Cleaning in Place (CIP or Clean in Place) is the process of sanitising a filling machine in order to avoid bacteria contamination during production of drinks for human consumption.
The CIP process involves various stages including these main sequences:
- Initial rinsing of the equipment with clean hot water to remove most particles or flavours and sugars.
- Second phase circulating hot water at 80C with a solution of Caustic Soda at 1.5 % or 120C pressurised steam.
- Final hot water rinse.
- Sanitising the machine again with steam at 120C or cold water solution of peracetic disinfectant at 1.5 %
Until recently, closed filling systems were disassembled and cleaned manually. The advent of CIP was a significant time saving technology to industries that needed frequent internal cleaning of their processes.
Industries that rely heavily on CIP are those requiring high levels of hygiene, and include: dairy, beverage, brewing, processed foods, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics.
The benefit to industries that use CIP (Clean in Place) is that the cleaning is faster, less labour-intensive and more repeatable, and poses less of a chemical exposure risk to people.
CIP started as a manual practice involving a balance tank, centrifugal pump, and connection to the system being cleaned. Since the 1950s, CIP has evolved to include fully automated systems with programmable logic controllers, multiple balance tanks, sensors, valves, heat exchangers, data acquisition and specially designed spray nozzle systems. Simple, manually operated CIP systems can still be found in use today.
Depending on soil load and process geometry, the CIP Cleaning-In-Place design principle is one of the following:
- Deliver highly turbulent, high flow-rate solution to effect good cleaning (applies to pipe circuits and some filled equipment).
- Deliver solution as a low-energy spray to fully wet the surface (applies to lightly soiled vessels where a static sprayball may be used).
- Deliver a high energy impinging spray (applies to highly soiled or large diameter vessels where a dynamic spray device may be used).
Elevated temperature and chemical detergents are also employed to enhance cleaning effectiveness.
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