View Full Version : Effective CIP Flow Rate

11-22-2013, 04:17 PM
We are modifying our canning line to improve the effeciency of our CIP on the filler bowl (12 head bowl). I know there is an accepted flow rate that ensures effective CIP and want to know how that is calculated for the tubing size we have to work with at the inlet and outlet of the bowl. The tubing is 1/4" ID and I am concerned that there isn't enough flow to shorten the CIP time, i.e. we run longer times since the tubing is smaller and I assume the flow rate is reduced. We run the canning line CIP with our keg washer so I know we have plenty of flow (and temp control) of the cleaning solution to the machine. Is there a formula or method to calculate how long a CIP cycle needs to be based on tubing size (flow rate)?

dick murton
11-23-2013, 08:52 AM
Your supplier should have supplied you with deails such as flow rates, maximum differential pressure across the filler so you don't blow seals, cleaning times, temperatures and suitable products and strengths. If not, go back to them as the starting point.

A problem in fillers is that the internal pipes may be this diameter, but you have to balance this with supply line diameter and other restrictions in the individual heads that mean you don't appear to get turbulent flow in all the pipes, or grossly exceed the normally recommended flow rates.

Big (and here I am talking 70 head plus) fillers are designed so that the beer supply flow rate is turbulent, i.e. if you match this flow rate during CIP, then the filler and the feed main stand a chance of being cleaned adequately.

11-27-2013, 03:38 PM
Thanks Dick - sounds good and we have the specs like pressure and temp and a flow rate that has been working well to clean the machine. We set the flow rate (initially) by measuring the amount going into a vessel in a one minute timeframe - gallons/minute. That part is good and I thought there might be a "standard flow rate" that was a minimum guideline when doing CIP. But it sounds like each piece of equipment varies according to the particular components. Does it make sense to measure the fluid coming out of the machine, like you would for kegs, to determine if a higher flow rate for less time is doing the job?

dick murton
11-28-2013, 08:49 AM
I don't understand why you want to measure the flow out as well as the flow in. What are you trying to prove? The only thing you can prove by doing this is to ensure that any intentional losses at the filler are not so large that they mean the discharge pipework is not being cleaned - in which case separate circuits are required.

If you try running a higher flow rate, then you are likely to exceed the design pressures and may damage seals etc, and possibly, if not well designed, cause scheduled internal route changes not to take place as the pressure exceeds the ability of the control valves. Obviously the supplier should have built in a degree of safety to prevent this happening, but the increase in flow rate will not allow a reduction in time. Providing the flow rate is turbulent at all points, then iit is cleaning effectively, and increasing the flow is simply wasting power, and risking damage etc. A reduction in time may be possible if you are able to hot clean rather than cold clean, or to a lesser extent, increase the detergent strength, but again, doubling detergent strength invariably doesn't allow you to halve the cleaning time. An automated filler will have a very fixed cleaning cycle based on programmed changeovers of internal routing, and whilst you probably could change this, it is likely to invalidate any warranty.

12-04-2013, 03:08 PM
I guess I wasn't very clear on this and what I meant was to measure (or test) the cleaning agent, not the flow rate. Just an idea that it could show the effectiveness during the CIP cycle?

12-05-2013, 07:36 AM
I guess I wasn't very clear on this and what I meant was to measure (or test) the cleaning agent, not the flow rate. Just an idea that it could show the effectiveness during the CIP cycle?

Concentration is usually verified manually by titration. Your chemical supplier should be able to give you an SOP and a table that correlates titration results with concentration. If you are automatically dosing chem during CIP, you can (roughly) correlate conductivity sensor readings with titration results. Either way, you should still confirm via titration that ou're using the right amount of chemical.

Successful CIP requires TACT - Time, Action (mechanical scrubbing from flowrate), Chemistry, and Temperature. More is not always better. Use both your filler supplier and your chemical supplier as references to nail down all the variables - they are the experts!