In many industrial buildings, such as production facilities in the food or pharmaceutical industry, hygiene is very important. This should therefore already be at the top of the agenda during the first design of these facilities.
One of the critical, often underexposed points in a good hygienic design is the laying of cabling. After all, dust and dirt can remain on, between or behind the cables, increasing the risk of bacterial growth and contamination. Efficient routing and good accessibility and cleanability should therefore be taken into account at an early stage in the design. The method of laying the cabling and the system choice of the cable support systems are of great importance in this regard. The Safe Food Factory (SFF) working group on 'Hygienic cabling in the food industry', in which Iv-Industrie participates, has designed, among other things, a cable support system that contributes to the easy installation and cleaning of cabling.
Already in the first stage of the (3D) design it is important to determine the strategic positions of all installations and the main routes for pipes and cabling. The required space is determined for each installation and main route, with the degree of detail increasing as the design progresses. Account must be taken of the accessibility and space for service and maintenance. For example, is there sufficient free space in cable support systems for cleaning the cabling?
Cabling is often not considered until a large part of the installations have already been worked out in more detail. This limits the possibilities for the design of the cable support systems and it is often difficult to arrive at an optimal hygienic design. That is why Iv-Industrie increasingly takes into account cable support systems very early in a project, for example by including a space requirement for the main routes in a conceptual design. As a result, better account can be taken in the future of the design of, for example, accessibility in relation to the other installations.
Designing in 3D earlier in the process
Previously, the (detail) design of cable support systems and cabling was usually worked out by the selected installer. Nowadays, as an engineering firm, Iv-Industrie is increasingly addressing this during the preparation of the tender design. As a result, the systems can be reviewed with the client and/or users before the tender, appointed installers can make a better offer and clashes and rework are prevented during the implementation phase. For the installation of hygienic cabling, for example, it is important that the cabling is laid in a single layer and without crossings. To achieve this, the positions of the cables on the cable support systems must be determined early in the project. With the aid of filling degree drawings of the cable support systems and cable lists, it can be ensured that the method of installation and the number of cables are already determined at the start of the design.
When making changes to existing installations and buildings, usually no as-built 3D model is available. In order to limit the risks of clashes in the implementation phase and to enable good reviews, it is often desirable to include the existing installations, including the cable support systems, in the 3D model. In complex situations, manual measurement is often practically impossible or extremely time-consuming. In such cases, we scan the entire facility, including existing installations, and convert it into a 3D model. This model can then be used as a basis for further design. A big advantage. It is not only faster, but also prevents problems with the integration of new installations.
Future of hygienic cabling designs
In short: the sooner the cable support systems are included in a hygienic 3D design, the better. This trend in the market is clearly visible. This trend is also recognized by the SFF working group. Wouter Burggraaf, chair of the working group, and Michael Evers, secretary, indicate that it is indeed important to include the cable route in the overall design at an early stage. This has already been stated in the Safe Food Factory Hygiene Cabling Practice Guideline. Wouter concludes: “The best thing is to have the cables run through a technical room as much as possible and only have them enter the process area where necessary – possibly bundled in a conduit. This simplifies cleaning and is a step towards making certain open processes also guaranteed Listeria-free.”