Although preference should be given to feet rather than to casters, casters are used in those places where process equipment must be mobile in order to facilitate inspection and cleaning of the equipment and process rooms. Transportable equipment also allows changing of the layout of process lines in function of the food products that their customers want to be produced. Casters are excellent for increasing the flexibility of production processes (e.g., frozen vegetable industry).
Materials of Construction
Durable Materials of Construction Providing the Casters a Sufficient Load Rating
To prevent premature failure of wheels due to overloading, caster wheels should be constructed out of a material giving them a sufficiently safe load rating for the intended task. A safe load rating incorporates a safety factor for dynamic loading. On poor floor surfaces, casters experience dynamic loads well in excess of the static load. Hence, if the rating of the casters only just meets the minimum failure load, rapid deterioration of the casters will occur. Casters should thus be made of a material that suits the floor quality, the expected loading and the frequency of movement. If underspecified casters are used, the body of their wheels can break up due to being overloaded. To choose the best caster, the maximum load capacity that the casters are required to bear should be determined. That figure is commonly defined as the weight of the food processing equipment including the weight of the food product itself, divided by a number one less than the total number of casters needed. Casters shall further be made of a durable material that is corrosion resistant to food products, water, steam, cleaning agents, disinfectants, etc. They should be self-finish or dull-nickel plated, because the use of paint is not recommended. Based on these parameters and requirements, a caster made of a suitable material of construction that meets that specification can be selected.