Clean in Place Systems

To improve product quality in manufacturing systems, Clean-in-place (CIP) technology offers significant advantages. Right from efficient and reliable cleaning of process equipment and piping to lower costs, they have much to offer. The controls provide variety of cycle times, temperatures, composition and concentration of cleaning solutions.  In order to reduce costs and control waste disposal these systems include current recycling and regeneration technologies.

The automatic, reproducible and reliable delivery of cleaning solutions improves both product quality and plant hygiene. The ability to clean a processing system, incorporating tanks, pumps, valves, filters, heat exchange units and process piping, significantly reduces cleaning costs. It also helps minimize the handling of chemicals to provide a safer environment for plant personnel. CIP systems must be included in the design of any new process system.

CIP systems have several designs. The “single-pass” and the “recirculating” configurations are often utilized in the processing industries, since both require minimal capital investment. They usually have a small footprint and are flexible, in that the unit can readily adjust to a range of cleaning protocols. However, the cost for the chemicals, water and steam and for disposal of the wastewater are higher than for other designs.

The food industry usually favors a ‘re-use design’ that provides recycling of the water and regeneration of the cleaning chemicals. These systems have a larger footprint and are at greater risk of cross-contamination.  It also lacks flexibility i.e. a single temperature and single concentration of cleaning solution is used for the whole process system.

The pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical industries prefer to use a multi-tank configuration. They have independent, stainless steel tanks that hold water of different quality, e.g., deionized water (DI), hot or cold water for injection (WFI) and water from reverse osmosis units (RO). These multi-tank systems are operated as if they were single-use systems, the tanks being drained between subsequent programs to minimize cross-contamination. This system is capable of circulating small volumes of water at relatively high rates.

A single use unit developed for the use in dairy and food processing industries has recently found application in selected pharmaceutical industries. These systems reduce the consumption of water and chemicals.

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