Tetra Pak to develop its patent pending sensors to ‘see’ what is happening inside a plant when cleaning

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Cecilia Svensson
Cecilia Svensson

Related tags Food

Tetra Pak has published a guide to cleaning in place (CIP) for production, quality managers, technical engineers and equipment operators, to promote best practice and has launched a consulting service for CIP and food processing.

CIP covers mechanical and chemical processes used by food and beverage manufacturers to clean machines between production runs, without having to take them apart, keeping downtime to a minimum. 

Emerging markets

The firm is also developing technology that makes CIP more effective. IntelliCIP, for example monitors the level of soiling on the internal surfaces of equipment and uses patent pending sensors to ‘see’ what is happening inside a plant when cleaning. 

Cecilia Svensson, technology specialist, Tetra Pak, told Foodproductiondaily, it is expecting a lot of interest for the guide from emerging markets and customers that are relatively new to the food processing industry or looking to upgrade equipment. 

There are several costs associated with CIP, some examples include the cost of the clean itself in terms of water, detergent use or similar, or the downtime of the machine as it is cleaned,​” she said. 

Equally, there are costs associated with bad practice in CIP, these can include unexpected machinery stoppages, premature machinery failure and the myriad risks associated with poor food safety or quality​. 

This means by implication that best practice in CIP is about achieving the best quality clean, with the lowest requirements in terms of cleaning consumables, time, labour and machinery downtime​.” 

Reduce water and detergent use

The guide explores how both cost and the impact on the environment can be minimised, showing ways to reduce water and detergent use. It was put together by Tetra Pak’s specialist design team over the past year and is a reference for R&D staff involved in the design of a plant, processing lines or a recipe. 

It covers the latest technologies, including the use of electrolysed and ozonated water and intelligent sensors. 

“We have our own internal guidance like any major company and have been involved in various consulting projects with customers, but this is the first time we’ve produced a broad-brush overview and introduction to the subject,” said Svensson. 

Cleaning in place (CIP) is a fundamental part of good plant management. At its heart, it’s about food safety, but it also has a major impact in cost terms​. 

There is also a large amount of variance within the industry between best, average and poor practice. This guide is designed to help our customers to understand how CIP works, the benefits of using it and how it can be improved​.” 

She added for every major food processor with many years of experience in CIP there are several hundred smaller businesses that could be relatively new to the industry or who are looking to invest in processing equipment. 

Similarly, most processors will have specialist CIP staff, but often this information can be relatively siloed. This guide is designed to help our customers, some of whom may be very new to understand how CIP works, the benefits of using it and how it can be improved​,” she said. 

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