Catalogs Now Available in French and Spanish

For the convenience of our customers, we now offer our catalogs in two additional languages. Québécois French was requested by our Canadian customers who wanted an easier way to browse our hygienically designed color-coded tools in their native language. A Latin American Spanish catalog is also available. Our catalogs contain category descriptions and each of our products along with their color availability and technical specs.

To order a catalog in a non-English language, please choose the appropriate language in the drop-down “Catalog Type” field on the catalog request form on this page of our website. You can also instantly download a full PDF of our catalog in all three languages on the same page if you prefer digital.

Product Selection Guides

Remco now offers product selection guides to help you and your customers pick the most effective products for your needs. Each guide contains specifications for all the variations of the product it features, along with information about brush fibers, hygienic design, and the available color selection.

Product guides are available for:

We also have industry-specific guides that highlight the most frequently purchased items from some of our more popular customer industries. Guides are currently available for:

We may add more product guides and industry-specific guides in the future, as well. If there is a guide that would particularly be of help to your company or your industry, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service department (cs@remcoproducts.com) to let us know. Our customer service representatives can answer any questions you may have in the meantime.

Selling Your Organization on Color Coding

Color coding benefits everyone from the company CEO to individual workers. Selling your organization on color coding is as easy as learning what appeals to each position, and presenting the benefits. Whether you’re a plant safety officer or a salesperson at a distribution company, here’s what you need to know to gain organizational buy-in.

Plant Owners – Minimize risk and product waste

Plant owners carry the responsibility of running a safe processing facility on their shoulders. Color coding can increase the safety of day-to-day operations, somewhat lessening that burden. In the event of charges being carried against a facility, owners/operators must provide a due diligence defense if their product causes illness or death. Color coding is a proven, standard method to prevent cross contamination and is widely accepted by standards organizations. BRC v.7 (2015) requires BRC registered companies to use either color coding or tools that are “visually distinctive” in high-risk areas. Color coding is a significant step towards being able to show auditors that a company is doing their part to minimize risk and promote food safety.
If color coding is helpful in minimizing the chances of cross contamination, it’s essential to minimizing the impact of a foreign body recall due to a piece of a tool breaking off and contaminating the product. If zoning is done by areas, or even shifts, the color of the chipped tool or plastic glove can pinpoint where (and possibly when) the contamination happened, which results in less product needing to be pulled off of shelves.

Middle Management – Simplify training and pinpoint issues

Color coded tool stations can significantly reduce the amount of time that must be spent training each employee. Instead of a complicated system where certain tools are only left certain places, the stations are immediately obvious to even the newest employees. Food processing facilities typically see a high amount of turnover, making brevity in training time even more valuable. Simplify the entire process by having total color tools for different purposes.

Tool stations also promote a culture of responsibility since it’s easy to see if someone didn’t bother to put a tool back in the right place. Having a place for each tool, and having each tool be zoned keeps the factory running smoothly and safely. If a tool is missing, finding it is as simple as asking the shift workers it’s color coded to. Retraining is also easier if it’s immediately apparent when an employee is using the wrong tool for a job.

Employees – Uncomplicate HACCP regulations

Training represents time and money to company executives. To employees, it’s time they’re not working toward production goals. Most workers appreciate a streamlined process that doesn’t require them to remember which station they went to for a tool. Color coded stations also means brooms aren’t propped against walls and buckets aren’t sitting in random places, all waiting to trip an employee who’s not paying enough attention.

Investing in a fully color coded system shows a commitment to food safety that won’t go unnoticed by employees. The shift of a company culture to one that deeply cares about the safety of its products will help employees feel good about their work, which, in turn, can make them better workers.

Getting organizational buy-in is a necessary part of adding color-coding to a company. Without it, the process may not be implemented correctly, if at all. However, once color coding becomes part of the corporate culture, it can streamline operations and training, as well as reduce risk.

The Differences Between Non-Sparking and Anti-Static Tools

Non-sparking and anti-static tools both have a common purpose—preventing fires or explosions in production facilities where flammable materials present a concern. However, they each are designed to prevent specific dangers, and shouldn’t be confused. Non-sparking tools are characterized by their lack of ferrous metals (steel and iron), which means they don’t cause sparks that could ignite under the right conditions.

Anti-static tools are carefully designed to work within a system of grounding equipment to prevent static electricity from building to the point it could damage electronics or provide enough of a charge to start a fire or explosion.

However, being non-sparking doesn’t mean a tool can’t also be anti-static. When properly grounded, a non-sparking tool can also prevent electrostatic discharge.

When are non-sparking tools needed?

