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FUCHS to produce food grade lubricants in South Africa

FUCHS to produce food grade lubricants in South Africa
Photo courtesy of FUCHS

FUCHS Lubricants South Africa, located in Gauteng, South Africa, and a subsidiary of Germany’s FUCHS Petrolub SE, will produce the CASSIDA range of food grade lubricants locally, a first for Africa.

Covering oils and greases, CASSIDA spans lubricants ranging from refrigeration to machinery used in the manufacture of butter tubs and cans, amongst numerous other applications.

Specialty lubricants division

The integration of the LUBRITENE and LUBRASA business into FUCHS Lubricants South Africa in 2014 facilitated the start of a specialty lubricants division in the country, according to Giles Cutter, Lubritech divisional manager, FUCHS Lubricants South Africa.

โ€œThe acquired businesses, mainly lubricants for the mining and food industry brought initial sales growth and now offers numerous prospects for further expansion in South Africa and the entire Southern African region with the local production of CASSIDA, making FUCHS the dominant market player with all the necessary supporting products,โ€ said Cutter.

โ€œThe benefits of local CASSIDA production include the speed of supply, local R&D, harmonisation with associated FUCHS brands and lower costs due to SADC not applying duties on locally produced products.โ€

โ€œFUCHS is now the only production site in Africa with ISO 21469 accreditation. Competitive products who match the accreditation levels are all imported,โ€ he said.

Initial focus: Southern Africa

Cutter added that potentially, CASSIDA could be exported worldwide, but initially FUCHS will focus on the Southern Africa market.

โ€œIn the food and beverage manufacturing industry, the use of food-safe machine lubricants is crucial. The production of food, beverages and related products such as packaging puts the strictest requirements on lubricants used in the manufacturing process,โ€ said Cutter.

โ€œConsumer protection is absolutely essential. Incidental contamination of a lubricant at any point must be avoided by manufacturers. Using the correct lubrication will also enable the production process to run more smoothly, and in turn provide longer component lifetimes and extended maintenance intervals, further reducing costs.โ€

Numerous OEM approvals

Cutter said the quality of the CASSIDA food grade lubricant portfolio has been confirmed with numerous OEM approvals by well-known manufacturers of food production and manufacturing equipment.

โ€œThe CASSIDA range is NSF H1 registered, and is the first food-grade lubricant production facility in Africa to receive ISO 21469 certification. Certified for Halal and Kosher production, the products provide a total solution for the meat and poultry industry,โ€ he said.

โ€œIt is often asked why are food grade lubricants necessary, and why general lubricants cannot be used as in other sectors. Although applications in the food industry are similar to those in other industrial sectors, food-related machinery is usually subject to stronger influences, such as daily cleaning procedures with aggressive substances. The machinery also experiences extreme temperature fluctuations from rapid freezing to oven baking.โ€

Increasingly stringent hygiene standards are forcing food industry manufacturers to take measures to avoid contamination, said Cutter. โ€œExpensive impacts can result in costly product recalls. Therefore, food machinery lubricants need to ensure the highest level of purity, and be absolutely safe.โ€ 

For more information on the CASSIDA range of food grade lubricants, click here.