What is spray clean-in-place (CIP)?
Spray CIP involves spraying or re-circulating the initial flush, wash, and rinse solutions under pressure, with proper adjustments of time, temperature, and cleaner concentration through the pipes and spray balls to clean large internal areas of the equipment without having to fill them completely with solution. Efficient cleaning of pilot and large scale mixers, tanks and blenders can be achieved by distributing flush, wash and rinse solutions on the upper surfaces at pumping rates equal to 2.0-2.5 gallons-per-minute (gpm) per foot of circumference for vertical vessels, or 0.2-0.3 gpm per square foot of internal surface for horizontal and rectangular tanks. Piping systems can be effectively cleaned via recirculation at flow rates producing a velocity of 5 feet per second or more in the CIP circuit's largest diameter piping. The advantage of spray CIP is that it can rapidly clean large pieces of equipment using minimal amounts of cleaning solution as well as minimal amounts of energy to heat the solutions and rinse water. The disadvantage of spray CIP is that it requires very careful engineering design to assure successful cleaning. If there are difficult-to-clean places that the automated system fails to clean, manual cleaning may be required. If a new difficult-to-clean product is made in production equipment that has a spray CIP system and it cannot successfully clean the new product, then possibly a new cleaning agent may be required or a change to immersion cleaning or manual cleaning may be necessary.
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