Non-sparking tools are important for use in a facility that may have an explosive atmosphere or any reason to be especially concerned about the possibility of sparks causing a fire or an explosion. This typically concerns production facilities that contain flammable gas, mists, dusts, or liquids. Non-flammable tools are often used in oil refineries, paper companies, and ammunitions plants. Food processing facilities that use powdered milk, egg whites, cornstarch, grain, flour, or cornstarch may also use non-sparking tools since these can all create combustible dust hazards.

What are non-sparking tools?

Non-sparking tools are, essentially, those that don’t contain ferrous metals. Ferrous metals include steel and iron, in all of their different iterations. Items that are made from carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron or wrought iron all have the possibility of producing a spark.

Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, copper, brass, silver and lead. They’re not the only materials that non-sparking tools are made out of, though.

Common non-sparking tools are made of:

  • Plastic
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Copper-nickel alloys
  • Copper-aluminum alloys
  • Copper-beryllium alloys
  • Wood
  • Leather

Plastic is a common non-sparking material for items like shovels, scrapers, paddles, and scoops.  Tools that need a higher tensile strength, like hammers or screws, are often made out of copper alloys, though beryllium tends to be avoided because of its possible toxicity.

There is a possibility that even non-sparking tools could cause a reaction called a “cold spark”, which doesn’t contain enough heat to ignite even the most flammable of substances, carbon disulfide. Cold sparks can still give the appearance that sparks are happening, but are safe around even the most flammable of substances.

When are anti-static tools needed?

Electronics components—especially motherboards—are extremely electrostatic discharge (ESD) sensitive. A simple static charge created by a worker walking across a floor to a workstation could destroy a motherboard, rendering the entire component useless. Most industries don’t need to worry about static discharge, but when flammable gas is in the air, such as acetone or methane, even a small discharge can create a fire or explosion.

What are anti-static tools?

Anti-static tools are more complex than not containing a specific type of metal. They must be a part of a complete program to safely discharge static.

Static electricity naturally builds up through three different processes:

  1. Tribocharging: Two materials (like socks and carpet) are brought into contact and then separated.
  2. Electrostatic induction: An electrically charged object is placed near a conductive object that isn’t grounded.
  3. Energetically charged particles impinge on an object: This is mostly a problem for spacecraft.

The most effective prevention for static electricity isn’t so much a single tool, as it is a system of precautions, grounding mechanisms and a lack of highly charged materials. Together, this creates an Electrostatic Discharge Protection Area (EPA) that works to keep electrostatic discharge (ESD) sensitive materials safe.

The principles of a successful EPA include:

  1. No highly charged materials
  2. All conductive materials are grounded
  3. Workers are grounded
  4. Electrostatic charge builds up on ESD-sensitive electronics is prevented

The hand tools you use in this environment are often made from plastics that are specifically created to work within this delicately balanced system. These electrostatic dissipative (ESD) tools have a balanced charge and low surface resistivity, which means they don’t gain or lose charge to the objects and surfaces that surround them. These tools have precise temperature and humidity ranges that they work in. If they’re used outside those ranges, they may still create a static charge.

 

If your facility needs non-sparking tools, all of our lines except our metal detectables will fit your needs. With the exception of some of our handles, they’re made of plastic, which makes our tools durable and safe to use in many different environments.

If you have a static sensitive environment, you may require anti-static tools, which we currently do not offer.

Some of our products, such as our green shovels, are made of plastic mixed with a static resistant compound. The compound is designed to reduce static and keep products from clinging to the tool. This doesn’t make them anti-static, and they shouldn’t be used in areas that have anti-static requirements.

 

3 Surprises from the 2016 Food Manufacturer Survey

Food Engineering Magazine’s annual State of Manufacturing Survey is here, and it shows the industry has a lot of room for growth, despite taking some extremely positive steps last year. In this year’s survey, 72% of respondents reported that they have a food safety management system in place, and 69% report having a recall plan.

2016 Food Safety Methods
Chart courtesy of Food Engineering Magazine

Though having a food safety management system in place isn’t the same as being FSMA-ready, in 2014, only 38% of those surveyed said they followed FSMA recommendations, and in 2015, manufacturers reported 41% compliance.

GFSI Adoption and Food Safety Management Systems Grow

As FSMA has begun to take effect this year, more plants are adopting Global Food Safety Initiative programs like BRC, SQF 2000 and FSSC 2200. Plants are following these schemes, which all include an audit protocol, to ensure they’re ready for the possibility of an audit by the FDA, as well as to ensure they’re following current best practices. These programs often include measures like color coding facilities to minimize cross-contamination and using durable tools that are less likely to contribute to foreign body contamination.

