Seven Ways to Improve Clean-in-Place-Systems

Feb. 10, 2014
There are many ways to increase the efficiency and reduce cost and waste in clean-in-place systems.

There are many ways to increase the efficiency and reduce cost and waste in clean-in-place systems. The following suggestions can help you build better CIP systems:

1. Establish parameters. Make use of certain parameter thresholds to optimize cleaning and rinsing cycles. Parameters like conductivity and total organic compounds can determine when rinsing is adequate instead of rinsing for a defined period in time (which typically is based on worst-case scenarios). Another tip is to optimize production campaigns based on a CIP matrix that is populated with criteria to determine whether cleaning is even required when changing over to another batch or product.

2. Use micro-polished stainless steel. Affordable yet accurate liquid level measurement can be a challenge for CIP applications. Look for level control products that are made from micro-polished stainless steel, that can withstand temperatures up to 266° F (130° C) for proper SIP (sterilization in place) without failure. These devices eliminate crevices where bacteria can collect and ideally carry FDA/3A sanitary certification. Specialized float level probes employing magnetostrictive technology are available that can meet these important but hard-to-find criteria.

3. Control through batch manager. Clean-in-place should be done with recipes in the batch manager, just as for production. The BMS enforces that cleaning is performed consistently. Compliance data is collected as the batch record. End users can optimize cleaning via the easier-to-understand recipe interface.

4. Use the pros. Invest in custom fabricators when preparing a new process for a CIP install. The right professionals may cost a little more up front, but the ROI is realized significantly sooner, with reduced rework and fixture ease of use and cleaning.

5. Focus testing on first batch. It makes sense to implement a testing regimen that runs a complete battery of microbiological tests on the first units produced from the first batch that runs on the machine/line after running CIP systems. The results are then tracked in a database and used as immediate feedback to the efficiency and efficacy of the cleaning process. By finding cleaning problems sooner rather than later, it minimizes the amount of product subject to contamination and takes advantage of the tighter feedback loop. This approach is superior to doing a statistical sampling of each batch.

6. Size to capacity. Clean-in-place systems require sizing according to the minimum requirements, plus an extra percentage. The standard capacity is a function of the number of modules. The best practice is to have a convenient and independent CIP system, based on the number of modules to be serviced.The CIP system should be automated to clean itself and test final effluent quality. When preparing liquid solutions, the systems should be interconnected to the reactives automatically. If preparing solids, avoid handling of packages. In its place use some type of transport for solid raw materials. Once prepared, the CIP system should be circulated in the best order possible to exhaust the solution, by organizing for the number of cycles and how many modules are going to be cleaned.

7. Use bolted connections. Using bolted connections makes it easier to do fitting changes. Make sure your stainless steel piping and fittings are of a grade that prevents corrosion.

Liked this article? Download the entire playbook here.