Clean in place (CIP) systems rinse, wash, acid rinse, sanitize, and/or dry the internal surfaces of process tanks, process equipment and process lines by flushing rinsing or cleaning agents through the process system.
Clean-in-place systems is somewhat synonymous with tank washing machines, but clean-in-place systems are also used to clean the internal surfaces of process lines, process equipment in addition tank internals. A clean-in-place system or CIP system can use a spray washing method or a fill & drain flush cleaning method. Chemical cleaning solutions can be used with higher concentrations of acids, detergents and sanitizers and at higher temperatures compared to manual cleaning methods.
In the fill and drain method, the tanks are filled with the heated cleaning solutions, acid cleaners, sanitizers, or rinses with draining of the cleaning fluid in between. Clean in place systems means the tank or process vessel are not dissembled and manually cleaned out of place in another location. Clean in place systems can be stationary or mobile. Pharmaceutical, food and beverage plants often have stationary CIP system integrated into the process line.
Tank spray cleaning systems can consist of rotary spray heads, jet heads, static spray balls, extension lances and pumping systems. Some systems can have automated retraction or extension mechanisms to automate movement the spray head and lance into the tank. Pressurized water, heated cleaning solutions, sanitizers, acid cleaners, and rinses are sprayed on the internal surfaces of the tank. The high pressure stream impinges against the internal surface to provide optimal cleaning and removal of tank residues. The tank cleaning system may also have a sub-system for collection, separation and treatment of tank residues or volatile gasses.
Another variation of clean-in-place or CIP systems are sanitize-in-place or SIP systems, which sterilize or sanitize the internal surface or the process equipment. SIP systems are very important in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries.
Newer CIP system are employing turbulent air to clear, clean and dry the internal surface of process piping, which can reduce the consumption and cost of cleaning water, cleaning agents and water heating .