Victoria Forney

The Use of Stainless Steel Caster Wheels in the Food Manufacturing Industry

If you run a manufacturing business, you can't underestimate the benefits of stainless steel caster wheels. Keep reading to discover which type of manufacturers benefit the most from stainless steel wheels and why they're so great. When you purchase caster wheels by Caster Central, you invest in your business's future with high-quality products that can stand up to the harshest environments. 

How Manufacturers Use Stainless Steel Caster Wheels

Because of their unique mix of durability and strength, certain manufacturers find casters made of stainless steel the best material for their needs.

Harsh Environments

Stainless steel boasts incredible resistance to extreme environments such as manufacturing facilities with high-heat conditions, severe temperature fluctuations, or high concentrations of salt in the air or water. Whereas casters made from other materials quickly corrode and crack under these conditions, stainless steel remains reliable.

Chemical Manufacturing

Stainless steel is impressively resistant to chemical wear or corrosion, which makes it perfect for chemical manufacturers. In these facilities, they're popular with carts and automated guided vehicles because their resistance and strength decrease the chance they'll spill dangerous or expensive chemicals during transportation.

Food Processing

Food processing facilities frequently undergo extreme temperature changes and require powerful sterilization substances that would corrode non-stainless steel casters. 

Pharmaceutical and Healthcare

Much like food processing, pharmaceutical and medical production facilities use powerful cleaning agents to avoid bacterial growth that would compromise their products. With stainless steel casters, these businesses don't worry about the effect these powerful chemicals have on their ability to transport products.

The Benefits of Using Caster Wheels Made From Stainless Steel

Stainless steel caster wheels are popular in the manufacturing industry because of the extensive benefits they provide.

Durability

You've read that stainless steel casters offer superior corrosion resistance and endurance against extreme temperature fluctuations, but in what other ways do they exemplify durability?

  • Life expectancy: Stainless steel casters are among the longest-lasting wheel options for manufacturers. With proper maintenance, they can last several years before requiring replacement.
  • Rust resistance: In addition to chemical and corrosion resistance, stainless steel rusts much more slowly than other materials. If your work environment contains significant moisture, stainless steel is your best choice for caster wheels.
  • Hardness: Stainless steel resists damage from falling, bumps, and other impacts that would crack or chip casters made from nylon, polyurethane, or aluminum.

Carrying Capacity

Stainless steel casters are great for heavy-duty applications because they bear significant loads without buckling or sticking. They can bear hundreds of thousands of pounds, making them perfect for transporting the heavy machinery required in many manufacturing processes. You can move your equipment and products confidently without worrying about the expenses incurred through damaged assets.

Safety

Stainless steel caster wheels are among the safest ways to transport equipment and products. They improve safety in the following ways:

  • Reduced injury: Because of their ergonomic design, stainless steel caster wheels are easy to use without risking injury. When you install these wheels on all your carts and transportation methods, you'll probably see a reduction in workers' compensation claims and missed days of work.
  • Less frequent spills: The caster's ease of use and durability decrease the risk they'll buckle, crash, or lose balance, leading to fewer spills. When your facility transports dangerous chemicals, spills pose a serious risk to your workers, property, and bottom line. With casters constructed of stainless steel, you reduce how often these situations occur.
  • Antimicrobial properties: Since stainless steel resists bacterial and fungal growth, you'll sterilize them less often and can operate confidently, knowing your wheels aren't spreading organic material.

Easy Maintenance

Business owners love stainless steel casters because they require little maintenance and rarely need repairs. When they do experience the occasional buildup of grime, they're easy to clean with detergents and sanitizers without fear of corrosion. Since you'll spend less money on maintenance and your employees spend less time cleaning them, these wheels are great for your bottom line.

Versatility

The versatility of stainless steel casters means there's no bad environment in which to use them. They can handle a wide variety of equipment and products, traverse nearly every floor or surface, and stand up to the most harmful environments. If you don't want to spend precious time searching for the right caster, you can confidently assume stainless steel ones can do the job.

Appearance

While aesthetics is likely your lowest priority when choosing your caster wheels, don't overlook the benefits of a luxurious-looking wheel. If you have an inspector, investor, or supervisor visiting your facility, clean and sleek stainless steel caster wheels send a subconscious signal that you run a professional and safe business, and you pay attention to detail. Think about what that can do to the reputation of you and your company.

Caring for Your Stainless Steel Caster Wheels

While durable, you should properly maintain your steel casters to maintain their life expectancy and performance. Use the following tips to care for your wheels.

Regularly Lubricate Them

Lubricate your caster wheels every six months minimum. If your manufacturing process uses an excessive amount of corrosive materials, lubricate monthly to help the stainless steel maintain its resistance.

Perform Regular Inspections

Every three or four months, inspect your wheels for wear and tear, including flat areas, rust, and chips. Damage to the wheel can affect your employee's ability to safely transport equipment and products, so it's best to avoid using damaged wheels.

Check the Fasteners

In addition to inspecting the wheels, don't neglect the fasteners that hold them. Once a month, verify the fasteners aren't loose or broken. While you can tighten a wobbly fastener, if it's damaged, you should replace it promptly.

Don't Avoid Replacement

No matter how effectively you care for your stainless steel caster wheels, eventually, they'll require replacement. To avoid further damage, injury, or lost production, replace compromised wheels immediately.

Alternatives to Stainless Steel

If you're still not confident stainless steel casters are the best, look into these other options and compare the quality:

  • Cast iron: While affordable and durable, cast iron casters aren't good for vulnerable flooring like laminate for vinyl. While they can bear heavier loads than other common casters, stainless steel is still stronger.
  • Nylon: Nylon wheels are strong and provide smooth gliding across most surfaces without causing damage. However, they don't hold up against extreme temperatures or corrosive chemicals, making them a poor fit for the food processing industry.
  • Rubber: Rubber caster wheels are popular for their ability to resist corrosive materials and extreme temperatures. The downside is they can't bear a heavy load, and their tread wears down faster than most other materials.
  • Polyurethane: These wheels easily handle heavy loads, won't damage your floors, and resist corrosive chemicals. However, they don't hold up in extreme temperatures, and in environments with high moisture, the tread often separates from the wheel.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum wheels have high carrying capacity, resist chemicals and extreme temperatures, and are relatively affordable. However, they don't do well on uneven surfaces, such as gravel or pavement, and they produce a lot of noise during transportation.
  • Mixed materials: You can find caster wheels that use different materials for the wheel and its tread. For example, when you combine a metal wheel with a rubber tread, it provides unique benefits and disadvantages. 

Contact Caster Central for All Your Caster Wheel Needs

Are you convinced stainless steel caster wheels are best for your food processing facility? Whether you need high-temp casters or a simple solution for temporary transportation, Caster Central can provide all your needs. To speak with a representative, call (800) 445-4082.