

The primary types of rubber for food in our range are:

  • EPDM
  • HNBR
  • FKM
  • Silikone
  • NBR

Security of supply through advanced production

When the supply chain is challenged in a global market, you and your customers are highly dependent on your suppliers. Will you receive the products at the right time and price? And will the suppliers take responsibility for the quality of the product?

AVK GUMMI offers you security of supply in an insecure world.

We consider ourselves particularly strong within the following parts of the supply chain:

  1. We cooperate with large, well-reputed suppliers. Naturally, price is always an important aspect, but we must never compromise on quality, security of supply or CSR.
  2. We have one of the world's most advanced, fully automatised mixing plants where the raw materials are weighed and dosed with the greatest precision. This enables us to manufacture rubber compounds of a uniquely high quality and uniformity.
  3. With production at our own factories, we can secure you traceable deliveries, no matter how the world around you evolves. At the same time, it gives you the opportunity of having a back-up production.
  4. We make sure that we have the right foundation for production, including the right tooling solutions. Furthermore, we always carry out a thorough validation of each manufacturing step before release for production. This is your guarantee that you always get the agreed and expected quality.

Traceability in our production

We have the tools for quickly detecting, correcting and documenting any errors in the unlikely event of an issue with your rubber component.

We collect all relevant process data throughout the entire manufacturing process. The data is stored for 25 years. Together with date marking and material identification on the parts, this forms the backbone of our traceability.

This makes it possible to locate the possible cause of the problem and at the same time imitate corrective and preventive actions.

Food compliance

This list shows a selection of the many standards fulfilled by rubber compounds from AVK GUMMI:

  • FDA 21 CFR 177.2600
  • 3-A Sanitary Standards, 18-03
  • EC1935:2004
  • GB 4806.11:2016
  • BfR XXI/XV
  • Arrêté 09.11.1994
  • BNIC
  • JFRL

Safety through certifications

Our certifications are your guarantee that we live up to our own high standards. We always focus on safety, quality and the environment, which means that you can fully concentrate on your product without having to spend time on supplier audits.

If, however, you should to carry out an audit, you are always welcome!

Read here: Certifications and quality and environmental policies

Easier cleanability and a long lifetime

Good food contact materials are also easy to clean and to maintain clean. Together with international food manufacturers and universities, AVK GUMMI has carried out research in the field of cleaning-friendly surfaces and developed rubber compounds that are easy to clean. This has made it possible to shorten the cleaning programmes, use less chemicals and reduce the energy consumption, which is beneficial to the operating economy of your own business and that of your customers – and in the end effect the environment. At the same time, the compounds for food contact produced by AVK GUMMI have been developed to withstand cleaning and sterilisation, which often involves acids, alkalis, steam and oxidants.

Read here: Extended lifetime for gasket materials with good chemical resistance

Reduced environmental impact

AVK GUMMI constantly sets up new targets, and our own environmental standard goes beyond that of the public authorities. This is your security that our cooperation will always give you the best possible environmental solutions tailored for the future.

Finally, we think of the environmental footprint that we leave behind. Every day, we work on reducing our energy consumption and minimising the waste. Therefore, we deliver the rubber waste that we cannot entirely avoid to the local CHP plant where the waste is turned into heat and electricity. Our life cycle analysis has shown us that this is the most sustainable way of handling our rubber waste.

Consumer safety in a global perspective

If your company operates in multiple markets, you know all about the challenge of complying with the different legal requirements, recommendations and standards for products that come into contact with food – and the burden that comes along with the obligations of documentation.

At AVK GUMMI, we manufacture rubber components for food solutions based on compounds approved in most parts of the world. We send our rubber formulations to independent, accredited test institutes in a number of countries for testing and approval on an ongoing basis. This is your security that we consider local recommendations, standards and legal requirements – including compliance with lists of authorised substances and requirements concerning the accepted level of traces of substances in the food.

With AVK GUMMI as your partner, you will not have to spend time looking for local suppliers that live up to your expectations. Furthermore, with rubber compounds approved for food contact in several countries, you will reduce the complexity of your product programme, and your tied-up capital in stocked goods will be reduced.

Read here: Rubber compound for food contact: Why global approvals are important

Compounds for food contact from AVK GUMMI is your guarantee that your rubber components will not release substances outside the acceptance level to the surrounding environment, and that taste and odour will not be affected.

Product development with focus on you and your product

If you are looking for competent advice to improve your product, we are here to assist you. Often, we can challenge you new ideas that you may not have thought of. We are also happy to participate in the development of a new product right from the start – without taking over your design process.

Our focus is to transform your product requirements into concrete development parameters. This may be in the form of mechanical performance criteria, such as damping or documentation of ageing properties, to support your stability data.

With our competent advice as well as our development and production process, you and your product are in safe hands.

 

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AVK GUMMI Company Brochure