Freudenberg speciality lubricants at work in India’s food industry

Increasingly, Indian consumers are turning to processed and packaged food.  According to Boston Consulting Group estimates, the percentage of processed food in India will rise from twelve to twenty percent by 2020. One way for food manufacturers to meet such a significant increase in demand is to optimize production and packaging processes. And Freudenberg Chemical Specialities is playing an important role in the challenge to meet consumers’ needs. The Freudenberg companies Klüber Lubrication, OKS and Chem-Trend develop and manufacture speciality lubricants, maintenance products and release agents in Mysore for the food processing and packaging industries. Innovative solutions, tailored specifically to the needs of Indian customers are born in the adjacent research and development center. “These technically-challenging products help our customers to react successfully to the increasing demands of the Indian market which is significant for the Freudenberg Group,” explains Dr. Jörg Matthias Großmann, Regional Representative of the Freudenberg Group in India and Chief Financial Officer of Freudenberg Chemical Specialities.

Conveyor belt, bottling machine, deep freeze tunnel or pellet press – the increasing importance of the automatic processing of foodstuffs in India offers numerous possibilities for the use of specialist products from Freudenberg Chemical Specialities. By reducing friction, special lubricants and maintenance products extend the maintenance and service life of production plants as well as the lifespan of individual components. For example, release agents are used for the reliable and efficient manufacture of food packaging.

High standards are especially required of lubricants and maintenance products for machines and packaging plants. They must also be able to function in difficult conditions such as extreme heat or cold. An example is the OKS 3570 chain lubricant. The lubricant is water and steam resistant, leaves no residue and achieves maximum performance at temperatures from -10°C to 250°C. It can therefore be used in the manufacture of drink cans that travel on conveyor belts through ovens heated to over 200°C. The specially-developed lubricant formula is made to last, reducing consumption by up to two thirds. The wear and tear of the chains is reduced to such an extent that their lifespan doubles. Customers in the food industry can therefore reduce their costs and manufacture more efficiently. However efficiency is not the only criteria necessary to compete in the food industry. Adhering to high standards also play a major role.

Food technology safety

The non-profit-making “National Sanitation Foundation” is one of the most important certification institutions globally for products that are used in food technology. The Foundation has developed the H1 and H2 standards which are used throughout the industry and apply to applications where contact between the lubricant and the foodstuff cannot be excluded.  Many of the products from Klüber Lubrication, OKS and Chem-Trend are “NSF H1” certified, verified for their physiological safety and meeting the highest standards possible. The National Sanitation Foundations is also responsible for the certification program ISO 21469. The standard specifies hygiene requirements for the formulation, manufacture, use and handling of lubricants which, during manufacture and processing, can come into incidental contact with foodstuffs. The Freudenberg company Klüber Lubrication was one of the first companies to obtain ISO 21469 certification.

There is scarcely another company that has such a wide range of NSF certified lubricants as Klüber Lubrication. The physiological safety of these high-performance lubricants is highly-sought-after in various sectors of the Indian food industry, for example for conveyor belts in bakeries or in bottling plants. “Our many certified products are not the only key to our success. Their successful implementation in the Klüber Assert Support Service Concept is also important,” says Viju Parameshwar, President and CEO of Klüber Lubrication India. “We offer services that closely monitor lubrication processes for our customers and help match the correct lubricant to the production process.” Furthermore, production associates are also trained to use lubricants more effectively.  Klüber has successfully improved the lubrication management of many of the large food manufacturers in India such as Coca Cola, Cadbury and Hindustan Unilever. Downtimes have been improved and intervals between re-lubrication extended. In addition hygiene standards have been raised for many of the customers.

Freudenberg products also used in food packaging

Freudenberg Chemical Specialities products are not only used in foodstuffs processing, but also in the manufacture of packaging for the food industry. Sales of packaged food are growing by around 25 percent in India annually – a sign of the increase in living standards amongst the middle classes. Chem-Trend supplies release agents, purging compounds, mold cleaners and anti-corrosion agents to the food packaging industry. The company’s products help to release bottles or bowls from a mold following injection molding, protect molds from corrosion and damp and increase the productivity of machines and tooling. Scrap is reduced and production downtimes lowered. Chem-Trend release agents are also manufactured in Mysore, alongside OKS and Klüber Lubrication products.

Research and Development in Mysore makes Freudenberg a reliable partner

The site in Mysore is one of the most important Freudenberg Chemical Specialities sites in South East Asia. The site manufactures products for customers in the automotive, energy, heavy industry and food industries. The adjacent research and development center which is currently being expanded plays a key role.  “The research department is being developed into a national center of excellence for specialist lubricants, release agents and maintenance products,” explains Dr. Großmann. “The products we develop here will enable us to remain a reliable partner for our customers in the Indian food industry over the next few years.”