With food safety and the presence of food-borne hazards such an important issue in today’s food and beverage industry, manufacturers around the world are taking note of Atlas Copco’s recent accreditation to ISO 22000, the first air compressor company to do so.
While not defining air quality as such, ISO 22000 is an important food safety management system that has been developed to ensure food safety throughout the supply chain.
Peter Furolo, Atlas Copco’s Product Manager – Oil-Free and Medical Focus, said Atlas Copco is the first compressor manufacturer to receive ISO 22000 certification for its production facility in Antwerp, Belgium, which manufactures energy-efficient oil-free air compressors, blowers, gas generators, dryers, filters and vacuum plants.
“This accreditation gives customers the peace of mind that they are working with an organisation that completely understands the importance of food safety. Atlas Copco has invested its considerable resources to ensure it is a reliable and trustworthy supplier to the food and beverage industry.”
He revealed that Atlas Copco pioneered the development of oil-free air technology nearly fifty years ago. “And remain a company of innovators and leaders in the air compressor industry.”
Furolo pointed out that Atlas Copco was also the first air compressor company to meet ISO 8573 Class 0 certification for all its oil-free compressors (screw, centrifugal, piston, scroll, combined screw-piston, water injected screw and tooth).
“Of course many of our competitors have followed us with Class 0,” he said.
“Now we are the first air compressor company with ISO 22000 accreditation. It is something that is needed in the industry, and no doubt our competitors will eventually follow us again.”
He said Atlas Copco sets the benchmark for good practice in the compressed air industry, providing its food and beverage customers with assurances regarding quality, safety and reliability of its products.
“This certification provides the food and beverage industry with confidence that they are working with a supplier that conforms to the latest international standards regarding food safety.”
Furolo said ISO 2200 has become more widely known in Australia over the past few years and he expects that it will become common place across the food and beverage industries very soon.
“The big multi-national food companies that operate in Australia are the drivers for ISO 22000 awareness. They lead the local industry by example and I believe that the rest of food and beverage companies will quickly follow suit.
“In today’s modern world where the important, regulations on food standards are essential.”
He explained that ISO 22000 specifies the requirements for a food safety management system where an organisation in the food chain needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.
“After intensive workshops and thoroughly executed audits by Lloyd’s Register, we were able to demonstrate that Atlas Copco complies with the highest standards in the food industry with its oil-free compressors and blowers.”
He went on to explain that ISO 2200 is based on the ISO 9000 system, but is very specific regarding food safety hazards.
“While not about the quality of the compressed air in particular, the standard includes an understanding of the whole business operation from an operational and a service point of view, including the implications of using spare parts and other critical components in a compressor that could cause hazards.”
Furolo said the same HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and procedures, as used in the top quality food and beverage companies, have been implemented in the design and production of the company’s oil-free compressors, blowers and dryers.
With compressed air coming into contact with the end-product in many applications, or even forming an active part of the food, he said it is vital this air should not generate any risk of contamination.
“It is for this reason Atlas Copco decided to invest in this vital food safety certification. As innovators, we are always searching for better ways to serve our customers,” Furolo said.
He explained that Atlas Copco manufacturers a wide range of oil-free compressors that all comply with the Class Zero standard and are all designed for critical applications that require 100% oil-free, clean air.
“Our range includes the well-known Z range, plus the SF range of rotary scroll compressors and the innovative AQ water injected screw compressors. Plus we also manufacture the powerful ZD PET blowing compressors.
“At Atlas Copco, we are committed to sustainable productivity for all our customers,” Furolo concluded.