4 Types of Cleaning Processes Used in Regulated Environments

For most industries such as food and beverage, biotechnology, health, and pharmaceutical, etc., producing and providing high quality and good products or services to consumers is the most general and basic requirement that must be fulfilled. To meet the standard requirements for product output to be distributed, the government and each industry will make a regulation that must be obeyed and applied, especially the regulation of product hygiene and health.

This regulation is made with the aim to make the distribution process to the public remain safe for use and consumption to the consumers. If the product is found to have poor hygiene criteria and endanger the health and safety of consumers, there will be many risks that are not only felt by consumers, but also to the company and its workers, as well as to the surrounding environment.

And even worse, the company could have its name tainted and its authorization removed, this is very detrimental to many parties. Therefore, every industry needs to implement and comply with the product hygiene regulatory process that has been set by the government in each industrial sector, because if it fails to implement it, the production and distribution of products may be delayed and hampered.

Quoted from learnaboutgmp.com, there are 4 types of cleaning processes used in regulated environments, such as:

  1. Cleaning-in Place (CIP).
  2. Cleaning-out-of-place (COP).
  3. Manual Cleaning.
  4. Immersion Cleaning.

So, what’s it and what’s the difference between all of these 4 types of cleaning techniques? Here are the explanations:

Cleaning-in Place (CIP)

CIP is a cleaning technique that uses an automatic system on the inside of the equipment without having to disassemble the tool or require an operator to do the cleaning. The CIP system is a cleaning technique that will not make the operators waste their time, effort, and costs, because everything is done automatically from inside the tool. The cleaning materials needed can also be directly transferred into the equipment through certain flexible pipes or hoses. The CIP process can consist of the following elements:

  • Supply pump.
  • Return pump.
  • Heat exchanger with black / plant steam supply.
  • Chemical tanks i.e. acid, and alkali tanks.
  • Supply pressure gauge or transmitter.
  • Supply temperature sensors.
  • Conductivity meter with a sensor.

Cleaning-out-of-place (COP)

COP is defined as a method of cleaning equipment items by removing them from their operational area and taking them to a designated cleaning station for cleaning. It requires dismantling an apparatus, washing it in a central washing area using an automated system, and checking it at reassembly.

Manual Cleaning

Manual cleaning is the universal practice among the pharma and biopharma industries. The design, configuration, and construction of equipment or the whole equipment which necessities the manual cleaning for the piece of equipment. The efficiency of the manual cleaning is accomplished by training the cleaning operators, ensuring the exact method of cleaning in the manual cleaning SOP, validating the method from different operators, and verifying the procedure with interval of time. The manual cleaning is dependent on:

  • The concentration of detergent used
  • The temperature of washing liquid

Immersion Cleaning

Immersion cleaning is the type of cleaning technique in which the parts to be cleaned are placed in the cleaning solutions to come in contact with the entire surface of the parts. Immersion cleaning is preferred for parts that must be placed in baskets and for processes requiring a long soaking time because of the type of contamination to be removed or the shape of the parts to be cleaned. It is the most effective method, even if not the fastest one, and can be used with any type of cleaner for any process, heated or at room temperature. Immersion washers can be portable or stationary, single or multi-compartment, and are available with a variety of options, controls, and valve configurations including CIP capability. The important aspects duringthe design of the immersion washer including:

  • To minimize cycle time.
  • Lower chemical usage.
  • Reduce water and utility costs.

Performance for immersion cleaning can be improved by moving the parts within the liquid or with the agitation of the liquid, mechanically or with the addition of ultrasonic energy.

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