Is Your Clean-in-Place (CIP) Process Costing You More Than It Should?

Brian Sharp
Contributing Writer

Are your washes meeting FDA compliance requirements?  Is your process creating costly delays? Want to lower costs and increase sustainability by minimizing your utility and chemical usage?

Recently, SafetyChain hosted an online discussion exploring these questions and shared how SafetyChain’s CIP optimization solution is helping companies reign in their CIP process and get the critical data needed to optimize washes, minimize costs and maximize production time.  

Here are the key insights shared by both SafetyChain’s Jill Bender, VP Marketing and Clara Gavriliuc, VP of Data Analytics.

CIP Process - Top Concerns & What’s @ Stake
Those in the food & beverage industry that oversee the Clean-in-Place (CIP) process, face many concerns and challenges every day. One of the top concerns SafetyChain hears from our customers is that they want to be sure the washes are done correctly the first time. More importantly, that they’re compliant.

In addition to concerns that washes are done correctly and are FDA compliant, some of the other challenges associated with the CIP process include:

  • Washes that take longer than usual; wash steps or wash cycles that need to be repeated

  • Sustainability -  costs associated with overconsumption of water, energy and chemical useage

  • Regulatory, FDA, state and local inspections

  • Waste product, withdrawals, retrievals, and product recalls

Line production delays, failing an inspection or having waste product can lead to high costs and worse case scenario, product recalls.

The worst is waste product. Withdrawals and product recalls not only impact your bottom line, but it can impact your brand. We've all heard stories about companies where they almost went out of business because of a product recall that impacted their brand or their name recognition, “ commented Clara.

CIP’s Golden Rule - The Four T’s
To ensure the CIP process is compliant, tracking the Four T’s is CIP’s Golden Rule.  The Four T’s are industry measures in place to ensure that your CIP process is working effectively.
Four T’s:

  • Time

  • Temperature

  • Titration

  • Turbulence

At a minimum, those responsible for the CIP process must be able to prove that they have a process in place, from a data perspective, that verifies and validates compliance during and post sanitization process.

You want to make sure that you can prove that you have a process that verifies and validates that compliance. That's kind of the Golden Rule for any CIP process to be successful and compliant,” explained Clara.

Tracking and monitoring the Four T’s is crucial to your sanitization process, but is that data really ensuring that your process is optimized and helping you control costs?  

In other words, what if you could be actively tracking the Four T’s and:

  • Overall compliance process?

  • How long in CIP vs. Production?

  • How long the CIPs are performing?

  • How the Operators are performing?

  • Why washes are being aborted?

  • How much aborted washes are costing?

  • How much is spent on water, energy, chemicals for each CIP unit? Per plant?

The key is to have this critical visibility and data that can impact change. It's all about having the right data at the right time. How do we do that? Real-time data collection. Not only collection, but monitoring and analysis. Having that done in real-time is very important because that's how you impact change,” commented Gavriliuc.

Having the critical visibility and data can impact change in your CIP process and the key to overcoming challenges is having:

  • Real-time data collection, monitoring & analysis

  • Performance trending

  • Compliance scorecards

  • Tracking root causes and resolutions for all your exceptions

  • Optimizing washes by addressing equipment deficiencies, operator training

  • Tracking utility & chemical consumption to minimize your cost

To effectively optimize the CIP process and ensure your process is not costing you too much, key metrics to measure include:

  • Four T’s

  • CIP Process & Time Optimization

  • Chemical & Utility Usage Optimization

  • Equipment Efficiency

Barriers to Measuring Performance & Costs
However, tracking performance and costs can be challenging - due to manual, paper based processes, lack of visibility of operator performance or real-time data to impact day-to-day operations.  Equipment performance data and CIP to CIP comparisons are also critical for chemical and utility, equipment and usage optimization.

Having an overall “Big Picture” visibility of your process and the data to make daily decisions and trend data over time is key to truly optimizing a CIP process, and impacting change. Which is the cornerstone of SafetyChain’s CIP optimization solution.

Our solution provides real-time data collection and analysis. But also, we empower the operators and the management team with key performance indicators and dashboards. We do that by monitoring those washes against minimum, maximum and target parameter values and also PMO or regulatory scheduling requirements and  ensure that the washes are compliant. We also optimize utility, chemicals and equipment.  We look at how many washes were successfully completed and then we can look at that data by CIP, by circuits, by operator, by wash program, whatever is going to give you the information you need to make the right decisions when looking at how many washes failed and more importantly why, looking at the root cause,” said Clara.  

In summary, SafetyChain’s CIP optimization solution helps companies overcome the challenges of CIP process optimization; and provides the data needed to help optimize washes, minimize costs and maximize production time. And more importantly, achieve bottom-line results including:

  • FDA Compliance

  • Cost savings of up to 30% for chemicals, energy and water

  • Dashboards for live-view monitoring & tracking KPIs

  • Prediction-based rules to provide early warnings, or action limits

  • Regulatory Audit Package creation

Want to learn more about how SafetyChain’s CIP optimization solution can help you ensure your CIP process is not costing you more then it should?