A clean-in-place (CIP) system is a combination of mechanical components and equipment used to mix water, chemicals, and heat in order to create a cleaning solution. These chemical cleaning solutions are pumped or circulated by the CIP system through other systems or equipment to clean brewery equipment.
A good CIP system starts with proper design and requires the creation of a customized and cost-effective solution based on the specific needs of your CIP system. However, it’s important to note that an effective CIP system is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to design a CIP system that takes into account the specific information about your brewery’s brewing process and requirements. This ensures that your clean-in-place system is designed to meet your cleaning needs.
Design Considerations for CIP Systems
When designing a CIP system, there are several key considerations that need to be kept in mind to ensure that the system functions as intended. These considerations include:
- Capacity: The size of the CIP system must be large enough to provide sufficient flow and pressure to remove residues, reduce cycle times, and effectively flush the equipment.
- Utilities: The brewery equipment must have the necessary utilities to operate the CIP system.
- Space Requirements: Local regulations and maintenance codes dictate the amount of space required for portable and stationary CIP systems.
- Drainage Requirements: Proper drainage is essential for cleaning operations, and the drainage facilities must be able to handle high discharge temperatures.
- Processing Time: The time it takes for a CIP system to run determines the number of individual units needed to meet the demand.
- Temperature: If proteins are present in the processing system, a prewash operation should be performed at ambient temperature to remove as much protein as possible without denaturing it.
- Residues: Characterizing residues through cleaning studies and identifying relevant product contact surfaces helps with parameter development. Some residues may require different cleaning solutions, concentrations, and temperatures for effective cleaning.
- Solution Concentrations and Types: CIP systems use different cleaning solutions and concentrations for different purposes. For example, caustic soda is commonly used as a cleaning agent in CIP systems, while nitric acid is used for descaling and pH stabilization.
- Equipment Surface Properties: The internal finishing of CIP systems can affect the accumulation of contaminants. Choosing the right surface treatment is crucial for minimizing the risk of bacteria adhering to the material during cleaning operations.
- Cleaning Processes and Schedules: Understanding the conditions of the equipment helps determine process hold or transfer times. Connecting transfer lines and tanks to form a CIP loop can facilitate quick turnaround and cleaning.
- Cleaning Sequence: The typical cleaning cycle starts with a water rinse, followed by a detergent wash and a post-detergent rinse.
- Transition Criteria: Defining transition criteria allows for better control of key cleaning cycle parameters, such as chemical wash durations, minimum temperature set points, and concentration targets.
Integration Considerations for CIP Systems
In addition to proper design and construction, correct integration is crucial for achieving optimal cleaning performance of a CIP system. Even with a custom-designed CIP system, improper integration can lead to underperformance. Therefore, it is necessary to consider integration during the planning process.
Some factors to consider include:
- Piping: The size and length of the piping should be considered, as major pressure drops can reduce flow and turbulence. Welding should be used for connections to prevent contaminants from accumulating. The return line should be sloped for gravity drainage and to prevent air pockets.
- CIP Chute: The CIP chute contains the tanks required for flushing and chemical solutions.
- Filters: Filters in CIP systems are often difficult to drain and need periodic cleaning or replacement before sterilization.
- Accumulation: All system components should have good draining properties to prevent the accumulation of contaminants.
- Automation System Design: The automation design of CIP systems should be reviewed to ensure effective cleaning. Developing specific automation control systems can help reduce long-term operating costs.
Why is a CIP System Important for a Brewery?
A CIP system plays a crucial role in ensuring food safety in a brewery. Proper cleaning helps prevent potential contamination and ensures that the beer meets quality standards. The proper operation of a CIP system acts as a safety barrier, preventing the flow of food and cleaning chemicals and reducing equipment downtime. However, cleaning must be done safely, as strong chemicals are involved and can be harmful to people and equipment. Furthermore, CIP systems should aim to use minimal water and cleaning agents while maximizing resource reuse with minimal environmental impact.
Some reasons why breweries need to be properly cleaned include:
- Reducing the risk of food poisoning and foreign body contamination.
- Complying with local and international regulations.
- Meeting specific customer requirements.
- Meeting the requirements of the Global Food Safety Standard (GFSI).
- Maintaining positive audit and inspection results.
- Achieving maximum plant productivity.
- Presenting a hygienic visual image.
- Promoting safe working conditions.
- Maintaining product shelf life.
- Avoiding pests.
If you are planning to open or expand a brewery and need a turnkey solution for brewery equipment, feel free to contact us. Our engineers will design and manufacture brewery equipment according to your brewing process, and we can provide a complete turnkey solution tailored to your needs.