What No One Tells You About Clean-in-Place (CIP) Systems

Author: Crane Site | August 12, 2014 | Category: Equipment Maintenance, CIP Systems

Clean-in-Place CIP SystemsClean-in-place (CIP) is an automated method of cleaning the interior surfaces of pipes, tanks, lines, process equipment, and associated fittings without requiring the operator to disassemble the equipment. Implementing a CIP system that is engineered for your specific plant application and utility requirements allows the operator to spend less time cleaning and more time on other tasks required in his or her role. We'll guide you through the basic overview of a CIP system, standard designs, and finally, specification factors, so you can be sure your next system is effective and efficient.

CIP System Overview

Manual cleaning of process equipment can be costly, time consuming, and down right unproductive for an operator. Understanding that all facilities must maintain a standard of cleanliness, the CIP system is a go-to solution. They're found in a variety of industries, such as FoodBeverage, Bio-Tech, and Pharmaceutical, but for which applications? CIP systems are used for food (dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, baking), beverage, pharmaceutical (oral, injectable, bulk, topical), and cosmetic applications just to name a few.   

CIP System Components & Designs

The design of CIP systems can vary greatly depending on the application, plant standards, industry, etc. These systems can be portable or stationary; single-tank, two-tank or multi-tank; single-use, re-use or once-through; as well as designed for multi-circuit capabilities. Each design strives to minimize cycle time, lower chemical usage, reduce water and utility costs, and promote worker safety. 

The basic components of a CIP system include:

  • Tanks
  • Centrifugal supply pump
  • Suction, return valves & piping
  • Waster addition assembly
  • Discharge strainer (optional)
  • Shell & tube heat exchanger
  • Instrumentation and automated controls
  • Chemical feed equipment


Single Tank CIP

Single Tank

  • Once-through or re-circulated source of cleaning solution and rinse water
  • Provides simple and flexible operation with less space requirements 




Multi-Tank CIP Systems

Two-Tank & Multi-Tank 

  • Permits reuse of wash solution and rinse water
  • Ideal for facilities where water utilities are limited
  • The supply and re-circulation options decrease wash cycle times and improves efficiency
  • Reduces water and wastewater costs


Dual Operating CIP Systems


Dual Operating

  • Cleans two CIP circuits simultaneously
  • Substantial space and cost saving benefits over two separate units


 Using the right system design and sizing ensures sufficient flow and appropriate pressure to thoroughly remove residue and rinse effectively. Controls and programming optimize the cleaning cycle and integrate the clean-in-place function smoothly into your operation.

To guide you through specifying a CIP system, we outlined the most important factors for proper specification in a free downloadable eBook: The Plant Engineer's Guide to Specifying CIP Systems. Download your copy today!

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