What are some tips for cleaning using Clean in Place?

What are some tips for cleaning using Clean in Place?


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Q. I am an advisor for the pharmaceutical industry and need help with CIP. I know that there are two methods: swab and automated. Which one is the best, and what kind of solvents (besides hot water and CAT 100 and 200) are commonly used as cleaning agents? —L.G.

A. The CIP process is an acronym for Clean in Place which is a method to clean industrial tank and piping system without disassembly. This type of cleaning is often used in pharmaceuticals, dairy, and other food-based systems. The primary advantage is thought to be improved uptime for equipment and a more repeatable and effective cleaning method for this equipment. I am not aware of “swab” being a clean-in-place method, but rather what CIP was intended to replace. Swab cleaning would typically involve disassembly of pipe, valves and tanks to enter these or remove and remotely clean them manually with a variety of cleaning methods and equipment, depending on the soil and the cleanliness requirements.

The CIP process instead has dedicated tanks that are plumbed in line with the process installation to be cleaned. This can often be a high-pH cleaning system in one, and a low-pH system in the other, but rarely solvents. Systems can vary from highly automated, PLC-based systems to more manual. The specific CAT 100 and 200 are simply potassium hydroxide-, and phosphoric acid-based cleaners respectively. I would think there would be many similar cleaning systems available in the market that are intended to act similarly. All would need to be low foaming.