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The Key to Clean in Place (CIP) is Good Process Design

CIP is the foundation process in modern aseptic facilities. Good CIP designs provide for efficient, repeatable, and validateable cleaning of aseptic systems. A good CIP system design includes a comprehensive CIP skid at its heart, and the skid’s design must address all the equipment to be cleaned: tanks, piping, valves, hoses, mixers, blenders, centrifuges, instrumentation sensors, ad infinitum. The task can seem daunting, especially when you consider that cleaning requires both physical and chemical processes.

CIP, in good process design, begins as early as the earliest conception of the process. You cannot start thinking about cleaning too early.

First, start by trying to understand your macro cleaning conditions:

  • Get a global view of your total cleaning job.
  • Find out whether the system has one tank, two, or more tanks.
  • Understand the range of equipment and circuits to be cleaned.
  • Identify your flow and pressure ranges to maintain velocities sufficient to accomplish the job.

Second, understanding your micro cleaning situation, which will actually assist you in fully understanding the Macro conditions. Evaluate the system to be cleaned with these four basic questions in mind:

  • Time — How long does it take to clean the system?
  • Action — How much pressure and flow is required to clean the system?
  • Chemistry — What chemistry is required to clean effectively?
  • Temperature — What temperature is required to clean effectively?

Finally, consider the following questions to fine tune the CIP process:

  • Does the cleaning process need high flow with low pressure or low flow with high pressure?
  • Does CIP require once through cleaning or rinsing?
  • Can you use recirculation cleaning or rinsing?
  • Can you recycle your final rinse water to use as pre-flush on the next cycle?
  • How much total time do you have to accomplish the entire CIP cycle?

The CIP skid must be designed to provide to each cleaning circuit…       adequate flow and pressure,       of the appropriate cleaning solutions and rinses,       at the correct temperatures, and       for the proper amount of time.

Sounds easy here, but the devil is in the details.

This article was originally written by Tom Moss, who has over 40 years of experience in the Biotech industry. He is the founder of Applied Process Solutions in Massachusetts.

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