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Döhler Holland invests in safety in production

Imagine a small crack in a hose where bacteria accumulates - which then contaminates an entire batch of foodstuffs, or an industrial accident because a hose gives way during the cleaning process. These are the nightmares of food producers. Fortunately, this will not happen at Döhler Holland. The company has its food hoses inspected on site by the ERIKS Field Service Team. By outsourcing this task, Döhler not only saves time, money and their staffs every year, but above all, the manufacturer fulfils its duty of care.

Döhler Holland specialises in the supply of high-quality semi-finished products for the food and beverage industry. On a 15-hectare site in Oosterhout, natural ingredients, such as fruit juice concentrates, are processed for, among other things, fruit juices, lemonades, soft drinks and liqueurs. The factory has a closed system and the concentrates are transported from tank to tank via food hoses.

Döhler Group is one of the largest producers of natural ingredients for the food industry in Europe. This means that it is hardly ever quiet in the factory. The work is coordinated like a well-oiled machine and batch after batch rolls off the conveyor belt according to a structured schedule. Of course, an unexpected production stoppage is never permissible, in any company. After all, downtime costs money. But at Döhler, it is completely out of the question. Due to the high production volumes, it is impossible to make up for a lost batch if something unexpected does go wrong. All the more reason to put maximum effort into quality control and safety. And that is why they invested in having their hoses re-inspected by the ERIKS Field Service Team.  

Time left for the essentials

Why outsource the inspection of hoses to an external party when you can keep it in-house? Carel Schilders, technical planner at Döhler Holland, believes in the added value of outsourcing. He is responsible for planning preventive maintenance and weekend work. If something is not right, it requires his immediate attention and other matters are pushed to the background. "We want to have the scope to take immediate action to prevent downtime when necessary." 

"We can then always focus on what has the highest priority at that moment. Besides, we live in a time where technical staff are very hard to find. It is a specialist operation that can be outsourced. It is a bit more expensive than doing it ourselves, but we get a lot of professional support."


Sustainable approach

Having hoses re-inspected has more advantages than just taking work off your hands. It also contributes to a sustainable strategy. A common practice in the industry is to replace hoses after a fixed period of time. However, this has a major drawback: the hose can be replaced too soon, while it may still be working fine. The ERIKS Field Service Team inspects hoses from the outside and inside. By precisely measuring, knowing and registering the condition, the life span of a hose is optimised.


Fabrieksmedewerker tussen metalen installaties

It works the same way the other way around: an apparently good hose can have a small hairline crack on the inside. This crack will probably not cause any problems immediately, but in time bacteria will accumulate. With contamination of the end product as a result. Companies that inspect hoses themselves will find this out too late. The damage is done, and a complete batch can then be disposed of. Sustainability is also very important for Döhler; we do not like to throw things away. With ERIKS we can prevent that. And it does not stop there, because it is not just a question of producing a new batch. In our case, we would not only lose the product, but it has an impact on many fronts. For example, if there were scarce raw materials in that batch. We then have to make them again, or have them delivered by courier. That space, planning and logistics is not available, or costs a lot of money. Many people have to spend their time on it again. Compared to this, retesting hoses is peanuts." 


All information in one place

All hoses used by Döhler are inspected by the ERIKS Field Service Team. We carry out complete inspections and check for set test pressures, usually double the maximum working pressure. After the test, we issue a certificate with the test results. In addition, everything can be found in our hose registration system (the Hose Management System). Here you can find the current status of the hoses. It is also possible to link the EC 1935/2004 certificates to it. This comes in handy during an audit, for example, because you can quickly and easily find and deliver all the necessary documentation. 

The hose registration system also offers a handy solution for Philip Grootjans, Application Engineer Hoses, Accessories and Compensators at ERIKS. He has been working for Döhler for years and is the contact person for hoses. "I get feedback on all the approved and rejected hoses in the system. If I see, for example, that a hose has been rejected more often than average, I go and see why. I know the installation and how the hose is used. Together with Döhler we then look for a solution to extend the life of the hose. For example, an application with swivels that prevent the hose from kinking. 

Medewerker bezig met slang. ERIKS busje op de achtergrond

Philip Grootjans - Application Engineer Hoses at ERIKS (left) and Carel Schilders, Planner Technology at Döhler Holland in the coupling room at Goodall Nutralon food hoses.

Fulfilling our duty of care

By having hoses re-inspected by the ERIKS Field Service Team, Döhler also meets their duty of care. The use of hoses is covered by PRDA, the Pressure Equipment Directive. For a number of years the legislation refered to this directive and stated that the user has a duty of care. The NPR 5527 states why, how, at what pressure and how often various hoses must be re-inspected.

Philip: "Often only the medium that flows through a hose is considered. But that is not the heaviest load on a hose. That is the cleaning process. More and more often a shorter cleaning process is chosen whereby a higher temperature and a higher concentrate is cleaned. This is the heaviest load and at the same time also the most dangerous. A hose that ruptures during a cleaning process can cause a very serious industrial accident. As an employer, you have a duty of care to protect your employees from danger. This includes the materials they work with. By retesting hoses, you can be sure that they are free of defects and safe to work with."  

Trust in quality

Jaap Struyk, Maintenance Manager at Döhler, also takes the duty of care very seriously and views the picture from an even broader perspective. "Everything we do in the factory and the products that leave it must be safe. For me, that is part of the duty of care. We have a responsibility for our staff and for the end user. So we must be able to rely 100% on a hose. In addition, our hoses are 'late in the process'. That means there is no more checking by magnets or sieves. It is the last step before it goes to the customer." 

Twee medewerkers met haarnetjes bij grote blauwe slangen

Hoses and Food Safety...

Food safety is all about regulations, product traceability and the use of food-safe products and components. Are you sure you are using the right type of hose? We are happy to advise you on how to choose the most suitable hose for your application.

For more information on Hose solutions and to get in touch with one of our ERIKS Fluid Power, Transfer and Control Specialists please contact your local ERIKS Service Centre, who will be happy to discuss your options.

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