Clean-In-Place Reduces Cleaning Time
Clean in Place is an automated method for the cleaning of pipes, tanks, lines and sanitary process equipment. It uses the soaking and agitation of systems to clean equipment surfaces without disassembly.
It is designed to reduce downtime and increase production capacity. DeJong is the expert in plant construction. One of those innovative retrofit features we are increasingly asked to provide is CIP skids.
Advantages Of A CIP System
A Clean-In-Place system passes cleaning chemicals across all surfaces, removing product residue without requiring equipment removal or disassembly. It’s a proven process that removes human error and automates hygienic practices.
Clean-in-place systems increase the consistency of a process line’s cleaning process. The speed and consistency offered by CIP make it easier to increase the number of weekly cleaning cycles while decreasing the downtime required for cleaning processes.
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There are several key elements that we customize to your specific situation.
- Time: This is the duration of time that a surface area must be exposed to cleaning fluid to effectively remove all product soil.
- Temperature: Temperature is an important consideration depending on the type of product soil is being removed. This influences overall energy costs.
- Action: Impingement action on a surface. This can be the velocity of flow or spray design.
- Concentration & Conductivity: How much chemical needs to be used in relation with
Affordable CIP Solutions
Thanks to technological advances, clean-in-place technology is now more accessible to sanitary process factories. Additionally, added customization and automation are now available. If you’ve previously discounted using them, it’s time for a second look.
Often clients come to us after installing CIP systems but not realizing the time savings that they had expected. An effective CIP system uses multiple key processes that must work well with one another to deliver a proper end-cleaning result.
Even a small error in the system construction can add hours of runtime. Often we consult on these systems to optimize and improve runtimes.
Advantages of CIP
Minimizes Mistakes: An automated clean-in-place system reduces the risk of error associated with a human-controlled cleaning process. The advantage of machine cleaning is that it tends to do the same cleaning process on every cleaning cycle. This typically means greater cleaning efficiency and a lot less human error.
Reduced Maintenance: Since much of this process is now automated, past processes of disassembly by highly-trained technicians is no longer required. This reduces both downtime and skilled labor costs. Additionally, there tends to be a lot less recurring damage to process equipment if it can remain in-line for the cleaning process. Every disassembly adds wear and tear, so CIPable process equipment tends to last longer.
Employee Safety: Employees have less exposure to harmful cleaning solutions and fumes. If process equipment doesn’t require removal, there are often major reductions in climbing hazards, slip-and-fall risks, and even (sometimes) reduction in confined-space permitting. Additionally, lock-out/tag-out procedures are often reduced due to the reduction in process equipment that requires manual intervention.
Increased Production Time: Since no disassembly is needed, the cleaning cycle is timed, accurate, and short. There is more production runtime now available. In some cases, we have found that the addition of effective CIP equipment has reduced previously manual cleaning methods by as much as 80-90%. This, of course, is highly situational, but we almost always see a reduction in time investment when switching to an automated, CIP cleaning method.
Safety Standards: The reliable, repeatable and regular cleaning intervals reduces contamination and create consistent product quality. It also greatly reduces the variables in play – so in the event of remaining soils, bacterial growth, or other contaminants, the offending source tends to be much easier to identify and eliminate.
Utility Savings: Only the minimum required water and energy are used in a pre-calculated amount. Wastewater burden can often be reduced. In some cases, the CIP systems can be designed to neutralize chemical solutions before going to drain – helping to reduce the cleaning chemical pH that would normally cause conflict with municipality wastewater services. Possibly of greatest importance is that usage rate of the cleaning chemicals themselves is often greatly mitigated by modern, automated CIP systems.
What Is CIP Cleaning?
CIP is an automated clean-in-place system for sanitary food processing lines. The first CIP system was developed in the 1950s by Dale A Seiberling. Before that, all systems were disassembled and cleaned manually through physical scrubbing. This method has both high labor costs and also requires a greater downtime of the production line.
In the 1960s as the FDA began creating greater restrictions. Today, the process is highly standardized, and repeatable and is a key component of modern food safety. Many existing Clean Out Of Place (COP) systems can be converted to clean-in-place. These conversions tend to raise the productivity of a site while also decreasing food safety concerns.
In processing facilities, the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) is a management system for analyzing and controlling biological contamination risks. CIP systems tend to support goals established by HACCP. Additionally, CIP can contribute greatly to reduce chemical exposure risk by eliminating handling points that might typically come into contact with sanitizing solution , caustic soda (or other caustic washes), or any other chemical solutions associated with the cleaning.
There are several key elements that we customize to your specific situation. In 1959, Chemical Engineer Herbert Sinner provided the 4 cleaning factors of Time, Action, Chemical, and Temperature (TACT).
Time: This is the time that a surface area must be exposed to cleaning fluid to effectively remove all product soil.
Temperature: Temperature is an important consideration depending on the type of product soil is being removed. This influences overall energy costs.
Action: Impingement action on a surface. This can be the velocity of flow or spray design.
