The Benefits of Cleaning-in-Place | HRS Heat Exchangers

The Benefits of Cleaning-in-Place

February 1, 2024 | Categories: Food - Opinion Piece | by

Cleaning/Clean-in-Place (CIP) systems have been around since the 1950s and in many regions and industries, they are now the standard method of maintaining hygienic and effective equipment operation. Yet we still encounter clients and manufacturers who are unfamiliar with the concept and continue to purchase or specify production equipment or systems which rely heavily on manual cleaning routines, often involving time consuming and expensive equipment breakdown.

Some sources suggest that CIP systems were first implemented when dairies were forced to switch from metal pipes to Pyrex glass tubes during World War II, but the first automated CIP system was installed in a family-owned dairy in 1953 in the US. Non-dairy systems followed in the 1960s and the first pharmaceutical system was installed in the late-1970s.

Why choose CIP?

CIP is an automated method of cleaning food processing equipment without disassembly using validated procedures.

CIP systems offer a number of advantages, including:

  • Reducing human errors which can lead to mistakes, such as using the wrong cleaning solution concentration, or not thoroughly rinsing equipment.
  • Improved health and safety by reducing or preventing employee exposure to cleaning chemicals.
  • Greater operational efficiency as less production time is lost during cleaning, and employees are not required to spend long periods cleaning equipment.
  • Improved product quality and consistency and less contamination of product.
  • Saving water, chemicals and energy through accurate, repeatable and automatic actions.

A smart approach to hygiene

Prior to cleaning, as much product as possible needs to be removed from the equipment. This is often done by physical removal or using air or water under pressure. Some systems, such as the HRS R Series of scraped surface heat exchangers, can even be run in reverse to remove and recover as much product as possible. Some of the most common elements of a CIP system include pre-rinsing, a high temperate caustic or chemical wash, and various intermediate and final rinses. Washing processes use a combination of chemicals and agitation (such as turbulent flow in corrugated pipes) to remove dirt.
CIP systems are generally classified as either single use or reuse. Single use systems discard all the liquid after use, while reuse systems store cleaning fluids for reuse in subsequent cleaning cycles. Modern systems will assist with record keeping for the purposes of traceability, including records of key parameters such as temperature, pressure, chemical concentration and cleaning time.


Design considerations for CIP

If CIP is to be effective the production equipment should also be considered with effective CIP in mind from the outset. Equipment and machinery must be hygienically designed and easy to manage, maintain and audit. Considerations include surface roughness, clean welding and the prevention of inaccessible areas or corners where dirt and/or cleaning chemicals may build up.


CIP systems from HRS

HRS offers both integrated and standalone CIP systems. Integrated CIP is included in many of our complete systems, such as HRS pasteurisers and sterilisers, as well as our Asepticblock Series (where the AF aseptic filler & pasteuriser/steriliser are combined in one skid) and stand-alone aseptic fillers, for example.

Our standalone CIP systems are fully skid mounted and have modular designs for quick and easy site installation. The single-tank (ST) system is designed for simple cleaning applications where recovery of the cleaning fluid is not required, while multi-tank (MT) systems are suitable for more complex situations. For small, portable applications, the tank can be heated to 85°C using electric heating elements, but steam heating using an HRS K Series multitube heat exchanger is also available.