Installing Clean-In-Place (CIP) Systems: 3 Important Factors to Consider

A food production plant manager considers a CIP system for her brewery.

Clean-In-Place (CIP) systems in the food industry can reduce the time it takes to sanitize your food-grade stainless steel tanks, positive displacement pumps and other processing equipment. This means less manual labor for you and your staff which gives everyone time back in their day to focus on other important tasks. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? But, before you get ahead of yourself, you need to determine whether or not your food processing equipment is compatible with your current CIP system design in the first place.

1. Are Your Stainless Steel Tanks Designed for CIP?

If your processing system is newer, there’s a good chance your stainless steel tanks are already compatible with a CIP system design. These tanks are specially designed to work with the “spray balls” that the CIP system uses to clean and sanitize your equipment from the inside. However, even if you’re using an older processing system, there is a possibility that ports can be added to your tanks to allow the spray balls to get inside and do their job.

2. Are Your Positive Displacement Pumps Designed and Configured for CIP?

Unfortunately, some positive displacement pumps simply will not work with a CIP system design. There are two reasons for this: First, positive displacement pumps usually require extra controls and valves to clean during the Clean-In-Place (CIP) process. Second, even if your pumps were designed with CIP in mind, the drainage ports must be configured vertically.

3. “Dead-Leg” Areas and Process Line Drainage

In simple terms, a dead-leg area (or surface) is a section of your processing system that doesn’t get a regular flow of water. So, if your system contains one or more dead-leg areas and you are unable to remove them, that means your CIP system may not be able to properly sanitize your equipment the way that it is designed to. Over time, water may get stagnate in these areas which could introduce bacteria and other pathogens into your equipment.

Similarly, your process lines need to be positioned in the right angle to allow for complete drainage between cycles. Again, any water left standing in your process lines may provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria which can quickly spread throughout your system.

Learn More about CIP Systems in the Food Industry

While the three factors we’ve covered here are important to consider before installing a Clean-In-Place system in your dairy processing plant, brewery or other food production facility, there’s a lot more to take into account. At Zwirner Equipment Company, we’ll work together with you to upgrade your existing system and make sure it meets all legal requirements. Contact us today for more information or request a quote now.

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