Mould: It doesn't just grow on your food!

Mouldy SY cable extracted from a Food Plant after just 6 months.

Mouldy SY cable extracted from a Food Plant after just 6 months.

It’s pretty well known that for mould to flourish it needs a damp and warm environment. So what better atmosphere than a Food & Beverage manufacturing plant where you can find high pressure washers, fluctuating temperatures and organic substances.


We know this isn't a revelation to the Food and Beverage industry; hence the strict hygiene requirements that are legally put in place to ensure factories reach the standards we expect as consumers.


Although these companies are aware of the potential growth of mould on machinery and equipment, they may not be aware of the common growth of mould found on the very popular PVC control cables (SY, YY & CY) used to power many of these factories (See above image for an example of a mouldy SY cable).


Due to its porous nature PVC will absorb the moisture from its surroundings which eventually results in degradation of the material. In the cable world this causes the cable to become hard and brittle and eventually breaks down the outer sheath. Surprisingly at Lapp Group we have seen these changes in as little as 6 months.


We know what you're thinking - damage from hydrolysis is not classed as mould. However it is the beginning of a process that causes the formation of bacteria amongst PVC cables.

Furthermore, the build up of mould is not solely caused by the frequent wash downs and damp atmosphere, but also the fluctuation in temperature and the organic substances found naturally amongst this industry. When combining all these factors a material like PVC just won’t withstand the build up of bacteria; the one thing Food & Beverage manufacturers work so hard to avoid.


So is it fair to say: As the presence of bacteria in our food plants is not acceptable, the same should go for growing bacteria on the cables within these factories themselves?


Lapp Group a long with many manufacturers believes this to be the case. As a result we have designed a range of microbe resistant cables with non-porous qualities estimated to last up to 10 times longer then the standard SY, CY, YY cables.


Manufacturers in the UK & Ireland supporting this include Arla Dairies, Coca Cola and Guinness all of which specify ÖLFLEX® ROBUST, our full range of polyurethane sheathed cables and stainless steel cable glands. These are all made from bacteria resistant, water resistant and oil resistant materials ideal for the Food & Beverage industry.