Corrosion-Resistant Gear Drives At Work For The Seafood Processing Industry

In the Krijn Verwijs shellfish production center, rapid drive corrosion, due to the saltwater atmosphere, has long been a major concern. NORD aluminum alloy-housed gear drives, with the unique NSDtupH surface conversion system now provide an economical solution to resolve this issue.

Focus on the Costumer

Krijn Verwijs Yerseke B.V. a family run company, was established in 1880 as an oyster farm for increased market consumption. Over the course of time, they have grown into one of the largest players in the European crustacean and shellfish market. The company supplies mussels to supermarket chains and catering wholesalers in Europe under the brand name "Premier“ and under additional private labels. Krijn Verwijs also offers a complete assortment of oysters, lobsters and other types of shellfish.

Focus on the Project
The production centers salty atmosphere makes this seafood factory a textbook case for adverse environmental conditions – several hundred 2.0 hp class gear drives, on multiple conveyor lines, have long experienced rapid corrosion. A full transition to the resilient NSDtupH system is now underway and in the months and years to come, every drive at Krijn Verwijs will eventually be replaced by a durable NORD gearbox.

Project Challenge

Krijn Verwijs is one of Europe’s foremost suppliers of shellfish products, particularly blue mussels. When the fresh catch arrives at the processing facility it is put into large basins. These containers incorporate a constant flow of clean salt water which serves to keep the product healthy while thoroughly rinsing out the sand. Given the close proximity to these containers, and the fact that live mussels are then conveyed wet, all processing lines throughout the factory are inevitably exposed to a humid, salty atmosphere.

Aggressive environment –Due to this destructive atmosphere, corrosion rapidly appears on exposed and unprotected metal across the entire automated process, including the conveyor lines. In the case of conventional cast iron gear drives, rust spots and other signs of corrosion, first appear on new systems in a matter of weeks resulting in a one to two year service life. Special coatings or varnishes merely help to moderately delay the onset of corrosion. Stainless steel gear drives, when compared to NORD gear drives with NSDtupH, do not qualify as a cost-effective solution either, proving both costly and impractical due to mandatory cool-off periods before every wash-down.

Resilient, affordable, easy to clean –Frequent drive replacements used to be commonplace at Krijn Verwijs until the company learned of a new approach for gear drives placed in aggressive environments; the NSDtupH surface conversion introduced by NORD DRIVESYSTEMS. This technology enables aluminum alloy gear drives – which can be quickly washed down – to achieve stainless steel grade resistance to corrosion at a lower cost.

Application Solution

Krijn Verwijs has begun to roll out NSDtupH systems to provide a considerably longer service life in the salty environment. In house lab trials and extensive real-life testing in the processing facility indicate that NSDtupH systems may outlast the typical 10-year lifetime of a conveyor line, and possibly outlast the line. Therefore Krijn Verwijs will no longer have to purchase five to ten replacement drives for every unit, or bother with the expense and effort associated with the current maintenance work they grew accustomed to.

Corrosion resistant surface protection –NSDtupH is not a coating, but rather a surface conversion that produces a base layer permanently bonded to the substrate. Based on an electrolytic process, this treatment renders the aluminum alloy gear case housings equally unsusceptible to corrosion as stainless steel. The scratch resistant surface also becomes more than six times as hard as untreated alloy, and a thousand times as hard as paint.

Cost Eefective versus stainless steel–Featuring a lightweight, compact and self-draining design, gear drives with NSDtupH can be easily washed down. The Food & Beverage Industry recognizes that these treated gear drives are impervious to common chemical cleaning agents – neither rinsing them with acids or alkaline solutions or applying high-pressure cleaners will do any damage. In addition, the NSDtupH surface conversion systems are universally available for all NORD aluminum-housed constant speed reducers – unlike many stainless steel reducer series, which many manufacturers limit to a few drive types and sizes.

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