Allergen Controls Reportedly Used Less

It’s tempting, as an industry, to be satisfied with this growth. However, as plant managers put some measures and checks into place, they’re leaving others by the wayside. Food safety management systems and recall plans have gone up in use, but allergen controls, which could prevent recalls like the 2016 Oreo undeclared allergen recall, have declined in use.
Food Safety Magazine reports that 34% of all recalls between 2009-2012 occurred because of undeclared allergens. In 2015, that number was 33%. The lesson? We aren’t getting any better at controlling allergens and allergen cross-contamination. Now isn’t the time to step back on things like allergen control, especially when the FDA reports more consumers have food allergies than ever.

Lot-Level Traceability Experiences Sharp Decline

Traceability, a process done using adhesive labeling that tracks products from the farm to consumer’s hands, experienced a sharp decrease in use this year. It’s entirely possible the track-and-trace feature has been incorporated into ERPs or other inventory systems, but the survey doesn’t have a way of reflecting that possibility. Either way, the 15% decline in its use is unexpected in a year that’s been dotted with around 450 food recalls, according to the FDA’s website.

Looking Forward

It could be, as Food Engineering Magazine proposes, that other safety plans have made some measures redundant, but it’s worth examining whether stricter FDA regulations have made plants fall back onto the bare minimum, or whether safety and efficiency really are walking side-by-side now.

Benefits of Corporate Standardization

Corporate standardization is an effective tool for streamlining sanitation programs across multiple production facilities. Over the past several months, Remco has been working with several large food manufactures to implement standardization programs. Throughout the process, Remco and end users identified a number of benefits to the program. The biggest benefit… simplified processes.

Hygiene programs tend to work best when simplicity is the primary consideration. Here are some of the top simplifiers of Remco’s corporate standardization plans:

  • Procurement

    Standardizing tools means spending less of your valuable time searching for compliant products when adding a new tool or replacing existing tools. Standardizing with a single supplier means managing fewer P.Os. and SKUs in the procurement process.

  • Audits (internal/external)

    Internal and external auditors will see one consistent process with understandable documentation for across multiple locations.

  • Best Practices

    Consolidate knowledge across multiple facilities, building collaboration and improving quality.

  • Training Cost Savings

    Enables a corporate-wide training department while limiting the time and money spent developing ad hoc programs at individual locations

  • Employee Mobility

    Move labor force between facilities without jeopardizing the understanding of your food safety program

In addition to simplifying processes, corporate standardization can benefit end users in several additional areas. Remco assist in equipment selection, visual management, tool documentation, and program implementation.

Equipment selection can be a challenging part of the standardization process. There are multiple suppliers selling many tools of varying quality. But, if you are implementing a color-coding plan, HACCP compliance requires more than simply having brushes and tools of the same color. We take into consideration requirements that tools be food safe, hygienically designed and purpose built.

Visual management is another area where we have been able to help end-users. Color-coding programs, proper signage, and appropriate labeling are all issues we consider.

One of the most important aspects a corporate standardization program is the documentation supporting tool compliance with the FDA’s 21 CFR guidance. Remco has documentation ready for every piece of compliant equipment that we supply. We often provide detailed and well-organized sets of documentation to end users.

Finally, when it comes to implementing standardization programs, we have found great success in offering wide-ranging flexibility to end users. We keep a ready stock of items in our warehouse that can be shipped directly to end users. This allows our distributors to quickly fulfill large stocking orders without routing shipments through their shipping centers. In short, this means quicker turnaround times and fewer partial shipments.

If you have questions about corporate standardization, please contact Rob Middendorf
rmiddendorf@remcoproducts.com

Growing Importance of Hygienic Design

Hygienic design of tools and equipment is essential for improving food safety in production facilities, and many people within the industry are arriving at this consensus together. The challenges facing those responsible for food safety are seemingly endless, and companies shouldn’t have to worry about compounding risks with poorly designed cleaning tools.

This past summer I had the privilege of witnessing the consensus building surrounding hygienic design at two different conferences. In March, the 3-A Sanitary Standards Group tackle the challenges of hygienic and sanitary design of equipment. With the ever-increasing complexity and volume of food production, sanitation is becoming more and more daunting. Currently, the standards created by 3-A apply primarily to large equipment, but the organization also recognizes the potential benefits of applying standards to things like hand tools.

In August, I attended the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) annual conference. The IAFP conference has grown significantly in size and influence over the last few years. Much like 3-A members, IAFP members were talking about hygienic design throughout several Professional Development Groups and across many general sessions.

