Drive Location

The choice between bottom and top entering drives depends on convenience.

Top drive: Top drive continues to be the most common, because there is no threat of a major spillage as might occur through a bottom seal when subjected to grinding by broth particulates. The risk of a major spill is remote because the leak rate would be quite small, and corrective maintenance could be applied well before any catastrophic event could occur.

Bottom drive: Bottom drives do have some very positive advantages. They have shorter shafts, which means that steady bearings are not necessary in most cases; they have less expensive support structures; they are easier to access and simpler to maintain; and they result in lower overall height. From the point of view of asepsis and of the fermentation per se, there is no real difference between top and bottom entry, assuming proper seal design and maintenance.

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