Concentration & Conductivity: How much chemical needs to be used in relation with
Our specialty is in upgrading existing plants to clean-in-place capability so that production can be increased within the existing facility footprint. To achieve this, our engineers ensure that these 4 factors are provided in sufficient quantity to every piece of the production line, regardless of flow or volume changes.
Typical CIP Cycle
Generally, a typical CIP cycle consists of some combination of the below 8 steps.
Heated caustic wash (detergent or caustic solutions)
Intermediate Rinse (rare)
Acid wash cycle (rare)
Intermediate Rinse (rare)
Sanitizing rinse (situational)
Each step is specifically calculated to create a reliable cleaning system. For example, fluid flow must be at the correct speed to create the proper amount of turbulent flow. Heat and detergent amounts are two important pieces that determine how long it will take to complete the cleaning cycle. The other two factors are the time and flow factors.
The most typical CIP cycle consists of pre-rinse, caustic wash, and post-rinse. All the other bells and whistles are possible, but often may more than is needed to ensure interior surface clean throughout your process piping. We usually want to start from the simplest solution and work our way to the required complexity to solve cleaning problems with the least steps possible.
There are several proven cleaning solution types.
Pre-Rinse – The primary goal is removal of as much remaining soil from the process lines as possible. This step also provides a non-chemical integrity test of the CIP flow path before the chemical is introduced. Additionally, this step to remove residue helps to increase the effectiveness of the cleaning chemicals that will follow, which serves to help reduce overall chemical usage.
Caustic Wash – This will often be a heated sodium hydroxide (or similar caustic base solution) wash that removes organic compounds. In many applications, it is part of the process to evaluate potential cleaning agents and either select an effective caustic solution from existing off-the-shelf available options or work with a chemical manufacturer to create a custom formulation. The important notes here are that the chemical concentration and formulation effectively neutralize the soils that remain on the process equipment surfaces after the pre-rinse. Additionally, this wash is usually very hot – most often we see washes have the greatest effect between 160-200F.
Acid Wash – The acid wash follows to neutralize the system’s pH and dissolve mineral scale. This typically applies to milk stone applications (in dairies), or in other mineral laden processes. The other normal usage for an acid wash would be in more caustic environments that require regular re-passivation of the stainless steel piping and processing equipment product conduct surfaces.
Sanitizing Rinse (may be used instead of Final Rinse) – If a system will be left for any extended period of time before the next production process, it is often current good manufacturing practice to include Peracetic acid (also known as peroxyacetic acid, or PAA) in the final rinse to prevent bacterial buildup in any water that the system retains after the CIP circuits are completed.
Final Rinse Water – Residual cleaning agents must be removed prior to the line resuming operation. In many CIP systems, this final rinse water is recaptured and will be heated and used for the pre-rinse of the next CIP regime, thereby adding some chemical properties to what would otherwise be only water. Additionally, this reduces the rinse water usage by roughly half (in most cases) and gives a way to get more mileage out of CIP cycles without adding to your cleaning chemical costs.
Chemical companies play an essential role in identifying the proper chemicals to break down your specific soil. They can be a critical resource in providing formulations for a CIP system. The downside of working with a chemical company is that they are paid by the gallon. As the saying goes, ‘to a hammer salesman, everything looks like a nail’. While a chemical company is a vital part of an effective cleaning regimen, most CIP problems will require a company with more available solutions than the chemical formulation of the caustic or acid wash.
A good CIP system should have a repeatable recipe designed for effective cleaning. We find that the best design for cleaning systems is one that allows operators to adjust the recipe as the plant changes. Process plants tend to have a constant stream of small changes – from processing equipment that is retired due to obsolesce or failure to changes to recipe or formulation that require reworking of existing circuits. The CIP process needs to be able to grow and change as the plant does.
As outside consultants, we are not paid for the amount of chemicals used. We can often find efficiency and reduction usage opportunities. We can find areas of optimization to minimize carbon footprint, wastewater burden, and chemical costs. We also evaluate your CIP cycle (or manual cleaning) to determine if you’re effectively using rinse water for pre rinse and post rinse, look at your chemical solutions, evaluate any cleaning agent that you may be using.
Equipment evaluation is key as well. During this process, we check the spray devices in your storage tanks, test interior surfaces on valves and pumps as needed, and evaluate your system design to see if current good manufacturing practice is being followed by your sanitation program. Mix vessels can also be evaluated from drawings or in person to determine if there is shadowing or remaining contaminants that might require more powerful spray devices.
From soil residue to bacterial counts, we’ve seen it all.
If you’re trying to reduce CIP time in your processing plants, change the way your mix vessels are cleaned, or look at stabilizing food production that’s being interrupted by unexpected cleaning results, we can help.
If you have spray dryers, conveyor lines, or other equipment that might normally be difficult to CIP, we have a long and proven track record of finding ways to solve even the most complex industry cleaning problems.
If you want to know how to implement a recovery system (or even which recovery system style to choose), we can help you reduce energy consumption and rescue product from unnecessary loss.
Dave Erlebach, Intrinsic Organics
I work with DeJong Consulting because of his industry knowledge, drive and willingness to go the extra mile. Many consultants would prolong the problem to make extra money, but Michael does what it takes to get it done.