Deb Smith, Vikan’s Global Hygiene Specialist, spoke to the Food Sanitation and Hygiene PDG on the science of hygienic design applied to cleaning tools. Her talk garnered great interest among attendees both inside and outside the group. It’s obvious the industry is recognizing the importance of hygienic design throughout the cleaning process. Deb is also presenting a webinar covering the same topic on October 6th. You can register here: http://info.foodprocessing.com/1610_remco_webcast_mnt. If you can’t make the live event, your registration will allow you to view an on-demand version for up to one year.

At Remco, our goal is simplifying the challenges faced by food safety professionals. We do this by collaborating with Vikan on many levels. In addition to supplying a full line of hygienic material handling and cleaning tools, we also providing webinars, white papers, training, and consulting. Through these practices, I believe we advance hygienic design and simplify your challenges.

Bottle Brush

Vikan
Vikan Bottle Brush
Series 5381-90
Available in 6 colors

Vikan Bottle Brush - GreenVikan Hook Brush - BlueVikan Bottle Brush - RedVikan Bottle Brush - WhiteVikan Bottle Brush - YellowVikan Bottle Brush - Black

Manufactured with no joint between the handle and brush head, the brush removes a common repository of contaminants. When cleaning, it’s the brush bristle tips that do most of the cleaning. The brush head features extra-stiff bristles at the front, enabling you to clean more quickly and effectively. The bottle brush is intended to clean bottles, drains, and other curved surfaces. The one-piece construction of handle and head is made from FDA compliant polypropylene. Extra-stiff polyester bristles are effective at removing stubborn debris from surfaces.

Specifications:
Length: 16.90”
Width: 3.50”
Height: 3.50”
FDA Compliant Raw Material: Yes
Block Material: Polypropylene
Bristle Material: Polyester
Other Material: Stainless Steel
Unit Weight: 0.44 lbs

Vikan Bottle Brush - Action ShotVikan Hook Brush - Alternate Angle 1 width=Vikan Hook Brush - Alternate Angle 2Vikan Hook Brush - Alternate Angle 3


Download Product Sheet:

Vikan Bottle Brush – 5381-90-x

Hook Brush

Vikan
Vikan Hook Brush
Series 5372
Available in 6 colors

Vikan Hook Brush - GreenVikan Hook Brush - BlueVikan Hook Brush - RedVikan Hook Brush - WhiteVikan Hook Brush - YellowVikan Hook Brush - Black

Cleaning between and around pipes is made easier with the curved design of the hook brush. The hand grip utilizes a threaded recess on the end that allows another handle to be connected to the brush. When connected to a Vikan handle, the extended hook brush allows comfortable cleaning of pipes in high or difficult to reach areas. The brush bristles are secured with noncorrosive stainless steel wires, helping increase longevity. All materials are FDA compliant, and the grip matches the bristle color for easy integration into a color-coding program.

Specifications:
Length: 14.17”
Width: 7.87”
Height: 2.16”
FDA Compliant Raw Material: Yes
Block Material: Polypropylene
Bristle Material: Polyester
Other Material: Stainless Steel
Unit Weight: 0.35 lbs

Vikan Hook Brush - Action ShotVikan Hook Brush - Alternate Angle 1Vikan Hook Brush - Alternate Angle 2Vikan Hook Brush - Alternate Angle 3


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Vikan Hook Brush – 5372x

Grout Brush

Vikan
Vikan Grout Brush
Series 7040
Available in 5 colors

Vikan Grout Brush - GreenVikan Grout Brush - BlueVikan Grout Brush - RedVikan Grout Brush - WhiteVikan Grout Brush - Yellow

This brush is excellent for scrubbing in difficult to reach areas or areas where you only have limited space. The grout brush is suitable for cleaning under equipment, between equipment, getting into corners, cleaning the crevices between floors and walls. The grout brush, with extra stiff angle cut bristles, is great for cleaning grout and other difficult areas. It is mounted with a thread adapter that can be removed for easy cleaning of the whole product. The neck allows for 180° of rotation, great for reaching under equipment.

Specifications:
Length: 8.86”
Width: 1.38”
Height: 3.54”
FDA Compliant Raw Material: Yes
Block Material: Polypropylene
Bristle Material: PET
Other Material: Stainless Steel
Unit Weight: 0.53 lbs

Vikan Grout Brush - Action ShotVikan Grout Brush - Alternate Angle 1Vikan Grout Brush - Alternate Angle 2Vikan Grout Brush - Alternate Angle 3


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Vikan Grout Brush – 7040x