What is Clean in Place?
Clean-in-place (CIP) is a cleaning technology widely used in food, dairy, pharmaceutical and other industries that require the highest standard of hygiene. It is designed for automatically cleaning the process equipment, interior surfaces of pipes and vessels. The first dairy plant to apply automated CIP technology was in 1960. CIP technology is faster, improving operator’s safety (operators do not need to enter tanks to clean or handle the cleaning materials that are risk to people), more repeatable, avoiding cross contamination, and saving money in both man-hours and cleaning solutions.
There are two common CIP systems configurations: 1) single-use and 2) multi-tank. Multi-tank system is used to provide for the recycling of water and cleaning chemicals, therefore, a higher risk of cross-contamination. Basic components of a CIP system include: tanks, supply pump, valves, water addition assembly, heat exchangers and chemical feed equipment. The CIP process normally involves an initial and final drain step, a pre-rinse, a detergent wash, rinse, final rinse and sanitize. The time for rinse and wash cycles varies from five minutes to one hour. To ensure product quality, operators must use the appropriate amounts of cleaning solutions and make sure those solutions have been removed completely before the next processing run.
Many bread plants have their cooling conveyors CIP. This improves the food safety aspect of bread production, and reduces build up on the cooling conveyors.