Clean in Place Systems (CIP)

Manufacturers have used CIP or Clean-In-Place systems for years. The ability to clean machinery without having to disassemble and reassemble creates efficiency. Having a CIP process to keep equipment well maintained and maintaining a high level of quality is beneficial in many industries.

Recently we were approached by a client to build multiple CIP units for railcar cleaning. Determining how often railcars need to be purged and cleaned depends on the type of material generally transported in the cars. The ability to have a system available at your terminal site gives you the control of regular railcar system maintenance thus preventing contamination or corrosion from occurring. The need for emergent cleaning could be delayed if you have no available on-site system to handle the necessary purge and clean required.

Clean in Place Systems

The client worked with our team to build a set of (9) CIP rail car cleaning return pump packages. These systems complete with filtration, controls and Emco Wheaton wash arms and cleaning machines are an efficient way to make CIP procedures meet the needs of your railcars.

All of the pump packages had complete factory acceptance testing prior to shipment to site allowing us to make those minor adjustments necessary preventing start-up delays.

CIP Automation and Control

When designing controls for your CIP system, two main items to consider are:

  1. Type of environment or area classification will the controls be located and
  2. How much automation is required versus manual operator interaction?

Most CIP controls systems will inherently be in wash down areas so the enclosure and HMI selection are key to ensure that the product cannot damage the interface or find it’s way inside the enclosure. CIP control systems in a food and beverage environment must have special provisions to ensure there can be no standing water/product on the control enclosure so most of them will have a sloped top. It’s also possible that the automation system can be located in a hazardous or explosive environment. In this case you must ensure the components are rated to be used in the particular hazardous location to avoid any potential sparking or arcing that could lead to an explosion.

Once you’ve determined the environment the system will need to be rated for, you must determine how much automation will be required for the system. This can vary from the operator starting the pump and manually opening valves to the operator only pressing “start” and having the system automatically start the pump, open necessary valves, and determine when the cleaning process is complete to automatically shut the system down.

The components selected for this extent of automation are also subject to area classifications as well as what utilities are available where the system is going such as instrument air or what type of power is available.

Our electrical engineers, system specialists and UL panel shop is here to help you design the most efficient and easy to use automation and control system. Let S&S Technical take all of the guess work off of your plate and engineer the correct system for your application.

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