Sheet metal plays a vital role in food handling and processing. The industry requires dependable equipment that can stand up to its fast-paced, continuous-use demands. Sheet metal components and housings must be of high quality to perform as intended.
Many food equipment applications require sheet metal, including hoods, countertops and tables, coolers, equipment housings, commercial cooler components, specialty brackets and racks, and more. When it comes to food processing, cleanliness and the ability to sterilize the surfaces are critical. The FDA requires that materials coming into contact with food must not allow the migration of any deleterious substances into the food.
For this reason, stainless steel is often a popular material choice for sanitary food handling applications. It offers high strength and easy cleaning and sterilization. It should be noted that stainless steel comes in different alloys and finishes that can impact its suitability. For example, if the food in contact is salty or acidic, you must ensure that the material you choose will not become pitted or corroded over time.
Another popular food-grade material is aluminum. Aluminum is a lightweight corrosion-resistant material with a high-temperature tolerance. However, aluminum has a lower tensile strength and impact tolerance compared to stainless steel, so these should be kept in mind when choosing a material for your application.
Benefits of Sheet Metal Fabrication in the Food Industry
The food equipment industry is a broad term that covers many applications, including processing equipment in a factory, storage and handling equipment, equipment used in commercial kitchens, vending machines, packaging equipment, and more. No matter what the application is, there are some benefits that all can reap.
- Strength and durability – Sheet metal is strong and durable. It can often withstand pressure and heat better than other materials and allows for long-term continuous use and repeated cleaning and sterilization without negative impacts
- Malleability – Sheet metal provides excellent flexibility in design and can be punched, cut, and bent into countless shapes without negatively impacting its strength.
- High- and low-temperature resistance – Sheet metal can be used in high-heat applications like ovens and the frigid temperatures of freezers.
- Cost-effective – Sheet metal is an economical choice for food service equipment. Cast or molded parts require special tooling that can be expensive. The material’s longevity also adds to its lower lifetime costs.
A Precision Sheet Metal Fabricator for the Food Equipment Industry
Whether you need simple components or complex assemblies for your equipment, you can trust Tusco Manufacturing to meet your unique specifications. With experience fabricating both stainless steel and aluminum, we can deliver food service components and assemblies quicker and more reliably than the average fabricator.
We have the equipment, resources, and expertise to tackle your biggest challenges. As an ISO-certified manufacturer, we consistently provide uniform parts with exceptional repeatability, delivering what you need on time, on spec, and on budget.
For additional value, we can be your one-stop solution. Our engineers will collaborate with you to understand your needs and deliver the best possible solution based on industry and design for manufacturability (DFM) best practices. To complete your food equipment project, we offer welding, wire harness assembly under our UL 48 certification, finishing, and assembly services. But we don’t stop there. With in-house packaging capabilities, warehousing, and distribution, we will ensure your equipment safely gets where it needs to go.
Contact us for a quote on your next food equipment project.