Cleaning in Place (CIP)

What does CIP cleaning mean? – Definition

Cleaning in Place refers to a method used to clean production facilities and pipelines. The plant is cleaned in circular or continuous processes, without prior disassembly.

Use in the food, pharmaceutical and beverage industries

Originally developed for the food industry and dairies, CIP cleaning is primarily used in breweries and in the pharmaceutical industry. In biotechnology applications, CIP cleaning is usually followed by sterilization in place (SIP) cleaning.

CIP cleaning process in the food industry

The cleaning process varies by the product to be processed, for example, food, beer or dairy products. Cleaning in place usually involves the following steps:

  1. Pre-rinsing with water to remove coarse dirt
  2. Rinsing the plant with a caustic solution or cleaning agent
  3. Intermediate rinsing with water to rinse out the cleaning agent
  4. Rinsing the plant with an acid
  5. Rinsing clean with water
  6. Optional: Disinfection, for example, using post-rinse disinfection: The plant remains filled with disinfectant over the weekend after the end of production, for example.

Cleaning in Place = completely automated cleaning process using the CIP control system

Operators normally control the CIP cleaning of production facilities automatically. The advantage: The temperature, duration and sequence of the media to be cleaned are automatically regulated.

Checklist – What is to be observed?

  • The product and cleaning solution do not mix (especially when reusing the caustic solution in so-called “stack tanks”).
  • All components of the plant and the pipeline to be cleaned are recorded in order to avoid “dead spaces.”
  • The plant materials are resistant to the cleaning agent (caustic solution, acid, disinfectant).

Source: Lebensmittel- und Bioverfahrenstechnik [Food and Bioprocess Engineering], H.G. Kessler

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