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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Automated Clean-in-Place (CIP)

What is automated clean-in-place (CIP)?

Spray and immersion are two kinds of automated clean-in-place systems used typically for cleaning pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment. In both these systems there is a primary water source that can be heated, if necessary, that is used to make up the cleaning solutions and as rinse water before and after the cleaning cycles. An external tank can be used for mixing up and storing the cleaning solutions, although sometimes the manufacturing tank is used for this purpose. A separate external tank for holding the rinse water can also be employed as well as a second source of water if the final rinse requires purified water such as water-for-injection (WFI) or deionized (DI) water. There will be pumps and piping connecting these external CIP tanks to the manufacturing equipment that needs to be cleaned. A water conservation system can be installed that pumps the final rinse water into the cleaning solution dilution tank in order to use that water for the first cleaning cycle in the next automated CIP run. There will be automated controllers to run the pumps and control the dosing of cleaning agent and water. These controllers can be full or semi-automated programs that require operator intervention at key steps in the process. There are often monitoring systems that assure that the process is being done according to the program and that all parts of the system are functioning correctly. The automated equipment has sensors and data recorders to assist with the documentation of the cleaning and can often create reports that will become part of the batch log to document that the cleaning was done correctly for regulatory compliance. Automated CIP systems can be permanently integrated into a set of manufacturing tanks, or they can be on mobile skids that are moved from tank system to tank system. Typically, the best results with automated cleaning are achieved when the automated CIP system is integrated into the original design of the manufacturing system. Often an existing tank must be retro-fitted with an automated CIP system. This retro fit can involve either spray CIP or immersion CIP systems.

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