WINCHESTER, England—While castor mounted units are commonly used in health care and clean room settings, castor wheels represent a highly underrated source of contamination.
Nick Davies of England-based Silicone Hygiene has developed and patented a castor wheel cover designed to combat this problem. Made of liquid silicone rubber or a TPE material, the injection-molded self-sealing cover encloses the castor wheel, protecting it from contamination.
It can be color-coded, according to application.
According to Davies, the wheel cover is dishwasher and autoclave safe.
"At the end of a shift, or in the event of contamination, the user can easily remove the cover, put it through a dishwasher or autoclave, and replace the cover saving valuable time," he explained.
"Steam cleaning a four-wheeled unit normally takes 12 to15 minutes, but by using the cover it would only take one cleaning cycle—5 minutes—of a dishwasher or autoclave to do the 12 wheels of 4 units, ensuring the units are fully regulatory compliant."
As a concept, the idea is a good one, said Kevin Gosling, environmental health manager Winchester City Council.
"Throughout my career, when undertaking routine food hygiene inspections, I have seen many a wheel on movable equipment that is dirty even within premises where there are strict controls on cleaning. If this design has the ability to keep a difficult area clean it can only be good for the food industry and any other industry that uses equipment with wheels."
The cover is designed for a one-step, fully automated manufacturing process to save on costs. An independent review of the markets forecast sales of more than 94 billion units worldwide.