Time to shift CIP digital tools from reporting to action


You hear this claim constantly across every industry: “harness the power of your data and reach untold heights of success.” Within the Food & Beverage industry, you have likely seen numerous platforms try to harness all the FSQ (Food Safety & Quality) data that is running in your plant and through the maze of pipes in the Clean-In-Place (CIP) operations, just to be given a report with various graphs in a new color palette. While the report may be a helpful record, today many facilities have too much data, making it nearly impossible to translate or provide meaningful, actionable context.

This is particularly true of CIP digital tools. The challenge of harnessing data lays in how and who is turning it into insights. Reducing the operational burden of validation and verification or mitigating the risk of a one-time event or ongoing deviation from SSOPs (Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures) can be exceptional value drivers for an organization but can often be overlooked when looking to digitize your FSQ systems. Implementing a powerful diagnostic tool to contextualize your data and verify key parameters can deliver significant savings and efficiencies.

How the Right Diagnostic and Reporting Platforms Allows You to Balance Food Safety Needs While Achieving Your Sustainability Goals. 

Let’s look at an example. Any anomalies found during a regulatory agency’s inspection can lead to an increased inspection frequency. These inspections can be very disruptive, resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars of productivity over the course of a day. By capturing SSOP deviations before they become routine, or the focus of repeated inspections, you can get ahead of the problem. In this case, prevention is better than cure!

There can be a great deal of value delivered by reducing time spent proving consistency and adhering to plant standards. The right platform can efficiently validate adherence to SSOPs, improving the ability to effectively audit each wash as it occurs and aiding in the review by plant personnel or third parties. Digital monitoring can highlight opportunities to reduce aborted washes, re-washes, or trimming rinses, which can have a greater value impact on time than on chemistry, water or any other consumable.

Of additional note, the ability to mitigate safety events, such as scalding risk by a failed steam valve or the release of chemical from a mistimed valve closure, can protect a team member from harm as well as a potentially expensive liability.

There are many systems – including some historian/HMI (human-machine interface) platforms – beginning to add contextualization functionality, but not all are created equally.

Sustainability Improvements Result in Real Savings

Sub-optimal operations can quickly add up to real impacts in operational costs. Having the right CIP validation tool in place can overcome some common waste scenarios:

  • Leaking steam valves can cost $15K+ in lost thermal energy and negatively impact asset life
  • Incomplete washes resulting in the need for re-wash can nearly double water, chemical effluent, and energy costs, while also cutting into valuable production time.
  • Using data to make smart improvements to high temperature processes without threatening quality.
  • Manual interventions such as manual holds, or skipped steps result in lost time and increased resource consumption.
  • Overuse of chemical resources not only results in increased chemistry costs, but also higher effluent treatment costs.
  • Over-rinsing or misuse of burst rinses can increase water consumption by as much as 50%.

Key Features You Should Demand

The best CIP validation platforms must deliver on the critical questions before you ask, using the right data to model and validate your processes, and providing actionable data and corrective action recommendations.

Features such as customizable setpoints and baselines, scheduled reporting, easy-to-digest dashboards accessible from anywhere, and automated exception-based reporting should be considered table stakes for your organization to validate CIP processes.

Equally important is to look for a system that tracks the instrumentation on a CIP system including valves, pumps and other timers to identify anomalies in their programming or functionality. Visibility to equipment interactions can highlight risks that impact your quality, piping and equipment. These risks include water hammer, thermal shock, sensor mis-calibration, rapid valve and/or pump cycling and cavitation.

Smart data analysis and validations systems such as Ecolab’s 3DT TRASAR™ CIP can turn navigating the wealth of data consumption and analysis with a compass into navigating with precise GPS.

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About the Author

Jervie David Montejar
A food lover who wants to try every delicious dishes around him and spread the news to everyone to try it as well. Finding the latest trends about food and restaurants around Cebu and the rest of the world :) "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." -Ernestine Ulmer
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