Clean up Your Operating
Costs with Clean-in-Place
Mike Murdaugh, Senior Process Engineer, Stellar
Clean-in-place (CIP) technology has been around since the 1950s, delivering a predictable, efficient routine for cleaning and sanitiz- ing tanks, piping and product lines without disassembly. However,
with operating costs rising and the water supply dwindling, is it time to
reevaluate your CIP system and upgrade to the reuse model?
If you’re currently using CIP three to seven times a week, you should
consider a reuse design. Unlike the single-pass CIP design, where water
and cleaning solutions cycle through only once before disposal, the reuse
design recycles them for pre-rinsing or cleaning-out-of-place (COP) in the
near future. The initial investment can be recovered within a year when
you consider the savings in several facets of your operating costs:
Time — By nature, CIP is a faster, more efficient way to regularly and
repetitively clean process equipment with a limited amount of downtime
for production lines.
Water (both clean and waste) — Depending on the configuration of
your reuse CIP system, the recovered water can be used over and over for
a variety of applications before you have to pay to dispose of it.
Heating/energy — If hot water is reused soon after the post-rinse cycle,
some of the heat is retained in the form of BTUs and can help reduce the
amount of energy required to heat water for use in subsequent applications.
Trade waste — Installing a “pigging” system
can aid in recovering product residue in the piping that would otherwise end up as trade waste.
All of these benefits add up to persuasive
savings. However, implementing a reuse CIP
system doesn’t come without its drawbacks.
Between the storage tanks, pumps and valves,
the upfront installation costs and floor space
requirements can give an owner pause, especially if utilities aren’t yet high.
If you can’t stomach the initial costs of a
reuse system, a phased approach would spread out the costs over time.
For example, you could plan for more floor space initially and once the plant
is operating and profitable, phase in the additional storage tanks, pumps,
valves and other CIP equipment as a capital or plant improvement project.
The Four Factors to Watch For
Your process line will determine your setup and how much water and
cleaning solution you can reuse along the way, as well as any product that
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